Millenium Development Goals
Saint Paul’s and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
At the beginning of this new millennium, 191 nations, including the United States, agreed to a plan to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015. Together, they created the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):
1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty & Hunger
1 billion people live on less than $1 every day. One person dies from hunger every 3.5 seconds — each one a child of God.
2. Achieve Universal Primary Education for Children
More than 100 million children are not in school. 70% are girls. Educated children have a better future medically, financially, emotionally, spiritually.
3. Promote Gender Equality & Empower Women
Empowered women die less often during childbirth, develop healthier and better-educated children and become leaders in their own communities.
4. Reduce Child Mortality
Every 3 seconds a child under the age of five dies. Most of these deaths are preventable through a combination of clean water, sanitation, improved nutrition and medical treatment.
5. Improve Maternal Health
Each year over 500,000 women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria & Other Diseases
Preventable diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB destroy families and communities daily. Health education, sanitation, clean water, mosquito netting and affordable medications save millions of lives.
7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability
God gave us this extraordinary planet as our home and calls us to be good stewards of all Creation. Clean water and sanitation save lives and create productive, thriving communities that grow and strengthen through the generations.
8. Create A Global Partnership for Development
The success of the MDGs depends on all of us—rich and poor, young and old, parishes and communities, corporate institution, and governments. Fair trade, increased international aid, and debt relief for developing countries all contribute to our realizing the Goals.
[Adapted from Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) MDG resource material]
Because of a generous gift to our Healing/Outreach ministries, St. Paul’s is blessed to be able to participate in supporting the MDGs, sending contributions to Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) and Save the Children for their national and international Millennium Development Goals ministries, including aid to victims of the violence in the Middle East. We have been able to send a much-needed contribution to Ecuador for our own Bishop Ramos’ new ministry there, and to American Friends of Georgia (AFG) for orphans and elderly persons in extreme need. In the months to come we will be working with additional MDG ministries and our Bookstore is selling beaded pins from ERD made by HIV-positive women in South Africa. Each pin costs only $5 and comes with a description of this program as well as a personal testimony. Making and selling these beaded pins provides the women with an income, helping them feed their children and pay for school fees so that their children can have a future.
Understanding extreme poverty around the world heightens our awareness of what we can do here at home to intervene in downward spirals of poverty. Each Sunday your gifts of nonperishable foods for Christian Community Action (CCA), your volunteer ministries with Meals-on-Wheels, Saint Luke’s LifeWorks, our hospitality ministries with AA and Mid-Fairfield Aids Program, and our Norwalk area resource packets for persons in need of emergency services such as food, shelter, and family assistance demonstrate that not only can we make a difference, but also encourage and support our neighboring Churches and organizations to do their part as well. Beyond our immediate community, as we participate in fundraising for the Bishop’s Fund for Children which supports children in need here in Connecticut, or send books and school supplies to the Gulf States for hurricane victims, or a cash contribution from Outreach to a small, Anglo- Catholic parish in New Orleans struggling to rebuild from devastating flooding, or support beautiful Guatemalan crafts through MayaWorks, we are making a difference and doing our part to say no to hopelessness. Our Youth and children work with Heifer International and make blankets for Kid to Kid for children in South America. When we purchase artwork from Dr. Kiladze of American Friends of Georgia (AFG) or when a few families, on very short notice, collect new and gently used clothing to fill suitcases being carried to the Orphanage in the Republic of Georgia — and contribute to pay for the additional suitcase to carry the abundance of clothing we collected — we are making an enormous difference. And all of this ministry takes place as all of you go about your daily lives which we know are filled with many additional ministries of care, prayer and material/financial support.
Perhaps most important of all is that we are a community of prayer. As we continue to grow in our life of prayer both individually and together, God , ever faithful and generous in loving abundance, shows us the way to continue to make a difference in the lives of those who are in need. We have all heard much about what did and did not take place at our past two General Conventions (’03 & ’06), perhaps overshadowing our ministry in Mission. Among the blessings and gifts of these conventions, the Episcopal Church committed to focus its Mission to work through the Millennium Development Goals in eliminating extreme global poverty. Each time we gather to pray for the needs of the world, we join Churches around the world who focus their prayers and their mission toward accomplishing the Millennium Development Goals of 2015. We give thanks for all the ways in which God empowers our ministry in Mission.
- Susan Tom, Outreach Chair
For additional information about specific projects there are brochures, pamphlets and prayer cards available on the piano in Chittim-Howell House. The following websites are inspiring and have numerous links to their own and related ministries.