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Our goals, our future: 17 goals to change the world

The Sustainable Development Goals look to build on the momentum of the Millennium Development Goals

What kind of world do you want to live in? It’s one of the most important questions you can ask yourself.

When it comes down to it, most of us want the same things: to grow and thrive alongside our loved ones and to live in peace and prosperity. Yet, millions lack the necessary resources to make this possible and are denied the opportunity to reach their full potential – an opportunity we all deserve.

Issues around the world such as inequality, poverty, and pollution negatively impact our planet, and all who inhabit it, every day. Recognizing the importance of these issues, the United Nations (UN) is calling on world leaders to come together to create change by way of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Blueprints for a brighter future

In 2000, the UN facilitated the largest gathering of world leaders in history and championed the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Through these goals, UN member states committed to reach a series of targets that would help eradicate poverty and improve everyone’s quality of life by 2015.

Since then, we’ve made remarkable progress: in fact, the MDGs have been reported as the most successful anti-poverty movement to ever take place. In just two decades, global efforts were able to reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty by half – proving that we can eradicate poverty, if we all commit to play a part.

But much work remains – and that’s where the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) come in. Continuing where the MDGs left off, leaders of UN member states will gather in September 2015 to adopt a new set of global goals aimed at bringing about even more, lasting, and meaningful change by 2030.

These 17 goals are the result of the largest public consultation program ever undertaken by the UN, which sought the input of millions of people on the world they wanted to live in.

Here are the currently proposed SDG’s and how we plan to keep supporting them:

women work at a village savings group


Together we can eliminate global poverty

The problem:

Over 1 billion people live on just $1.25 a day and struggle to meet their most basic daily needs. Children are often the first to feel the effects of extreme poverty, often going hungry or forced to leave school to earn an income for their family. Without an education, they become trapped in a cycle of poverty.

The goals:

SDG #1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

SDG #8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

SDG #10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Our proven Plan:

We help empower individuals with skills training and microfinance opportunities, providing resources that will allow them to generate income and improve their livelihoods, so that they can break the cycle of poverty and begin a cycle of progress.

In 2014 we:

  • Improved knowledge and skills by training nearly 860,000 people (including almost 194,000 people in agricultural, vocation or business skills)
  • Created opportunities for income generation by supporting over 64,000 local savings groups.
A young girl smiles from her school desk.


No child should have to go without a quality education

The problem:

Learning is crucial for development and is one of the most powerful tools for eradicating poverty. And yet, 781 million adults around the world lack basic reading and writing skills and over 121 million school-aged children are kept out of school because of poverty, discrimination or inaccessibility.

The goal:

SDG #4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Our proven Plan:

We construct schools with proper facilities, train teachers and provide supplies to foster clean, safe and stimulating learning environments – facilitating quality educations for students of all ages.

In 2014, we:

  • Built or repaired nearly 2,500 schools
  • Trained more than 104,000 education workers and school management staff.


Health is one of the most important things we have, and should be protected

The problem:

Every day, almost 800 women die from pregnancy-related complications and nearly 17,000 children lose their lives before age 5 – and yet, most of these deaths are preventable. Millions are without adequate healthcare and about 1 in 9 people worldwide do not have access to an improved source of drinking water or enough food to nourish them (WHO, WFP).

The goals:

SDG #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

SDG #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

SDG #6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Our proven Plan:

Plan provides resources, tools and information to help build healthy, strong families and communities.

In 2014 we:

  • Supported more than 835,000 households to improve sanitation facilities
  • Built or repaired over 4,100 water points
  • Trained almost 290,000 health workers
  • Distributed thousands of livestock and tonnes of food, along with agricultural support like implementing gardens and helping improve crop yields for farmers.

Through our work in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (since 2012) Plan Canada* has:

      • Enabled almost 574,000 women to receive essential health care before, during or after their childbirth
      • Ensured more than 1,815,000 infants and children received crucial vaccinations, medications and treatments.
A boy and girl jump in the air, holding books


Girls’ rights are human rights and everyone benefits from gender equality

The problem:

Girls are more likely to live in poverty, be denied an education and become malnourished, and are at risk of child marriage and gender-based violence – simply because they are girls.

The goals:

SDG #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Our proven Plan:

As of February 2015, our Because I am a Girl project has enabled us to:

      • Educate almost 3,000 girls on their right to citizenship, health and security
      • Teach more than 750,000 youth about gender rights and sexual and reproductive health
      • Construct more than 200 gender-friendly latrines
      • Provide school meals to more than 78,000 girls, improving nutrition and attendance rates.
Three laughing children plant a tree


Our environment shapes the world we live in and must be treated with respect

The problem:

The threat of climate change and environmental hazards is real and are already affecting entire populations: 85% of the more than 20,000 plant and animal species currently facing extinction are under threat due to a loss of habitat, largely due to human activities. Environmental degradation and weather catastrophes deplete crucial resources and leave families at risk of losing their homes – or worse.

The goals:

SDG #7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

SDG #12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

SDG #13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

SDG #14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

SDG #15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Our proven Plan:

Whether implementing water systems or teaching students how to grow their own school vegetable gardens, our projects are always mindful of the environment. We train communities on the impact of climate change and how to limit risks in the event of a natural disaster, while also facilitating sustainable solutions for lasting change.

Plan staff help build a shelter


By working together, we can build a better world for us all

The problem:

Millions of people around the world face marginalization, discrimination, abuse, exploitation, trafficking or violence, and live within conflict-ridden, disaster-prone, or remote communities. Insufficient infrastructure and a lack of protection leave children and families extremely vulnerable and unable to reach their full potential as global citizens.

The goals:

SDG #9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

SDG #11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

SDG #16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Our proven Plan:

For over 75 years, Plan staff have worked with local people in developing countries to ensure even the most marginalized groups can access and exercise their rights – regardless of faith, gender or culture. We work hand-in-hand with communities to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusion and empower children and families to improve their own lives.

In 2014 we:

      • Trained over 58,000 members of staff or partner organizations and nearly 215,000 community members in child protection practices
      • Implemented over 5,000 projects, benefiting nearly 165,000,000 people (over 41 million girls and more than 40 million boys).

Building momentum for a brighter future

Global partnership is another important theme of the SDGs (as shown by SDG #17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development). Considering Plan works in over 86,000 communities within more than 50 developing countries, across Africa, Asia and the Americas, it’s an important theme for us too.

We know that when we come together, pooling our collective strengths and resources, we build important relationships and extend our reach and impact. That’s why in 2014 alone, Plan partnered with more than 34,000 organizations, ensuring our efforts benefit as many people as possible.

A world full of progress, peace and limitless potential: that’s the world we want and the world that is within our reach if we continue to work together.

So, now ask yourself how YOU intend to make that world a reality – not only for yourself, but for everyone for generations to come?

Join us and Plan to change the world.

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