Saturday, October 25, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
A handful of disabled children, unaware of the danger that could have befallen them may have saved the Senaki Institution they live in.
During the recent war in South Ossetia, Georgia, an attack helicopter passed through the Senaki Institute, a residential school for 105 mentally and physically disabled children abandoned by their parents. The helicopter was poised to shoot its missiles. Some of the children, unaware of the danger – went to a window facing the helicopter, made eye contact with the pilot and began waving to him. A moment later, the helicopter pilot left, abandoning the apparent mission he was supposed to accomplish.
UNICEF and its German National Committee raised hundreds of thousands of euros to help restore and maintain the institute. The sports equipment and school supplies UNICEF delivered to the Senaki Institute also helped distract the children from the turmoil of the war surrounding them.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sharing this article from UNICEF...
Funding appeals and humanitarian action updates...
Over one million people are in risk of food insecurity and floods up until the next harvest in April 2008 and consequently women and children under five will become more exposed to malnutrition and infections as well as to abuse and exploitation. Underlying a situation of food shortage are two mutually reinforcing causes of insecurity, namely a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and chronic poverty, which need to be addressed in tandem with food aid.
Approximately 200,000 women and children under five will be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2008. Recent weather forecasts by the Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Global Forecasting Centre for Southern Africa all indicate an enhanced likelihood of flooding in Malawi up until March 2008. Floods have already displaced many in neighboring Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia and the main commercial corridor from central Mozambique to landlocked Malawi has been cut and is causing delays in the transportation of food and fuel destined to Malawi, resulting in shortage of petrol. Cholera remains a major threat in rural and peri-urban areas in Malawi with recurrent outbreaks during the rainy season from November to April and is particularly a major risk factor in flood situations because of the possible and immediate break down of water and sanitation facilities. UNICEF is requesting US$ 2,487,750 to respond to the needs of children and women.
The humanitarian crisis in Malawi has a particularly serious impact on children and women, who are most vulnerable to food insecurity. More than one million children under the age of five, pregnant and lactating women are in need of humanitarian assistance. In November 2005, the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) revised the initial number of people in need of food assistance until end of March 2006 to include some 4.9 million; an increase of some 700,000 people compared to the original estimates of 4.2 million in June 2005. The combination of HIV/AIDS, severe shortage of quality health staff and food insecurity has resulted in high mortality rates among children in Nutrition Rehabilitation Units.
UNICEF is requesting an additional US$ 4.5 million to respond to the urgent needs of children and women.
Maize prices are increasing beyond the reach of many. The high cost of fuel and dwindling Government stocks have accelerated the onset of the hungry season by up to three months. Admissions of severely malnourished children to Nutrition Rehabilitation Units (NRUs), already 30 percent higher than this time last year, are expected to triple the coming months. As the number of moderately malnourished children rises sharply, supplementary feeding programmes must be rapidly scaled up to prevent children becoming severely malnourished. Faced with this rapidly deteriorating situation, UNICEF requires US$ 13 million to support life saving interventions, in particular in the area of nutrition.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Many are probably unaware that there was even such an event in 2000 like the "MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS." Continuous efforts are being done to this day by countries and cause-oriented organizations to help achieve these goals.
As a backgrounder, in September of 2000, 189 world leaders from Member States of the United Nations gathered for the Millennium Summit at United Nations headquarters in New York.
Though the Goals are for all humankind, priorities were focused on children for the following *reasons (*source: UNICEF):
Because six of the eight goals relate directly to children. Meeting the last two will also make critical improvements in their lives.
Because meeting the Goals is most critical for children. Children are most vulnerable when people lack essentials like food, water, sanitation and health care. They are the first to die when basic needs are not met.
Because children have rights. Each child is born with the right to survival, food and nutrition, health and shelter, an education, and to participation, equality and protection – rights agreed to, among others, in the 1989 international human rights treaty the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention has been ratified by 192 states, every country in the world except two. The Millennium Development Goals must be met for these basic human rights to be realized.
Because reducing poverty starts with children. Helping children reach their full potential is also investing in the very progress of humanity. For it is in the crucial first years that interventions make the biggest difference in a child’s physical, intellectual and emotional development. And investing in children means achieving development goals faster, as children constitute a large percentage of the world’s poor.
I have attached links to the 8 Millenium Development Goals that may be of interest to readers.