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Sunday, 27th May 2018
 
The Millennium Development Ambassadors Initiative
Inspire, Empower, Connect and Celebrate

“We will have time to reach the Millennium Development Goals--worldwide and in most, or even all, individual countries--but only if we break with business as usual. We cannot win overnight. Success will require sustained action across the entire decade between now and the deadline. It takes time to train teachers, nurses and engineers; to build roads, schools and hospitals; to grow small and large businesses able to create jobs and income needed. So we must start now. And we must more than double global development assistance over the next few years. Nothing less will help to achieve the Goals...” --UN Secretary General


Introduction to the Millennium Development Ambassadors Initiative

It has been pointed out by scientists, politicians, scholars, educators, engineers, and leaders worldwide: the world today is hanging in the balance. History has come to a turning point with great hope for the new future of the world, and we, as the world’s people, are required to choose which path it is we will take. Children are illiterate, mothers are lacking antenatal care, millions are dying of preventable diseases, the environment threatens to collapse beneath our feet. A few are extremely wealth but many are living in abject poverty. But we are not so far gone that it is too late to reverse the situation. We have the ability to create the new world that we aspire for.

The Millennium Development Goals promise to give us that better world; to reverse the situation. With the agreement of leaders worldwide to work towards these things, the people are given the unique opportunity to hold their government and other leaders accountable for the changes they wish to see and the rights they are entitled to. It is the realization of these goals that inspires the Millennium Development Ambassadors, a network of leaders that are dedicated to the ideals of the MDGs and are committed to facilitating its realization in local communities.

The necessity of the Millennium Development Ambassadors initiative became clear in considering the strategy needed to reach the goal. The global changes necessary must be implemented on a local level, meaning that multiple grassroots initiatives aimed to mobilize individuals, families, and communities are needed. The Millennium Development Ambassadors are a group dedicated to the needed changes, and are able to take ownership of the organizations and movements undertaken to reach the goals.

Utilizing the wisdom, networks, and ambition of these leaders will allow us to push forward the initiatives that promote the realization of the MDGs. Additionally, we cannot hope to see real change unless every person knows what is being done in an effort to positively change each of their lives. By recognizing prominent advocates within the communities with the title of Millennium Development Ambassador, we are more likely to communicate the changes and see them successfully carried out.


Historical Background

In the year 2000, the United Nations proposed a daunting task through the Millennium Declaration to the world’s nations. This challenge was later articulated in the eight Millennium Development Goals, aiming to eradicate poverty and build a more positive global society by the year 2015. The leaders of the 189 nations present made the commitment, echoing the desires of the world’s people to close the divide between nations and work together to promote happiness and peace for all people. The resulting UN Millennium Declaration of 2000 was later translated into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The following eight goals are meant to be met by 2015:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
  2. Achieve universal primary education.
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women.
  4. Reduce child mortality.
  5. Improve maternal health.
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
  8. Global partnership for development.

In response to the setting of the MDGs, as well as the report that Africa might not achieve the goals, in 2007 the Millennium Development Ambassadors Initiative was launched in Nigeria, as a network of committed educators and leaders who are being mobilized to support the founding vision of the UN and to help in achieving the MDGs. The initiative was further strengthened in 2008, when, supported by Cisco Public Benefit Investment Group, the Millennium Development Ambassadors from Nigeria attended the Women Millennia Summit in Brussels. The network of Millennium Development Ambassadors has since grown across Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America with several hundred online and on facebook groups.


Mission

The Mission of the Millennium Development Ambassadors is to inspire, empower, connect and celebrate local leaders to commit to facilitate the realization of the Millennium Development Goals. To achieve these goals, the Millennium Development Ambassadors work on a personal level in their families, schools and communities to foster a growing network of leaders that can contribute to the positive change of the society. The mandate of the Millennium Development Ambassadors are global in scope but are local in focus.

Objectives

The Millennium Development Ambassadors seek to

  • Support the UN Millennium Declaration and promote the localization of the MDGs at the individual, family and local community levels.
  • Encourage the implementation of the MDGs across all traditional borders of religion, political affiliation, social status, race, ethnicity, nationality, etc.
  • Promote the fundamental principles and values essential to international relations in the 21st century.
  • Contribute towards the realization of world peace and the achievement of the UN MDGs.

As a result, the program hopes to attain these three core objectives:

  1. Promote a culture of sustainable development, in which people are born into a lifestyle of progress and potential. Everyone, from children to professionals, will work together to ensure the success of the MDGs and the mindset of the community will be one of expected development and mutual respect.
  2. Facilitate the development of local communities of leaders and educators that will continuously work towards the realization of the MDGs. These communities will provide not only networks of new strategies and ideas, but also a larger pool of resources and all the necessary support to attain the goals at hand.
  3. Developing technologies and applying resources in a way that will support the movement towards development and the realization of the MDGs. Value of these tools and the development of the best way to use them will be of utmost importance to Ambassadors, and they will be used in a manner that will accelerate the rate at which we are moving towards success in regard to the MDGs.

Values

The values, principles and ideas behind projects undertaken by the Millennium Development Ambassadors should be built around the Six Fundamental Values Essential for International Relations, as defined by the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 2000:

  1. FREEDOM: Men and women have the right to live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and fear of violence, oppression and injustice.
  2. EQUALITY: No individual or nation must be denied the opportunity to benefit from development. The equal rights of and opportunities of women and men must be assured.
  3. SOLIDARITY: Global challenges must be managed in a way that distributes the costs and burdens fairly in accordance with the basic principles of equity and social justice.
  4. TOLERANCE: Human beings must respect one another, in all their diversity of belief, culture and language. Differences within and between societies should be neither feared nor repressed, but cherished as a precious asset of humanity. A culture of peace and dialogue among all civilizations should be actively promoted.
  5. RESPECT FOR NATURE: Prudence must be shown in the management of all living species and natural resources, in accordance with the precepts of sustainable development.
  6. SHARED RESPONSIBILITY: Responsibility for managing worldwide economic and social development, as well as threats to international peace and security, must be shared among the nations of the world and must be exercised multilaterally.

Methodology
The goals of the Millennium Development Ambassador program will be attained by ensuring that the MDAs

  1. are selected from strategic posts within the community
  2. acreate MDG materials for educational institutions
  3. ateach about MDGs in the families, schools and community
  4. ainitiate projects that further the ideals behind the MDGs in the form of the Special Project
  5. asupport the projects of other Ambassadors, etc.
  6. aattend workshops, conferences, and seminars to clarify their own ideas and encourage the ideas of others

Becoming a Millennium Development Ambassador
The Millennium Development Ambassadors program is open to any individual with the drive and power to affect change and empower the society for the realization of the MDGs. They are to be in strategic locations within the community and passionate about the realization of the MDGs, as well as compassionate towards humanity and interested in community development.

MDAs are most often educators, professionals and other leaders in a variety of fields, including sports, government, religion, politics, the media, academia, business, and art, as well as leaders of NGOs and other initiatives targeting women and youth.

The Appointment and Certification Process

  • Recognition is partially based on past achievements, but is more importantly a new commission and commitment to improve the world for all.
  • Nominated persons approved by the Millennium Development Ambassadors Council are invited to join the network of MDAs.
  • Commissioning of new MDAs is usually in a public forum where community members participate to celebrate the commissioned MDAs, who are expected to make a public declaration of commitment
  • Appointees will participate in a mandatory introductory seminar on the MDGs and will endorse the vision of the UN Millennium Declaration and affirm their commitment to realizing the MDGs.
  • MDAs will serve officially for one year, but may be renewed annually after submitting a successful report of the year’s activities.


  • Benefits
  • The opportunity to network with other profesionals, educators, and leaders in multiple fields.
  • A periodic newsletter, providing up to date news on successes and challenges others meet in their work as MDAs.
  • Invitations to local, national and international conferences, seminars and meetings.
  • Special MDA identification card
  • Special Vehicle License for MDAs in Nigeria
  • Group life insurance policy for all MDAs in Nigeria.
  • Access to Capacity Building Workshops

Responsibilities of an Ambassador
Informally, MDAs are expected to always promote the goals of the UN Millennium Declaration and contribute by any means possible to further the cause. Ambassadors may carry out several activities at multiple levels of society, from the individual to the international. All activities shall be based on the Six Fundamental Values and dedicated to achieving the Eight Millennium Development Goals. Ambassadors are encouraged to focus their work within their specific areas of specialization, as well as contribute to other members initiatives.

Opportunities for work by Millennium Development Ambassadors are often created by issues that have been obstacles for development for many years now, and in these cases efforts will be largely change of policy and awareness oriented. Additionally, Ambassadors may simply organize, support or participate in any form of community service, as many causes only lack the time and resources needed to turn their situations around.

Additional Duties
As an MDA, members are expected to join MDG Committees, attend meetings, seminars, and conferences, share their ideas with other Ambassadors, and support other initiatives in furthering the MDGs.


The Millennium Development Ambassador Special Project
Millennium Development Ambassadors are also asked to put together at least one culminating community development project. The project shall highlight their commitment, understanding and promotion of the Millennium Development Goals. There are three broad ways in which a project might be constructed:

  1. Creating MDG materials for educational institutions
  2. Teaching about MDGs in your family, school or local community
  3. Sponsoring and/or initiating a local project that applies to the MDGs.
Sponsored projects will be branded after the sponsor’s name (e.g. Ambassador XYZ Microcredit Project).

Sample MDA Special Projects
The following two projects provide a basic idea of what might be considered for an MDA. As the goals are numerous, there is no end to the list of directions in which an Ambassador might take his or her project. The first project listed addresses two of the eight goals: eradication of poverty, by providing a means for income to impoverished people, and empowering women, by giving women, specifically, the chance to earn their own way. The second project could address multiple goals as well, which could be determined by the project’s sponsor: it may aim to reduce child mortality but promoting healthy ideals, it may promote gender equality by including both boys and girls on the teams, or it may operate as a way to spread awareness for education, preventable diseases, etc.

  1. Ambassador Professor Daddy Hezekiah Microcredit Project: the project is designed to provide modest take-off fund for local women engaged in small scale businesses in order to address the issue of eradication of extreme poverty and hunger as well as empowerment of women. Each beneficiary receives as little as US $40 from the project and arrangements are made for periodic repayment and inclusion of more beneficiaries into the scheme. The cost of sponsoring a cluster, which is either a group of 20 or 40 beneficiaries:
    1. 20 member cluster for $40 each=$800 required
    2. 20 member cluster for $80 each=$1600 required
    3. 40 member cluster for $40 each=$1600 required
    4. 40 member cluster for $80 each=$3200 required

  2. Ambassador Professor Daddy Hezekiah MDGs Soccer Cup for Peace and Development: The role of sports in the creation of awareness and engaging young people toward the MDGs in local communities cannot be overemphasized. This is the basis of the Millennium Development Ambassadors’ Soccer Project, which will focus on the MDGs Soccer Cup and the Peace Cup. Cost of sponsoring a tournament or sponsoring a team to participate in a tournament is as follows:
    1. Sponsorship of 8 team tournament: $8,000
    2. Sponsorship of a team for the tournament: $1,000
    3. Sponsorship of trophy: $600
    4. Sponsorship of tournament logistics: $2,000

Personalizing the Millennium Development Goals
While the Millennium Development Goals are global in scope and determination, the most practical approach to achieving the goals at hand are to begin with the individual. Each goal can be looked on an individual basis, allowing everyone to question their own actions in furthering the cause. We support action that can be measured to produce tangible results.

The Eight Goals Test for All
At all times and everywhere, and of everything that I think, say or do, I must consider and confirm that my thoughts, words and actions will contribute by helping me or someone to:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop global partnership for development
Millennium Development Ambassadors Programs
Goal 1 Programs
Goal 2 Programs
Goal 3 Programs
Goal 4 Programs
Goal 5 Programs
Goal 6 Programs
Goal 7 Programs
Goal 8 Programs
Contact Information To express interest in becoming an Millennium Development Ambassador or for more information, please contact the Millennium Development Ambassadors Office at the Standard Plaza, Suite 7, 3rd Floor, Behind Wadata House, Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, Nigeria. Tel: +234 - 8059964018 or email raphael.oko@gmail.com.

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Nigeria: Standard Plaza, Suite 7, 3rd Floor, Behind Wadata House, 2 Kutsi Close, Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, Nigeria