The following is a message from the Chair of the Commission on Human Dignity and Creation Care in the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire:
To all who are involved in Outreach ministries and advocacy,
On September 25, 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals that grew out of the Millennium Development Goals seeking to end poverty. Also, last summer in anticipation of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church voted to continue its budgetary commitment of 0.7% annually toward international development programs, and it encourages dioceses and congregations to do the same.
The new Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) and the broader sustainability agenda go much further than the MDG; seeking to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change by 2030. With goals that are practical, specific and measureable, the intention of the SDGs is that no one is left behind.
Here are a few distinctions between the SDGs and MDGs that Episcopal Relief and Development has noticed:
· There are 17 SDGs compared to 8 MDGs
· The SDGs are universal, addressing poverty everywhere it exists. For instance, the United States is equally accountable for poverty alleviation at home as it is abroad.
· There is a paradigm shift in how develop is approached in the goals. The SDGs put each country in charge of its own strategy.
· The SDGs place a heavy emphasis on data collection and measuring outcomes. However, it is difficult to establish uniformity in measuring outcomes in countries with differing local contexts, environments and resources.
· Gender equity is front and center in the goals because a disproportionate number of people living in poverty or without access to power and influence are women.
The Diocesan Commission of Human Dignity and Creation Care (previously known as the Diocesan Outreach Commission) supports the SDGs and has budgeted an annual grant of about $10,000 which, when recommended by Council and then approved each year at Convention by way of the budget vote, is awarded to one or more not-for-profit organizations deemed by our SDG Committee to alleviate poverty that promote sustainable growth and development. In past years Diocesan MDG awards have gone to a library in S. Africa, a Parish Health Clinic in Honduras, The Women’s Trust in Africa, Native American Outreach in Maine, orphanage in Mexico and more.
The Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) Grant application process for this year starts now and ends on November 21st.
Please read the guidelines included and make your recommendation in writing, sending it to SDG Committee leader firstname.lastname@example.org by November 21st. Complete applications will be discussed at Diocesan Council on December 8th to assist the SDG Task Force in selecting the top 2017 finalist(s). Runner up organizations will be posted on the Diocesan website to encourage individuals or parishes considering making donations or reaching out on their own.
The SDG Committee and I look forward to reviewing your suggestions for this round of SDG Grants.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Gail Avery+