Book Release: The Family and the MDGs
Written by UPF International
Monday, May 14, 2012
New York, USA - When the United Nations looks at global poverty, health care, and education—three major areas of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—does it see families as part of the problem, or part of the solution?
As recently as 2010, when the UN reviewed ten years of somewhat disappointing progress in reaching the MDGs, there was still no mention of the role of family and parents as resources for achieving these important goals.
The recent publication of The Family and the MDGs: Using Family Capital to Achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals marks a renewed effort to recognize the family as a critical resource for addressing the most serious global issues. The book was launched to coincide with the International Day of Families, on May 14 in an event sponsored by the Mission of Qatar to the UN.
The Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development commissioned the editor, Susan Roylance of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society and eight other authors, including UPF’s Lynn Walsh, to address each Millennium Development Goal with a unique family-focused approach. The book offers many best practices that not only utilize the natural and essential resources of the family but also will save lives.
In the chapter on overcoming poverty, Jastus Suchi Obadiah stated, “As we empower families with additional resources and education to break through the poverty barriers, we lift generations to come.” Regarding attaining universal education, Mary M. Harris wrote, “There is no substitute for the participation and support of families in the education of children. No government agency, no children’s advocacy group and no body of educators can take the place of a supportive family environment and proactive parental and familial caregiver participation in the educational welfare of a child.” In addressing HIV/AIDS, Terrance D. Olson, Ph.D., stated, “Those who take family life seriously are our greatest allies in the fight against AIDS…. Those voluntary organizations, including religious ones, who teach abstinence and family commitment, should be encouraged, not criticized.…Moral commitments to family life are fundamental.”
Throughout the pages there are examples utilizing family capital to provide solutions, perhaps more sustainably than any other resource. In his introductory words, E. Douglas Clark, J.D., summarized, “Worldwide, the family is indeed the starting point, the indispensable and irreplaceable foundation for all successful development.”
For a review of the book by Christopher White, a columnist for the Catholic Pulse, click here.
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