Virtual volunteers help achieve real goals
07 September 2004
Bonn, Germany: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) campaign is an effort by the United Nations to encourage countries to do more and to join forces in the fight against poverty, illiteracy, hunger, lack of education, gender inequality, child and material mortality, disease and environmental degradation.
The MDGs were agreed to by all UN Member States in 2000, as part of the Millennium Declaration for attaining peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. All United Nations Member states have pledged to meet the MDGs by the year 2015. You can read more about the Millennium Development Goals on the official MDGs web site.
Online volunteering activities contribute in many ways to each of the MDGs, directly or indirectly. For example:
MDG #1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Raj Gopal Prasad Kantamneni, based in the USA, created a web site for Freedom from Hunger (USA), and built staff's capacity regarding a site-based maintenance tool that would allow the organization to post updates without paying for any external technical expertise. Prasad ensured that the new site is ranked highly in search engines, and he also optimized it for low bandwidth users. This allows the work of Freedom from Hunder to reach even more people, and draw even more support.
MDG #2: Achieve universal primary education
Maria Yvette Reyes of the Philippines developed a proposal for the Mmanze Centre for Rural Development and Training (Uganda) that was accepted for funding by the Global Fund for Women and that will allow 1500 children in the Ugandan rural community of Mmanze, many of whom are HIV/AIDS orphans, to go to primary school.
MDG #3: Promote gender equality and empower women
George Okello Gopal of Kenya produced a research report analyzing Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers of four Sub-Saharan African countries (Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Cameroon) in view of gender and health issues. His study contributes to a larger research paper on "Globalization, Gender and Health" by the Centre for Research in Women’s Health (Canada) for Research in Women’s Health (CRWH).
MDG #6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
Tanzania Media and Youth Development Project involved nine volunteers with experience in HIV/AIDS education projects in its "Consultant on HIV/AIDS and Youth development" project. These volunteers provided customized materials about HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and advised the organization on how to conduct youth seminars and debates. Then, more than 60 online volunteers edited these materials.
"Through this program, I think the UN will achieve the goals to empower people, especially those who live in extreme poverty around the world." --- Tanzania Media and Youth Development Project.
Online Volunteering Service: www.onlinevolunteering.org