Partnering to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals

By Kelsi Young | January 3, 2022 | Africa & The Middle East, Asia, Europe & Eurasia, The Americas |

The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a roadmap to a more peaceful and prosperous world for all people. At Global Fund for Children, we are partnering with community-based organizations around the world to help accomplish the SDGs by 2030. While all the SDGs are important, our work is primarily aligned with the following five: no poverty, good health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, and reduced inequalities.

Goal 1: No PovertyNo Poverty

Global Fund for Children (GFC) sees poverty as a dynamic, multidimensional, and relational condition that produces precariousness and prevents individuals, families, and communities – especially children and women – from having full and happy lives with equal opportunities. Multidimensional poverty encompasses material living standards, access to and utilization of education, nutrition, physical and mental health, environment, protection, social inclusion, and other aspects of everyday life.

We support community-based organizations that are not afraid to tackle the root causes of poverty with innovative, local solutions. Deeply embedded in the communities they serve, our partners are able to reach the most disadvantaged children and youth, offering holistic care to comprehensively address their needs.

Learn more: As Nepal grappled with COVID-19, GFC partner Partnership for Sustainable Development helped children who had lost their parents attend virtual classes and get nutritious meals.

Goal 3: Good health and well-beingGood Health and Wellbeing

The wellbeing of children and youth is at the core of GFC’s mission. We also deeply value the wellbeing of the community leaders and civil society organizations that champion young people. Far too many youth and grassroots leaders face security threats, trauma, financial stress, and constant pressure to do more. Nurturing the wellbeing of the people who form organizations is integral to shifting inequitable power relations.

As part of our commitment to health and wellbeing, we joined the Wellbeing Project’s Ecosystem Network in 2021. The Wellbeing Project focuses on catalyzing a culture of wellbeing for all changemakers. Its Ecosystem Network consists of 80 global, regional, and local organizations working in the social change field that have an interest in learning and sharing around the topic of wellbeing in order to bring this information back to partner organizations and local communities.

Learn more: Read about GFC’s Commitment to Change in the space of philanthropy and global development.

Goal 4: Quality EducationQuality Education

At GFC, we believe that when we equip young people with education and skills, we unlock their ability to realize their full potential and transform their communities.

We support organizations that strengthen the experiences of young people — especially youth from marginalized groups that have the most barriers to accessing and completing a quality education — in formal education. Some of our partners address girls’ longstanding educational disadvantage by supplementing formal curriculum with life skills, mentorship, and leadership opportunities. Other partners pioneer innovative educational programming to meet the needs of children with disabilities, child laborers, or children from rural communities or urban settlements. Still other partners supplement formal education for older youth through vocational and entrepreneurship training so they are equipped to make smart decisions, build financial resilience, and shape their own futures.

Learn more: Our Empowering Adolescent Girls initiative leverages a network of 17 community- based organizations to promote gender equality and access to education for girls in Central America.

Goal 5: Gender EqualityGender Equality

We believe that addressing gendered power imbalances is essential to ensuring that all children can reach their full potential. As a way to confront historical and current inequalities, we believe that investing in girls, young women, and LGBTQ+ youth delivers invaluable returns to young people, their families, and their communities. We also believe that gender equality cannot happen without the participation of boys and young men and that addressing harmful masculinity norms is critical.

Through the work of our partners, we support girls’ education and leadership development, safe spaces and services for LGBTQ+ youth, sexual and reproductive health and rights, healthy masculinities, and the eradication of gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices, including child marriage and female genital cutting. We support our partners to engage entire communities — including parents, schools, community leaders, and local and national governments — to work collectively toward gender justice. Our partners equip girls with knowledge and skills that will help them lead independent lives and empower them to become agents of change, while ensuring that boys are engaged in gender justice. We also support programs that specifically address the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and help them achieve equal rights around the world.

Learn more: GFC supports a network of six community-based organizations in West Africa that are tackling violence against girls in their own communities.

Goal 10: Reduced InequalitiesReduced Inequalities

GFC stands with children and youth who advocate for their rights in the face of injustice and persistent systemic inequalities. Many of the organizations we support advance the rights of young people who have been excluded or marginalized due to various aspects of their identities.

We are also committed to influencing other funders to use resources to counter deep inequalities. For example, in response to racial inequities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, GFC partnered with The National Lottery Community Fund, the Ubele Initiative, and individuals from Black and minoritized communities — communities that face racial or ethnic discrimination — to create the Phoenix Fund, a new initiative that puts racial justice at the heart of pandemic response. This initiative has already provided £2 million in emergency grants to organizations led by and serving people from Black and minoritized communities in England that are working in the heart of their communities to provide essential and emergency services as well as tailored support and education.

Learn more: A collaborative panel of individuals who have understanding and lived experience working with communities that face racism in England drive the Phoenix Fund’s grantmaking decisions.


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Header photo: A child participating in a workshop organized by GFC partner Jovenes por el Cambio in San Marcos, Guatemala. © GFC

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Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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