Global Goals Week
MAASTRICHT. ‘No poverty’, ‘Quality education’, ‘Affordable and clean energy’, ‘Gender equality’. These are just four out of the seventeen colourful signs held by students last Wednesday at the Peter Debyeplein. About forty students from Health Studies, Global Health, and European Public Health had group pictures taken. Objective: spreading the word about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) for 2030, which were adopted about a year ago.
The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s, 2000-2015) - the predecessors of the SDG’s – are probably better known. It is the mission of master student global health Angela Hermann (from Germany) and fellow students to make sure that after this week - dubbed ’Global Goals Week’ - everybody at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life sciences (FHML) has his or her knowledge updated. Hermann: “We’re taking pictures with the SDG’s and sharing them on Facebook. Thereby we intend to help spurring world leaders to make as much effort as they can to attain the SDG’s by 2030. Whether I have affinity with a particular SDG? Well, I think that taking action against climate change is very important. That’s why I don’t eat meat. I come from the Bavarian part of Swabia, a region with a lot of nature which is very clean. I would like to keep it that way, and I think that everyone deserves a clean environment.”
Emily Allwood, a master student global health from the UK is one of the participants: “My favourite SDG is clean water. Much progress has already been booked on that one, and clean water is a basic human need. Moreover, the problem is quite solveable. I really like to always be able to drink clean water from any faucet. I wish that for everyone.”
A couple of meters away, Zainab Eleiba (Egypt) and Yiran Chen (China) are still discussing. They agree that eradicating poverty should be an absolute priority. Eleiba: “Nowadays, many poor people are being exploited. Poor people, especially when illiterate, often don’t know their rights, so it’s easy for those with power to exploit them.” Chen: “In rural areas in China, many people cannot even afford clothing for the winter, and often their children don’t go to school. I think that especially the lack in sex-education is a problem: this causes more teenage-pregnancies and creates another generation of poor people. Moreover, the principle of equality is very important to me.”