G’day mate. I’m the ‘land down under’. –I promise that will be the last of the Aussie references. I’m here as an ambassador for a Los Angeles NGO (SimplyHelp) and attending a UN Conference. I wanted to give you a brief background on the Conference and the organization I’m traveling with before I got into the excitement of the Conference details.
63rd Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference – Advance Global Health/Achieve the MDGs
History of Conference – The UN holds a conference annually for interested Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The topics of the last four conferences were human dignity and security, climate change, human rights, and nuclear disarmament. Only the last three years has it been held outside of New York. This year it is in Melbourne, Australia.
Goal of Conference – As I understand it, the aim of this Conference is to provide a venue for NGOs working on the MDGs to collaborate and hopefully be more effective deliverers of global health programs. The hope is this meeting will spark suggestions for the upcoming UN Summit in New York.
The projects of the NGOs present at this conference are diverse and include chronic diseases, blindness, HIV/AIDS, drug use, migration, women empowerment, mental health, maternal and child health as well as indigenous health concerns.
Review of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce Child Mortality Rate
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Who – SimplyHelp Foundation (SHF) is an NGO based out of Los Angeles. Tina Bow founded it in 2001. You can read more about the establishment of the SHF from the website provided below.
What – SHFs mission is to “empower people living people in poverty through providing education, vocational training, food, shelter, accessible potable water and disaster relief, in order to facilitate sustainable development.” Their aim is to “empower people living in poverty in order to enable people to sustain themselves and their families in their own environment.”
Where – They serve 18 countries including Asia, Africa, Latin America, Caribbean and the US.
How – The SHF began by providing disaster relief to areas struck by natural disasters. However, after serving the basic needs of these communities they realized much more needed to be done and that they had the capacity to offer support in other areas.
Currently, their work is focused on addressing structural causes of poverty. Their programs include vocational training in computer literacy, garment industry, cosmetology, and bakery to name a few; as well as housing for the homeless elderly, resource distribution, and of course disaster relief. Interestingly they partner with many organizations that also serve the same populations in order to support more sustainable programs. Many of their partner organizations focus on health education.
The organization maximizes the amount of donations that reach to vulnerable population by using less than 10% for administrative purposes.
SHF Workshop at the 63rd UN Annual DPI/NGO Conference – “SimplyHelp will host four speakers from around the world to speak about improving Global Health through Education of Mothers and Grandmothers. Women are the primary conduit of information across families. They set the standards of diet, lifestyle and health behaviors that affect the health risks of all members of the family. Interventions to address poverty and health should be targeted at educating mothers and grandmothers who spend the majority of their time training and educating the next generation. This workshop will present examples of health programs for women from various developing countries, as well as an academic point of view illustrating why educating women on health is an important and efficient way to improve Global Health.”
Stay tuned for updates on the opening ceremonies, exhibits, events and of course the workshops!