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By Kate Moore
2 September 2015

This month is one of celebration. 

It’s a month for UNICEF and people just like you to reinforce a global commitment to a world that’s fit for children.

On the 25th, the United Nations will herald in the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) and launch a new development agenda to build on successes gained since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were announced in the year 2000.

At UNICEF, we put children and young people at the heart of the 17 global goals that form the SDGs. Here’s what the first four SDGs will do for four young global citizens.

SDG No.1 will lift Merina from a life of poverty

Children sort through rubbish© UNICEF/BANA2009-01080/Kiron

SDG No.1 will end poverty in all its forms, everywhere.

Merina Akter, 13, works at the waste disposal at Ananda Bazar, Patenga, in Bangladesh. She’s up at 6am to collect rubbish that can be re-used or sold. The income she brings in supplements the money her labourer father and factory worker mother can earn. She dreams of finishing school and of working in a garment factory. With UNICEF’s help she’ll achieve her dream and break the cycle of poverty for a future generation.

Children are over-represented among the poor. Almost half of the global population living in extreme poverty are under the age of 18. UNICEF works for the most vulnerable and marginalised of children, and in the majority of instances, these children are exposed to economic conditions that place them at risk of extreme poverty and lifelong hardship.

Learn more about the SDGs

SDG No.2 will fill Anone’s tummy

Mother feeds her child© UNICEF/Bree Fitzgerald

SDG No.2 will end hunger and tackle malnutrition, stunting and wasting with a special focus on children under the age of five.

Anone’s bowl of rice has a special ingredient that will give her the nutrients her diet misses. Her mum, Phouvong, is among mothers in Laos who have received SuperKid nutritional supplements and learned more about a healthy diet for a strong family. Without UNICEF, its partner MMG Limited and the Laos Government, SuperKid supplements would not be available to mums like Phouvong.

UNICEF is working with its partners around the world to find innovative ways to end malnutrition among children: a key focus of the SDGs.

In Laos this innovation has brought together health professionals, civil society organisations, volunteers and pharmacists to distribute four million sachets of SuperKid supplements of vitamins, iron, zinc, and other nutrients for children in  the most remote and disadvantaged regions of Laos.

Learn more about the SDGs

SDG No.3 will help Kalid reach more mothers

A health worker preparing a syringe to apply a vaccine© UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Tsegaye

SDG No.3 will put good health in reach of every mother and child.

Kalid Ibrahim Abdirkadir, 22, is a mobile health and nutrition team leader working in Ethiopia. Kalid travels harsh terrain to reach the mothers and their children in travelling health clinics that set up under the shade of acacia trees. A trained birth attendant, Kalid uses simple tools to advise mothers on their pre-birth care. His visits bring routine check-ups, along with vaccinations to prevent common childhood illnesses.

In Ethiopia, a UNICEF project supported by the Australian Government and Australian community is making sure health care is accessible to the most remote of families. Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams manage and treat common illnesses and combat malnutrition, focussing on the care of mothers and children as a priority. More complicated or critical cases are referred to a health facility, with early diagnosis saving lives.

Learn more about the SDGs

SDG No.4 will help Geyah achieve her dream of being a teacher

A girl writing on a chalk board© UNICEF/Kelley Lynch

SGD No.4 will give girls and boys access to free, equitable primary and secondary schooling.

Geyah, 9, lives in a village on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. When Geyah grows up she wants to be a teacher just like her Grade 4 teacher, Mr Flores. Geyah goes to a UNICEF-supported school where specialised teacher and student training ensures every child can enjoy an education.

There is overwhelming evidence that educating girls is the most consistent driver of development goals. UNICEF’s work to ensure education programs include girls and young women has resulted in more girls realising their right to an education.

Helping kids everywhere

At UNICEF, it’s our mission to reach the world’s children with good health and nutrition, and give them safe places to grow, play and learn. This mission comes to life through the donations of supporters, like you. 

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