The SDGs: Nurturing what we planted

On Wednesday, 20 January, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that WVI President Kevin Jenkins would be among the first members of the High Level Advisory Group for Every Woman Every Child. The group will help provide leadership and inspire ambitious action for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health during the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the universal Sustainable Development Goals agenda. “Continued commitment, leadership and action will be critical to achieving our goal of ending all preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents by 2030 and enabling them to reach their full potential,” said the Secretary General. The High-level Advisory Group will advise the Secretary-General, guide the transition of the Every Woman Every Child movement and the newly launched Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, and link to others to encourage collaboration and integration. Here is President Jenkin’s reflection on the process which brought us to a point of strategic influence: As every educated child knows, once you’ve produced a seedling, there’s a lot of work to do to raise the plant. It’s going to need sunlight, good soil and lots of water. World Vision planted a seed by making a major pledge to the health of children and women in 2010. We promised our contribution to the Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child campaign would be worth US$1.5 billion over five years. We made ourselves independently accountable for that spending. After five years, we had exceeded our promise. It is extraordinary how wide and deep the impact of this strategy has been. Millions of children owe their improved well-being to it. Now, in 2016, we are joining many others in a leadership role pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The creation of a High-Level Advisory Group is a welcome step to inform the way forward. The group will be chaired by Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, and Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, with other members representing government, the business community, philanthropists, young people and civil society [see below for the full list]. Through my membership, I intend to speak up for development and humanitarian agencies, child-focused issues and the faith community. This is a great opportunity for World Vision and our partners and supporters to make progress on our vision of life in all its fullness for every child. It will be a wonderful opportunity to influence others to help fulfil our vision of life in all its fullness for every child. Our participation in the UN’s new initiative is possible because of the long-term dedication of sponsors, donors and those who campaign alongside us. Thank you to all who have made World Vision part of your ministry to the most vulnerable children in the world. • My photograph of seedling nurture is from an excellent innovation in use in Lipiri, Malawi. The borehole in Chankhwa village (visible in the background) is sustainable because of gardens which have been planted around it. Everyone using the supply helps water and tend the gardens. The crop is sold to raise money to maintain and repair the borehole. These children will grow up with healthy water, sanitation and hygiene – and a better understanding of how a community can work together for sustainable development. The membership of the UN High-level Advisory Group for Every Woman Every Child is:
  • Co-chairs, Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile and Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia
  • Alternate co-chairs, Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland and Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania
  • H.E Ms. Marie-­Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie of Canada
  • H.E Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare of the Republic of India
  • H.E Mr. Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway
  • H.E Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck, Minister of Health of the Republic of Senegal
  • Mrs. Graça Machel, Board Chair, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Founder, Graça Machel Trust
  • H.E Dame Meg Taylor, DBE, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum
  • Mr. Robert Collymore, CEO Safaricom
  • Ms. Jovana Rios Cisnero, Vice President of APLAFA’s Board (Panamanian Family Planning 2 Association), Member of the Board of Directors of IPPF Western Hemisphere
  • Mr. Kevin Jenkins, CEO World Vision
  • H.E Mr. Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • H.E Mr. Saber Chowdhury MP, President, Inter Parliamentary Union Head of Agency Chair of the H6 (formerly known as H4+) – The H6 is a joint effort by UNFPA UNAIDS, UNICEF, UN Women, WHO and the World Bank, to address reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. The H6 serves as the lead technical partners for the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health