In 2015, the nations of the world agreed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and move humankind toward prosperity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Can United Nations goals actually make a difference? The evidence is powerful and encouraging. To illustrate the progress that has been made, the visual storytellers of VII Agency, with support from the Blue Chip Foundation, have documented the Millennium Villages, a ten-year project created by economist Jeffery Sachs in ten African countries, which worked toward eliminating extreme poverty by focusing on its root causes.

VII photographed and filmed local participants in a variety of experiences—challenges endemic to the area and success stories of obstacles overcome—in Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal. The goal is to show the progress that hundreds of thousands of people have made and to demonstrate to the world that ending extreme poverty is possible. These experiences can help guide the greater efforts of development organizations, governments, and the public at large.

As the world embarks on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, we have a responsibility to learn from what we have done in the past and to move toward making a sustainable future for all.

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