Moni's time at UNGA in 2015
Moni and fellow child delegates were invited to be part of the launch of Every Woman Every Child’s Global Strategy 2.0. After handing over the Strategy booklet to the panel that included Secretary General Ban ki Moon and President Kenyatta from Kenya among others, Moni addressed the audience and talked about the problem of early child marriage in her country, Bangladesh and what she would like the Global Strategy to accomplish for the children in her country. She received a thunderous response.
Moni and other child delegates joined the event led by ex-Prime Minister of United Kingdom, David Cameron, John Kerry, US Secretary of State and President Santos of Columbia. The children had the opportunity to raise questions with the panel. Moni asked what the leaders will do to ensure gender equality.
Moni and two other child delegates went to the Citizens’ Hearing - Nothing About Us Without Us - where they shared their demands and what they hope we can accomplish in the next 15 years. Moni spoke about the problem of child marriages in Bangladesh and asked everyone to join hands to end it!
Moni's thoughts on SDGs
It’s now been a year since you came to New York and participated in the United Nations General Assembly where the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted. How have the activities and events you participated in changed your life in any way?
Attending UNGA changed my life, I feel like I have a responsibility toward my society, school, community and toward my country. After attending the UNGA, my motivation toward raising awareness about global issues has been increasing. After meeting the delegates from around the world made me think about how much issues we’re not aware of.
Did your experience in New York make you more aware of any particular important development issues and possible solutions that you weren’t aware of before?
Meeting other youth advocates helped get so much experience. It’s the first time for me to meet a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, though, we all wanted one thing, we wanted to be the voices of change. I heard about the problems of pollution in China, human trafficking in India and the lack of quality of education in Afghanistan.
One year on, how do you think the Sustainable Development Goals have helped your country and community?
Yes, SDGs have helped my community. I have been intensively involved in reducing child marriage within the community, by engaging with the community, government, local elites, school teachers, religious leaders and civil society. The youth of my village have a voice and can state their opinions where they couldn’t do that before.
I have formed a team of youth leaders in my community, they are very much interested in working to eradicate child marriage, lowering teenage pregnancy, increasing girls’ education and improving mothers’ health care facilities. We arrange community courtyard meetings, meetings at schools among villages. I am also involved with different associations here with other organizations and societies. I sometimes go and talk in these meetings and participate in training discussions at the book club and reading club at the school.
What is the one thing you want your government to do to make life better for the children in your country?
I want the government to have regulations and policies to reduce child marriage and teenage pregnancy. I want equal opportunities for all the girls in the country. I want every child to be born at a health facility through a skilled birth attendant and I want every mother to have adequate health services.
I would like to continue what I am doing now and do it in much bigger scale. I would like to expand my advocacy work. In the future I would like to work with the government to build policies and regulations. I want to work with the community to create unity knowledge, awareness so that as a nation we can work as one.
How have you kept in touch with the other youth delegates who came to New York?
I haven’t communicated with the other children because we don’t have internet connection in our village.
What advice you would like to give to other youth delegates who will be travelling to New York for the United Nations General Assembly this year?
I advise them to highlight the key issues they see in their countries- what they think is the most critical issue. I want to tell them that this is one platform where they can voice their opinions.