The most recent posts here, I have covered a new kind of empowerment that sees folk at the grassroots having their say through a VILLAGES IN ACTION conference.
In this post I will write about something that I learned something important that day, the real reason the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) will not be achieved and perhaps this tweet from @tmsruge, guest blogger here and conference organiser sums it up, in the best way possible
@tmsruge: #MDGs at #via2010: villagers were occupied with making today better than yesterday while experts worried about setting goals 4them 2achieve
I would like to think that in order for any goal to be achieved it has to be achievable (please excuse the pun here but non intended). What I learned that day was that whilst Western leaders sat in world capitals setting these goals and reviewing them each year some folk on the ground (who incidentally are meant to be the recipients of these goals) had never heard of them.
How then I ask are they meant to work towards the achievement of these goals?
In addition, those that set these goals do not appear to have taken into account something as vital as the application of these goals in places like Kikuube Masindi West Uganda.
If you take the goal concerning child mortality, Milly Businge the Village Councillor told us that this can be reduced through immunization programmes but the nearest health centre to Kikuube is 3 miles away and if the medicines run out at that centre then the choice is 4 or 8 miles away and the task of ensuring that children are immunised is left to the women. These women have no personal transport, there is no village bus to get them the health centre so they have to walk there withe the babies/children on their backs.
I have no experience of travelling such distances with babies in tow but I can imagine it is not an easy thing to do and the exhaustion that comes with it would mean that some women simply give up and hope for the best for their children!
Did the World Leaders or whoever it was that set the goals bear this in mind? Goals might fail because of variables on the ground like the absence of a health centre in a village.
I also wonder what happens exactly at those summits where they are supposedly reviewing the goals. Do they actually consider circumstances that may stand in the way of achieving the MDGs? Actually, that was a rhetorical question, of course, they don’t , because if the did, they would do something about it.
My message to World Leaders is that it is not too late to do something about this. If you really want to meet your goals please stop talking and starting listening to the grassroots. They will tell you why things are not working and they will work with you to achieve your targets.
All you have to do right now is listen to the VILLAGES IN ACTION, surely that is free!