The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that all 191 United Nations member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000, commits the states to achieving these goals.
The Millennium Development Goals recognize that slums are not anomalies of an urban landscape but rather, in many countries, slums house large proportions of the urban population and cannot be ignored. UN-HABITAT's vision is directly related to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, focusing on the goals of member States to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020 (Target 11, Goal No. 7), and Target 10 which calls for the reduction by half of the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water. This is a major developmental challenge that requires long-term political commitment, well-coordinated human resources and a mobilization of funds to finance these goals.
IMAGE-IN the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Image-in the MDGs is a project geared towards empowering the youth through photography with a particular focus on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The project produced a publication as well as a traveling photo exhibition. The MDGs provide a compelling structuring element for discussing development strategies and policies and understanding the global dimension within which their voices can be heard.
Mathare is located just outside of Nairobi’s central business district. It is a maze of low, rusted iron sheet houses with mud walls, packed plats, piles of rubbish, inadequate roads and open gutters of running sewage. Within the slum dwellings of Mathare reside the incredible stories of the young people, the calls and cries of despairs and a formidable energy that cannot be ignored in building the future of African Cities.
Mathare Youth Taking Action
With cameras in hands, boys and girls have become witnesses and advocates of their own conditions. Their collection of photos is able to address a reality that is otherwise difficult to voice.
IMAGE-IN is part of UN-HABITAT’s long-term commitment to empower the youth living in the slums and the Mathare Youth Sport Association’s (MYSA) goal to link development, sport, environmental activisms and art to positively transform the lives of young boys and girls. Today, MYSA is the largest youth sports organisation in Africa with more than 17,000 players and volunteers in the football leagues.
Through this project the 25 youth of Mathare:
• discovered the purpose of the UN declaration
• had the opportunity to debate their views on their understanding of the MDGs and their future
• revealed their stories, identified problems and discussed possible solutions.
• have also come to understand that solutions can be found within their community, starting with the youth.
• have realised that key concerns can be addressed by themselves
This project is a reminder that we need to invest in the youth of today if we want to reach the MDGs tomorrow.
Image-In had its first exhibition at the Third Session on the World Urban Forum in Vancouver this past June. It then traveled to Oslo where it was presented in connection with the Norway Cup this past July. The Image-In then returned to Nairobi and was exhibited at the Alliance Francaise from September 12 until September 30, 2006.
This project was generously sponsored by the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Norway. FUJIFILM Kenya also sponsored the photo processing necessary in the production of this exhibition. The coordination was carried out by UN-HABITAT.
Original source: UN-HABITAT