Have you ever spoken to a surfer about why they surf? They will tell you that once you get into it there is no turning back. As someone who has never donned a wetsuit or waxed a board, I never really appreciated the significance of a surfer's relationship with the ocean and how this can influence their broader view of the world. Then I met the team at EcoSwell in Peru.
Unless we want to find ourselves in 2030 having failed to fulfil our commitments, writing another set of Global Goals, mourning the loss of a great opportunity for change, we must take the role of youth seriously. Young people have a passion for change that gives them the drive to shape the world they live in. In the mission to end poverty and deliver on the Global Goals, what better allies to have?
ICT for learning may be a trendy and popular topic as a blog on this site last week discussed, but the fact remains that children from poorer households are less likely to have access to ICT both in and out-of-school. As a result, they take longer to adapt to using the technology or hone their ICT skills.
A lot of the blame for this unfinished business falls on the persisting inequalities in education, not the least of which is related to poverty. The 2015 GMR underlined this fact, showing that in low and middle income countries, the poorest children are 4 times less likely to go to school than the richest, and are 5 times less likely to complete primary education.
It's 15 years since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed which sought to 'spare no effort' in eradicating global poverty and inequality. Over this last weekend, leaders once again come together to assess the progress made by the MDGs and to redefine their focus for the next 15 years of the fight against poverty.
Last week in New York over 160 leaders from around the world signed an agreement that will shape all of our destinies and radically change the way we tackle poverty, inequality and climate change. In more than 25 years working in international development, this is perhaps the most pivotal moment I have had the privilege to be part of. A decade and a half after we ushered in a new era with the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will come into force.
This week sees one of the most important events in Earth's recent history, so please pay attention... On Friday, world leaders will gather at the UN to ratify the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and set a path for 2030 to eradicate poverty, tackle inequality and fix climate change. Yep, it's pretty significant.
Organisations like Sightsavers have been campaigning hard over the past few years to ensure that this set of goals specifically includes people with disabilities. I'm really pleased that the UK government has played a leading role in the combined effort by championing the 'leave no one behind' agenda.
Visiting Kenya last weekend, Barack Obama stirred hearts and minds with his words on the country's potential to become a development success story. Gracing a summit on African entrepreneurship, the President rightly celebrates the efforts of the inspirational men and women working to bring prosperity to the country and the wider continent.
At the most basic and essential level, aid is and will remain a vital source of funding for many countries who cannot yet raise enough tax to pay for much-needed social services and goods including things like education and healthcare but also in the longer term helping to build the capacity to raise and more effectively use those resources. UK aid contributes to building a fairer world where more people live free from poverty, fewer die from preventable causes like malnutrition or childbirth and there are more opportunities for all.