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"Millennium Development Goals – a progress report"
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"Millennium Development Goals – a progress report"

Eric OmwandaWith one year left until the target date for Millennium Development Goals, Eric Omwanda, 23, a Correspondent from Kenya takes a look at progress on implementation, especially in Kenya. 

Millennium Development Goals were set in the year 2000 at the United Nations Convention in New York. All of the set goals had their target and timeframe. They were adopted by all the member states of the United Nations. Most of the goals were supposed to be achieved by 2015. Currently we are one year to the agreed time frame.

What are these Millennium Development Goals? They include eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, access to primary schooling, promotion of gender equality and empowering women, reduced child mortality, improved maternal health. Others are to fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria, ensure environmental sustainability and create global partnerships for development.

These are the main millennium development objectives. The question that we should ask ourselves as inhabitants of this world is – what has been achieved and what has not yet been accomplished? When we ask ourselves these questions, we will definitely know what needs to be done promptly.

In a very practical situation, in Kenya more children are going to primary school with the inception of free primary school education. The number of school-going children is far more satisfactory and I am contented without any doubt.

The creation of women representative seats in the Kenyan electoral politics shows that gender equality and women empowerment is being addressed amicably. Recently the Kenyan government set a policy to ensure that expectant mothers access free maternal health. This has also reduced the child mortality rate among children who are below five years old, since there has been easier access to reliable maternal services. There are many programs that have also been set in place to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. These are the success stories in relation to Millennium Development Goals in Kenya.

Every success story has its challenges. We cannot afford to forget to speak about the challenges connected to the Millennium Development Goals. It is true that we wanted to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty. The truth of the matter is, there are still families who live with one or two meals a day. Such families have parents who earn less than one dollar a day. Children in such families face so many real time challenges. The number of families that live hand to mouth is growing at an alarming rate.

Though funds are directed to free primary schooling in Kenya, parents have to pay for hidden costs that only the school heads know about. Our environment is not appealing due to the amount of litter that is dropped without care on the ground. Plastic waste, which is non-degradable, contributes so much to making our country filthy. Cutting of trees is another enormous challenge.

Countries with personal interests are practicing global partnerships for development. I want to zero in to this matter without any prejudice. For instance, France is selling firearms to Mali. The same country is in the United Nations Security council debating and setting policy on how insecurity can be addressed and world peace achieved. Let us be sincere, France is doing more harm than good to Mali. They are there to do business, period.

The sad reality is that not all the members that sit in the United Nations Security Council are doing more to see this illegal trade/partnership ends. Are these the types of partnerships that the Millennium Development Goals were expecting? Let us be sincere and ensure we practice what we say. Let us understand that this world is more important than individuals or one country.

Photo – Eric Omwanda, Mathare Foundation

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About me: I am aspiring to be world class journalist who will share stories beyond my community and countries because stories happen beyond set boundaries and they need to be told.

My interests are issues affecting humanity either positively or negatively, taking photos and videos. You may kindly visit http://matharefoundation.blogspot.com

Currently I  am a freelance journalist based in Nairobi. I do commercial video production and photography when hired by clients.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit:
http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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