Our Girl Champions, Xhorda from Albania, Saleha from India, and Maryam from Nigeria have teamed to together to write the foreword in our latest Leave No One Behind report. Read it below:

In 2015, world leaders promised to Leave No One Behind. This means that everyone, everywhere should benefit from the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those who are missing out at the moment. In our countries, there are many children who suffer from poverty, violence, discrimination and a lack of basic services. The Leave No One Behind principle understands that because these groups are prone to being excluded, extra effort must be made to ensure that they are carried along.

Most importantly, leaders and authorities must focus on girls. The world over, girls continue to suffer and face barriers to reaching their full potential simply because they are girls. Unless girls are educated and empowered, the world cannot progress. We want a world where girls have an equal opportunity, where they dream and also make their dreams a reality.

This report is about accountability for the pledge to Leave No One Behind. It is important to hold authorities accountable for their promises. We as children try hard to get those who take decisions to hear our voice on issues that concern us. Children can understand our issues better than anyone else and can provide ideas on how to improve them in our best interests. We want to be called upon for our suggestions when it comes to issues that affect our well-being. We want to be able to speak and use our voices to hold political and traditional leaders accountable for their words and their actions.

The pledge to Leave No One Behind also means that everyone should play a role in reaching the unreached. The SDGs are a motivation for us and our peers. They will significantly shape the world we inherit as adults and provide us with an opportunity to work together to make the world a better place. We are currently working on issues in our communities ranging from health, water and sanitation to girls’ education and empowerment.

The work we do isn’t easy. But we know that we won’t go far if we don’t take our friends, family and community members along. The first step is to do our bit: we cannot expect others to join unless we do. And once we come together, we can bring about bigger change. Like Mahatma Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see”.

We can help lead the change. But we also need our leaders to keep the promise they have made to people. Together, we need to make the poverty and discrimination that children face visible, understand it, and address it.

We children are part of the fight to ensure that no child is left behind. Join us. Invest in our future.

 

Click the link to read the full 'Leave No One Behind' report