CYFI Youth's Views on SDGs

The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 to officially adopt the Sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years is taking place at this very moment in New York City. CYFI continues to strongly advocate for an emphasis to be places on children and youth as a specific target group to monitor and evaluate the progress of these goals, along with their associated targets and indicators.

To bring attention to the importance of these global goals, a few of our CYFI interns came together to take part in the #LightTheWay campaign. They took this opportunity to emphasize the impact that the global goals will have on youth, and to encourage global leaders at the Summit to #LightTheWay for a better financial future for children and youth!


Here is a look at what they had to say:

GOAL 1: Ending poverty

Raluca – CYFI Intern – Romania

In the small villages of Transylvania (yes, yes, there, in Dracula’s country), the streets are dirtier, there are more social problems, the towns are more dramatic, the children are ill and thin but friendly. Romania is known for being poor. But there, in small villages, poverty is even worse. I love my country but, whenever I go back to Romania I see again sad faces, overwhelmed by their daily problems. I accept again the fact that Romanians need help. Somehow, the world leaders should look at poverty and somebody should #LightTheWay for Eastern Europe and Romania.

Global goal #1, ending poverty, can make a change for the poor Romanian children: they can wake up in the morning, put some clean clothes on and go somewhere to play, not preparing for street-begging like they now do.

GOAL 4: Education for all

Diana – CYFI Intern – Romania

I have always believed that education is one of the most important parts in one’s life. We self-educate and we are educated starting from a tender age, when the wish to learn and to understand the environment manifests itself.

Starting with children and youth, regardless of sex, race, or other variables that might be seen as an impediment, and continuing in adult life, education is an on-going process; education for all should be a long-term goal, until it becomes a matter of fact, and not an issue on the agenda. It should be achievable all around the Globe. We all want a better future, so let’s work together and help give everyone the opportunity to shape their future through education. Because education is indeed for all! I encourage world leaders to #LightTheWay and to allow all children to receive the education they deserve. It is important to keep in mind that educated children and youth means an educated nation!

GOAL 5: Gender equality

Veronika & Angela – CYFI Interns – Ukraine & Romania

The issue of Gender Equality is not about different deeds, behavior, positions in social, political life of males and females, but about the difference in access to services, labor or any social privileges. Men and women should have the same opportunities and rights. In my opinion, historically, women have been portrayed as the more delicate, gentle and vulnerable of the two sexes, and as a result, society had assigned a secondary role for women. This has also resulted in the infringement of their rights. It is unfair to perpetuate this view, men and women should decide by themselves what to do and how to behave, and have the same opportunities and rights.

A little over half of the entire population is represented by women. Gender equality means access in the same manner for both women and men to all the sectors of public and private life. The juridical status of women has been improved, but gender equality is far from being a reality. Indeed, there has been visible and huge progress: access to education and the labor market, and political representation. However, the gender differences are a fact in many countries have underlined by continuing to put the men in the traditional roles. Gender inequality in the health and education sector has decreased even in the less developed countries. The more women have access to education, the less gender inequality will exist in the process of getting a job and this will involve more women in the labor market.

We encourage global leaders to #LightTheWay for gender equality!

GOAL 8: Sustainable economic growth

Merijn – CYFI Intern – Netherlands

Finding a job in the labor market is often particularly challenging for youth. Many may not have had a proper education – because it was not available or they did not have the financial means – and many may also lack relevant work experience. Simultaneously, there may be a mismatch in the labor market between jobs available and expertise required. Or, jobs may simply not be available at all. Long term youth unemployment risks are creating a lost generation of people: no relevant work experience yet having to compete with recent graduates whose knowledge is still fresh.

I hope that global leaders will #LightTheWay and commit to their ambition of boosting job creation for youth. Youth-friendly entrepreneurial support systems – including youth oriented financial inclusion – may lead the way.

GOAL 16: Peaceful and inclusive societies

Veronica – CYFI Intern – Argentina

Goal 16 refers to the necessity of decreasing violence, abuse, trafficking, bribery and overall calls for more transparent institutions and international cooperation. Considering the meaning of this goal, I believe that it will only be when goal 16 of the SGDs is carried out successfully that all other goals will be possible to be achieved as well. The reasoning for me to claim this is simple: if a state is internally distraught and is unable to maintain a nonviolent and collected society, it will also not have the necessary benchmark to work on the more complex social issues that the other SGDs refer to. If a state is in chaos and unable or unwilling to follow the rule of law, they will not be in the position of promoting a peaceful and inclusive society and even less in the position to call for a reduction of poverty, gender equality, etc.

To summarize, I believe that it is extremely important for leaders of the world to #LightTheWay for peaceful and inclusive societies for children and youth to grow in, so that all countries around the world will be strong enough to tackle with less difficulty the other Sustainable Development Goals.

Child and Youth Finance International encourages world leaders to #LightTheWay for the success of each of the goals!

This post is part of our series of summer blog articles related to the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals and are authored by youth interns at Child and Youth Finance International. Join the discussion on social media by following @ChildFinance and using the hashtag #cyfiyouth.

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Tuesday, 19 November 2019