VICE Impact has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a short film called The Best of Times, Worst of Times, narrated by actress Lupita Nyong’o. The film draws upon the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals campaign, a road map to address immediate global challenges and the future of international development. The Best of Times, Worst of Times highlights the great progress made in poverty reduction over the last 25 years, and the important work that remains to be done.
To support the work relevant to the SDGs, the Gates Foundation will host Goalkeepers, an event in New York City on September 19 and 20 that convenes activists, world leaders, and the public to share their successes and challenges in advancing the SDG agenda. Key speakers include Barack Obama and Malala Yousafzai. The event also celebrates outstanding individuals who have helped their communities meet their SDG targets in the fields of global health, women’s empowerment, conflict resolution and purpose driven technology.
Last year, winners of the first annual Global Goals Awards highlighted contributors advancing the rights of women and girls. They celebrated Rebeca Gyumi, a lawyer and activist who founded the Msichana Initiative, a Tanzanian non-profit that fights for girls’ rights and access to education; and DoctHERS (represented by Dr.Sara Saeed) a social enterprise which uses telemedicine to pair female doctors in Pakistan with rural women and girls , providing essential health care while creating employment opportunities for female health professionals.
In 2015, world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York City to pledge their commitment to another 15 years of comprehensively addressing global challenges. It was a reassurance of a similar pledge in 2000 to adopt the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight encompassing objectives set to address the world’s most pressing health, educational, social and economic issues. After dramatically changing the lives of more than 1 billion people, reducing the amount global poverty, cutting hunger, and meeting a variety of social progress objectives, leaders agreed to increase the number of goals from 8 to 17, and changed their name to “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) with an ambitious new deadline of 2030.
Two years since the SDGs were drawn up, the international community has made headway in fulfilling these goals with the support of philanthropic organizations and advocacy groups. But the war on poverty in all its forms is far from won.
On September 13, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will also release their Goalkeepers Report presenting data and telling the stories around key health and development indicators in the fight against poverty, highlighting what’s working and what can be done to make these goals a reality.