Trishna and the Dream of Water   by Carole Douglis, 2006.

Part of the Tunza (Swahili for treating with care & affection) Series sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme to inspire awareness and caring for the Earth in children, parents and teachers. On her way to find water for her family who live in a desertified community, Trishna hits her head and falls unconscious. In this state she imagines, the Wind, Water, Earth and Sun talking to her of how to treat them as her ancestors did. When she awakens and is found, her family and neighbors conclude that something must be done to restore water to their village, and eventually Trishna’s dream becomes a reality. The story is followed by facts and figures on drylands and what can be done.  in the left column, click on UN Publications.  Available also in the UN Bookstore.  MDG #7

The Earth Lover’s Big Activity Book 2009.

Combines coloring book, “connect the dots” and mazes around earth friendly topics. MDG #7



Extraordinary Girls  by Maya Ajmera, Olateju Omolodun, and Sarah Strunk. Watertown MA: Charlesbridge,

Selected by the NCSS as a notable Social Studies trade book for young people and by the Ms. Foundation as the official book of Take Our Daughters to Work Day, this colorful work celebrates girls around the world in all aspects of their lives. Contains wonderful photography and a great resource list of books, magazines and websites for girls, books and websites for parents and educators, and a number of organizations supporting girls and girls’ issues.   MDG #3

Recycle It – the Game 2008     Appropriate for primary or intermediate. Cards containing pictures of recyclables are matched to bins labeled textiles, plastic, tin, compost, paper and glass. MDG #7

Where There’s a Girl There’s a Way:   A Mobilization Guide for Teens and Tweens Available at, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation, whose goal is to make activists and partners of girls in the developed and developing world. Written with adolescent appeal, there are wonderful case studies of girls who took the initiative, and ideas for how to go about starting similar projects. MDG #3


The Millennium Development Goals Report / 2010   United Nations Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) – June 2010. Graphs that compare the progress from 1990 to 2010, with respect to each of the goals in different parts of the world.

Half the Sky  Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide    by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. There is a Chinese saying that “Women hold up half the sky.” These horrific yet inspiring stories of resilient women in Asia and Africa call attention to what the authors refer to as “the primary moral issue of the 21st Century.” A must read. The book’s appendix has 3 pages of organizations supporting women.MDG #3 & 5

Mountains Beyond Mountains   by Tracy Kidder. The uplifting portrait of  Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health, who dedicated his life to the people of Haiti and beyond, and worked against insuperable odds to build a clinic and hospital in a rural area totally lacking in infrastructure. The title, based on a Haitian proverb, “Beyond mountains there are more mountains,” is an apt metaphor for his work. MDG #4, 5 & 6

Strength in What Remains  by Tracy Kidder. NY: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2010. The amazing journey of Deo Gratias, a young medical student in Burundi, who was forced to flee his country, and survived in NY, taking odd jobs and living in Central Park until, with the help of generous New Yorkers, he was sent to Columbia University to complete his education. Modeling himself on Paul Farmer, he has since returned to Burundi and established his own clinic, Village Health Works.  MDG #6

Banker to the Poor:  Micro- Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty   by Mohammed Yunus. The Nobel Peace Prize winner’s account of the beginnings of micro-finance and the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh that revolutionized small business, especially for rural women. Available at MDG #1

The End of Poverty  Economic Possibilities for Our Time   by Jeffrey Sachs. 2006.  For on-the-ground research in reducing disease, poverty, armed conflict and environmental damage, Sachs traveled to more than 100 countries, representing 90% of the world’s population. In this book he makes a strong moral, economic and political case for why countries and individuals should battle poverty with the same commitment and focus normally reserved for waging war (from a review in Publishers Weekly). Available at MDG #1

Dead Aid   Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa   by Dambisa Moyo. NY: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux – (paperback) – reprinted 2010. Ms. Moyo’s thesis is that aid, though well-meaning, is more often than not, counter-productive, because of in-country governmental corruption, and the likelihood of creating dependence in aids recipients. MDG #1

Even in Chaos   Education in Times of Emergency     by Kevin M. Cahill MD, ed. NY: Fordham University Press, 2010. Dr. Cahill is the founder of Fordham University’s Center for Humanitarian Affairs. He has worked for many years in tropical medicine and is a consultant on global health to the President of the UN General Assembly. The book is a compilation of essays – voices in the field, tools and places where education in crisis situations has taken place. It ends with a poem by Maya Angelou. MDG #2

Women for Afghan Women:  Shattering Myths and Reclaiming the Future  by Sunita Mehta, ed. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.  Each chapter, in a different voice, records in poetry, essay, and photography the Afghan Woman’s experience and her valiant efforts to better her life in the face of danger and oppression. Women for Afghan Women is also an organization that meets frequently in the NY area to present cultural programs and welcomes American supporters. MDG #3

UN Chronicle “Achieving Global Health.”  Vol. XLVII, Number 2, 2010.  Includes articles on the the current status of the war on AIDS, the complex relationship between malaria and climate change, the emerging threat of lifestyle diseases, policy trends in safe motherhood, indigenous children and the social and emotional well-being of aboriginal Australians. UN Bookstore.  MDG #4, 5 & 6

Nothing But Nets   2009 Annual Report. An initiative of the United Nations Foundation, a global, grass-roots campaign to prevent malaria in Africa by providing mosquito nets to families in affected areas. MDG #6

Africa Renewal – “Africa Fights AIDS”   Reprint of a 2007 publication by the UN Dept. of Public Information. Treating AIDS as a weapon of mass destruction, it includes articles on changing male behavior, AIDS prevention among peacekeepers, women and AIDS, recipes for success in Senegal and Uganda, and AIDS orphans. MDG #6


Global Concerns Classroom NY  Concern Worldwide US A packet containing 8 student resource guides on global issues, each exploring a specific issue and geographic region: Child Labor – Bangladesh, Child Survival – Rwanda, Displacement – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Education – Somalia, HIV/AIDS – Uganda, Hunger – Ethiopia, Water – Haiti, Women’s Rights – Pakistan. Each starts with a focused question, provides background information, Did You Know/ questions, case studies and additional resources.

Stitching Truth    Women’s Protest Art in Pinochet’s Chile    by Dan Eshet, NY: Facing History and Ourselves Foundation, 2008. Illustrates how individuals working together can make a difference despite living under brutal dictatorship. With the help of the Catholic Bishop of Santiago, a group of women stitched together scraps of fabric into “arpilleras” (colorful tapestries) documenting government abuses, and became leaders in the movement to restore democracy to Chile. Lesson plans based on the book are available at MDG #8


Core Concepts of the MDGs

A self-paced UN Interagency course, available on DVD with an accompanying book, for teaching the 8 Millennium Development Goals. Available from the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) UN Development Group Office, 1 UN Plaza, NY, NY 10017, 212-906-5885,

World We Want 2015   A website open to groups and individuals with updates on MDG progress and opportunity to contribute to the discussions around the post-2015 development agenda once the MDGs expire.


The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University   offers a new Master’s Degree in Humanitarian Assistance as well as an undergraduate minor in international humanitarian affairs. This is an extraordinary and unique program grounded in the belief that “In a disaster, good intentions aren’t enough.” It gives individuals the critical skills needed to operate in unfamiliar and often dangerous situations. Courses are offered in one-two- and four-week intensive sessions in various locations around the world, including Barcelona, Geneva, Goa, Nairobi, Dublin, Rome, Penang and New York. There are four topic modules in the program and the flexible 32-credit program can be completed in 18 months to 5 years, depending upon the individual’s schedules and resources.

The Hunger Project produces an annual report on its work in 22 countries in the developing and developed world, and  has also published “Villages that Work,” a booklet on partnerships to prevent and alleviate hunger in South Asia.  MDG #1, 3 & 8

World Foundation for Mental Health was established in 2007 to broaden understanding of how cultural and intercultural issues impact the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues. Its ongoing program addresses the mental health consequences of AIDS and works to insure that mental health issues are considered in all aspects of the UN’s activities and initiatives. MDG #6