UNITED NATIONS, New York – Tragedies have been dominating the headlines. War and persecution achieved a terrible new milestone this year: More people are displaced from their homes than ever before in human history, the UN Refugee Agency announced in June. And progress seems painfully slow. More than 800 women die every day from pregnancy-related causes, and almost all of those deaths are preventable. Millions of girls are trapped in a cycle of extreme poverty, child marriage and teen pregnancy – misfortunes that perpetuate themselves across generations.

It is easy to feel resigned. But change is possible.

UNFPA has seen thousands of examples of smart, courageous, effective and positive change, from girls saving their peers from child marriage to young people dreaming up wildly new solutions to age-old problems.

Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions inspired by real people who are working every day to change the world.

1. Start at home

The world’s problems seem so colossal, it can be hard to know where to start. But sometimes, the best place to begin is in one’s own community. Izdihar and her 15-year-old daughter, Saba, did just that.

Two women smiling

Child marriage has dramatically increased among Syrian refugees in Jordan, as families struggle with poverty and insecurity. “If an entire family lives in one caravan – the mother, the father and several children – then it is easier to give one child to another family as a bride,” said Izdihar, who lives in the Zaatari refugee camp.

She and Saba started to intervene, convincing girls to reject child marriage and urging parents to send their daughters to school instead.

"When a girl gets an education and a diploma, she has a chance to get a good job instead of a husband who controls her," Saba said.

Read the rest of the Resolutions at: http://www.unfpa.org/news/10-new-years-resolutions-help-change-world#sthash.4rUkCePB.dpuf