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Strong Families and the SDGs

If you have ever been curious and gone researching about existing global policies that favour homes and families, particularly looking to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) which currently has the world’s attention, and found nothing, you are not alone. It is surprising to see that in all of these ambitious 17 goals which include ending poverty,  ending hunger, quality education and so on, no one thought that strengthening and equipping families should be a priority?

However, even without a single globally recognized goal, there’s a prominent thought that is agreed on by all of the relevant institutions – “that the SDGs CANNOT be actualized without strong, empowered and equipped families.”

Here’s an excerpt from one of Unicef’s published papers.

“Beyond the role of family policy in meeting specific goals, one clear conclusion of this work is that strong families are a foundation for meeting multiple goals. Overall, the accumulated evidence suggests that strong families function as supportive units, providing important resources to all members. These resources include time, money, physical resources, interpersonal care and emotional security. The family is the elementary social unit. Hence the progress of families will inevitably influence the progress of the communities and societies of which they are a part. In this sense, families are enabling agents for the achievement of the SDGs. As governments and other actors in society seek to meet these goals, the role of strong families and strong family policy cannot be overlooked.”

Here are some thoughts on this.

The decisions you make in your home are important. Now, it’s no more just about what goes on within the four walls of your home, but also a picture of what the society at large would become. Imagine what your city would become if every family is equipped to make quality decisions every day?

This means that

  • Families’ deciding to eat healthy at the dining every day will result in a healthier society with a higher life expectancy.
  • Families’ deciding to uphold family’s values, will yield a society with well grounded individuals who are driven by conviction.
  • Families’ deciding to uphold routines and schedules will produce a society of responsible individuals who respect their time and the time of others.
  • Families’ deciding to delegate will create a culture of rest in a society where there is the temptation to idolize hustle and constant productivity.
  • Families’ deciding to get the whole family on board home management will yield workplace policies that favour families because women will no longer need to explain themselves at work.
  • Quality financial decisions will produce a society of financially responsible individuals, who value work and are not greedy for needless gains.

Managing the home goes far beyond cleaning. It’s more about decision-making. Families are strengthened by quality decision making. 

If you would take something away from today, let it be this  – Because decision-making is important, “if you do not feel equipped enough to make a decision for your home or family, delegate that decision-making to someone else (a family member or non) or give time to equip yourself with the information you need, so that you can make the best decision.”

For example, you could love and respect homeschooling parents, but personally not feel equipped enough to go for it full-time. Therefore, you decide to delegate your children’s formal education to a school you trust.

You may want to make healthier feeding choices for your family, but not be currently equipped to do that. So, you ask a nutritionist to draw up a healthy meal table for you with a shopping list. So, that you don’t enter market and buy cartons of instant noodles and the likes.

There’s nothing demeaning about this. You do not become less empowered by acknowledging this. Because you know what’s at stake, you do what is right.

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