September 23, 2008

Making Social Change a Reality: A step forward to Environmental Stability and Global Partnership

Rounding out the last of the Millennium Development Goals are goals seven and eight, Environmental Stability and Global Partnership. Both of these goals are so much more specific than the previous six, Goal 7 including four targets and Goal 8 including five, that it would be impossible to examine them exhaustively in such a short space. Therefore, let’s examine one target per goal. For a more detailed look at these aims, please visit the website for the United Nations,

To ensure environment sustainability, target three aims to, “halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. “

One Step Forward:

Thirst Relief International is an international nonprofit organization that works with local groups to implement safe, potable water facilities in communities all over the globe. With projects in the Congo, Amazon, Kenya, and many more countries, Thirst Relief provides funding and serves as project manager, while labor and field oversight are provided domestically by local organizations. Currently, the Life and Water Development Group of Cameroon is seeking volunteers to assist with its own water project in association with Thirst Relief International.

As part of the millennium effort to foster global partnership, target five pledges to work with the private sector to make technology and information systems more accessible to developing countries. Whether school or small business, Internet access and information systems are essential to any developing country seeking to compete in the developing world.

One Step Forward:

One Laptop Per Child
is a project created by faculty members from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The core of OLPC is that for every $100 laptop purchased, one will be donated to children and families in developing countries. Not only do these laptops not require a power outlet, but they also use free and open-source software so that users may alter the system to suite his or her specific needs.

On September 25, 2008, UN member states will convene in New York City to evaluate progress made on the Millennium Development Goals. With only seven more years left to achieve these aims, it is imperative that these member states recognize that despite progress made, the world still has a long way to go. And in that vein, new, more specific commitments must be made to achieve the MDGs by 2015. We’ll have to wait and see.

For more information on:
Thirst Relief International, go to:
Life and Water Development Group, go to:
One Laptop Per Child, go to:
The MDGs or the Millennium Summit, please visit

This blog was written by Allison Tritt, a former high school English teacher, volunteer for Oxfam Japan and volunteer blogger with Literacy ‘n’ Poverty Project. She blogs to foster global awareness and remind others that there is always a way to get involved. Please leave your comments and feel free to email Allison at with any questions!

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