Tag Archives: education

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Achta’s dream of education

With the security situation improving in some parts of the Central African Republic, plans are being made to restore access to education.

With the security situation improving in some parts of the Central African Republic, plans are being made to restore access to education. (c)UNICEF CAR /2015/Le Du

The 24th of July was a very sad day for Achta. The seventeen-year-old was sitting in her house, fretting over her dream of getting an education. She was supposed to take an entrance test for secondary school that day, but the exam was taking place on the other side of town, controlled by one of the armed groups active in CAR, the anti-Balaka. As a Muslim, she was afraid of going, for fear of being attacked.

ETAPEs

Achta and Cecile. (c)UNICEF CAR

Then Achta heard a voice outside the house calling for her. Some people were looking for her. “I ran out of the house, and there I saw the principal of my school and a lady wearing a UNICEF t-shirt”, she recalls. “She told me I had to go to UN OCHA base the next morning at 7,” says Achta, “and that a car would pick me up, drive me to the school where the exams were taking place, and then drive me back home to safety when I was finished”.

“I cried with relief, and I prayed to God and asked him to bless this angel that had come to rescue me”, says Achta.

A few days later she got her results: she passed, and she will be going to secondary school next month.

The situation in CAR has developed from a silent emergency into a visible and complex humanitarian and protection crisis, as a result of a rebel offensive that began in December 2012 and a seizure of power in March 2013. Fighting in the capital reached a peak in December 2013 as armed and community-based self-defence groups calling themselves Anti-Balaka rose up in revenge against ex-Seleka, the rebel group who had orchestrated the coup nine months earlier. The violence spread out across the country, with large-scale human rights abuses committed on both sides, followed by a serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation.

Children at a temporary learning space.

Children at a temporary learning space. (c)UNICEF CAR/Logan

With hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced by violence, and regular education services disrupted, UNICEF was able to set up temporary learning spaces for children. Now that the security situation is improving in many areas of the country, UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and partners are working towards ambitious programs that aim to rebuild the school system with funding from the European Union and the Global Partnership for Education.

In Batangafo, where Achta lives, the peak in violence was reached in June 2014, with clashes between ex-Seleka and Anti-Balaka armed groups. The town has now been divided for over a year, with most of the non-Muslim population (over 28.000 people) living either in an internally displaced persons camp, or in a small part of town, away from the Muslim population.

In August 2014, the Anti-Balaka armed groups attacked Achta’s neigborhood. Her father was killed. Her mother fled, her fate unknown to the girl until she got word that she had safely reached Cameroon. Achta then ended up living with her sister and grandparents. She would spend her days sitting in front of the house, selling peanuts and salt, in order to provide for the family.

Achta’s regular school had closed, because it was located in the ex-Seleka controlled part of town. Over the last few months Achta has been able to attend classes in one of the Temporary Learning Spaces set up by UNICEF and partners. However, the secondary school entrance exams were organised in one location only- and it was in the non-Muslim part of Batangafo. There was no way she could go there on her own.

Achta was doing well in school and her teacher knew it. I happened to be in Batangafo on that day, and he asked me if UNICEF could help. I will never forget her tears of joy when she finally found out she had passed. After months of suffering –and probably many more difficult times to come, being able to attend secondary school is giving Achta hope for the future.

Cecile Pango is an education officer working with UNICEF CAR focusing on Temporary Safe Learning Spaces.

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

#TuVozCuenta con U-Report México

¿Se imaginan qué increíble sería si pudiéramos preguntarle a los jóvenes sobre sus intereses, opiniones y necesidades en los lugares donde viven, y que pudiéramos obtener y analizar esa información en tiempo real? Imagínense que estuviéramos diseñando un programa que ayudara a los jóvenes a conseguir empleo después de sus estudios. Bueno, pues para ello, no sólo requeriríamos información estadística y diagnósticos de la situación de la educación y el mercado laboral; sino que también necesitaríamos conversar con muchos jóvenes para entender sus aspiraciones e ideales, temores y angustias, entender los retos a los que se enfrentan y la presión que muchas veces sentimos. De esta forma, podríamos lograr empatía con sus experiencias, pensamientos y emociones; y así diseñar un programa que los entienda y apoye de la mejor forma posible.

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

Este proceso de consulta llevaría muchísimo tiempo, por lo que en muchas ocasiones, los programas se diseñan tomando sólo en cuenta la información de diagnósticos y estudios hechos por especialistas. Lamentablemente, por falta de tiempo, muy pocas veces se les pregunta a los jóvenes qué es lo que quieren, cómo lo quieren y por qué lo quieren así.

El pasado jueves 13 de agosto, como parte de las celebraciones del Día Internacional de la Juventud, compartimos con cientos de jóvenes la buena noticia de que U-Report había llegado a México. Con U-Report los jóvenes de más de 17 países en el mundo están utilizando la misma tecnología que usan para comunicarse entre amigos para participar con sus ideas y opiniones en el desarrollo de sus comunidades y de sus países.

©UNICEFMéxico/LuisCedeño

©UNICEFMéxico/LuisCedeño

U-Report permite a UNICEF, y a sus aliados en México, consultar en tiempo real a los jóvenes sobre lo que sucede en sus comunidades, los servicios que reciben, los temas públicos que son de su interés, sus necesidades y expectativas. Esta valiosa información se recibe, analiza y procesa en segundos, para generar un reporte que es entregado a las personas que están tomando las decisiones públicas que tienen efecto en la vida de todos los jóvenes mexicanos. De esta forma, U-Report ayuda a tomar decisiones más informadas, a diseñar servicios y programas públicos que tomen en cuenta la visión, opiniones e intereses de los jóvenes.

Ese jueves, el auditorio se llenó del entusiasmo de cientos de personas que participaron con novedosas ideas para enfrentar los retos en educación, salud, bienestar económico y convivencia social que viven los jóvenes en México. A partir de ese momento, cientos de jóvenes se hicieron U-Reporters y serán embajadores de este movimiento por el cual nuestra voz adquiere el súper poder de unirse a millones más para que sea escuchada fuerte y clara donde quiera que sea.

©UNICEFMéxico/LuisCedeño

©UNICEFMéxico/LuisCedeño

Jaime Archundia es Responsable de Innovación de UNICEF México

Únete a U-Report México 

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Safa (14) is a Syrian refugee who fled violence two years ago and now lives in Kawergosk camp in northern Iraq.

Syria: hundreds of thousands of children missing out on education

I can still hear my children’s worried voices from the backseat. ‘Mom, do you think they will be nice? What if I won’t make any friends?’

It was the fall of 2001, my daughter was four, my son was six. We had just moved to Syria and were driving to their first day of school and pre-school outside of Damascus, full of the same nervous anticipation that millions of other children and parents feel every year on the first day of class.

My children wait for the school bus in Syria, many years ago.

My children wait for the school bus in Syria, several years ago. Photograph: author’s own

Over the next several years, that road was travelled so frequently that we knew every bump and tricky turn, they in their colourful school bus with their Syrian friends, teacher and a set of fluffy dice festively dangling in the window. I would join the other proud parents for the steady stream of school plays, sports days and end of year celebrations.

All of those memories came flooding back as I travelled that very same road to Damascus last week.The short drive from the Lebanese border to the country’s capital passed the familiar homes and housing blocks nestled in the same, sand-swept hilly terrain with patches of lush gardens, but in a distinctly different Syria for the country’s children than those days when school buses clogged city streets and ferried children to classrooms and seemingly bright futures.

Today, neighbourhoods and whole cities lie in ruin, some two million children inside Syria are out of school, while another estimated 700,000 children outside of the country are without education. Thousands of schools have been damaged, destroyed or are housing displaced families, and four million people, half of them children, have fled the horror of war, streaming into neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq.

All that promise for Syria’s youngest – the vast majority of whom were in school before the conflict – have given way to millions of children and adolescents being at risk of becoming a lost generation. It is the children and youth who pay the highest price for the world’s inability to put an end to a conflict that is not of their making.

Safa (14) is a Syrian refugee who fled violence two years ago and now lives in Kawergosk camp in northern Iraq.

Safa (14) is a Syrian refugee who fled violence two years ago and now lives in Kawergosk camp in northern Iraq. © UNICEF/MENA2015-00002/Hazou

Perhaps no one is shouldering the burden more than those children and families who were on the margin when the crisis was sparked some five years ago and has flared into one of the biggest humanitarian disasters in recent memory. They are often the most vulnerable, the most neglected, and the most at risk of abuse and exploitation.

The need to invest in the education of Syria’s children and youth in many ways has never been more urgent than now. School can provide a sense of normalcy in a situation far from it. It builds vital skills that children and youth need to help make a living and to one day reassemble shattered lives and communities. History has shown that no good comes out of lack of opportunity, destitute, anger and despair.

UNICEF, governments and partners are scaling up efforts and innovative ways to ensure that learning and care are provided to help stem the tide of destruction. Inside Syria, over 200 UNICEF staff are working with partners around the clock to help assist Syria’s children – not only with immediate humanitarian needs of water, nutrition and shelter, but also education. But much more is required in funding as needs are outpacing resources.

Investing in education is one of the best investments, not only for Syria’s children, but also for our collective future. It is the right thing to do, logically and morally.

Let’s never forget that the children sitting on our backseat or on the school bus one day could be the same children wrapped up in an impossible situation the next. We owe it to them and to their children to speak up and demand the same level of care and support we would want if it was our son, daughter, niece, nephew or our younger selves who were on the cusp of joining a lost generation.


Malene Kamp Jensen is a Communication Specialist based at UNICEF NYHQ.

Grace in her classroom in

Nigeria: responding to the education needs of displaced children

Sixteen-year-old Grace fled her home in March this year after witnessing the brutal beheading of her father by the armed group Boko Haram, in Baga, Northeast Nigeria. “When my father was killed, we had to leave our town,” she recalls. “I thought that was the end of the road for me.”

But it wasn’t.

I met Grace in May at a camp in Maiduguri, in Borno State, where she is living with the remaining members of her family. Her mother is now responsible not only for Grace and eight of her brothers and sisters, but also for four of Grace’s cousins, whose father was killed in another attack. Grace worries about their predicament, she told me. But along with her concerns about her family’s survival, Grace is also desperate to continue her education.

When her family fled the city of Baga, Grace believed her quest to get an education had disappeared along with her home. However, Grace and other displaced children at the camp are able to attend the Government Secondary School Maiduguri thanks to ‘double shifting’  – a strategy promoted by UNICEF that allows displaced children to double up in the same schools as those of the host community in Maiduguri, without the huge numbers of children overwhelming the school’s capacity.

Grace in her classroom at the Government Secondary School in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria.

Grace in her classroom at the Government Secondary School in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria. ©UNICEF/Nigeria/2015/Esiebo

This mechanism ensures the best use of the existing school infrastructure, running two sets of classes, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, enabling children from both the local community and displaced families to access education. In total, there are 873 children from the camps and host community attending the same school as Grace.

One of Grace’s new teachers at the school, Ayodele Ponle, told me that although some of the displaced children are doing well, some of them seem disconnected and distracted. “Some saw how their parents were killed and painful memories make it difficult for them to concentrate,” she said. Ayodele believes that with time the children will improve and do better in class. She told me she was confident that a mix of learning, sporting activities and recreation would help to draw them out and help them to deal with their trauma.

Many Nigerian children have seen their chances of access to education undermined by conflict, displacement, deaths and family separation. As a result of the crisis, more than 800 schools in Northeast Nigeria have been damaged, burned, or looted, or remain occupied by displaced families who sought refuge in the classrooms. In Borno State, most school children have lost an entire school year.

Even before the flare-up of violence at the beginning of this year, Nigeria had 10.5 million out-of-school children – the world’s highest number – with more than 60 per cent of those children living in the north.

UNICEF is supporting education for conflict-affected children in Northeast Nigeria with a mix of strategies. As well as double-shifting, UNICEF supports teacher training, including a master training of trainers that covers life skills and psychosocial support delivery in the classroom; emergency preparedness and response at schools; and peace building. UNICEF is also providing school supplies and school bags, as well as large tents that serve as temporary learning spaces.

In Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States in the Northeast, nearly 40,000 girls and boys have gained access to education through UNICEF and its partners. Many of these children, unlike Grace, who had already attended school, are discovering what schooling is for the first time in their lives.

Some are not so fortunate. Grace misses her two elder sisters. She told me they ran into the desert the day Boko Haram attacked their village and killed their father. They have not been seen since. In a quiet voice and with tears in her eyes Grace told me, “I just wish they were here with me to continue their education.”

Geoffrey Njoku is a Communication Officer working for UNICEF Nigeria.

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

Por los sueños de mi hija

Desde muy temprano en la mañana, Selena, de diez años, y sus dos hermanas pequeñas comienzan a hacerse cargo de las tareas de la casa. Junto con algunas amigas del vecindario se dirigen después a la escuela, y en la tarde ayudan a cultivar maíz en el pequeño terreno que su familia tiene en su comunidad Tzotzil de Chiapas. Su mamá también trabaja muy duro en el campo, pero lo que obtienen del cultivo de la tierra no es suficiente porque no cuentan con las herramientas adecuadas y el terreno ya no es tan fértil como antes. Ante esta situación, el papá de Selena tendrá que alejarse de su familia para conseguir sustento.

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

El papá de Selena hace planes para salir a buscar empleo que no encuentran en su comunidad, por ahora se está recuperando de una lesión y no puede trabajar como albañil, con lo que mantenía a su familia. “Aunque para mí es muy duro dejar a mi mujer y a mis hijas,” afirma inquieto, “pienso volver a salir en cuanto me recupere de la espalda, porque es la única forma que tengo de atender a mi familia y de mandar a la escuela a mis tres pequeñas”.

El papá de Selena sabe lo mucho que le gusta la escuela a su hija y recuerda que su gran sueño es ser doctora y ayudar a su comunidad.  Lo que más le preocupa es que su hija tendrá que tomar el autobús o vivir fuera para estudiar la secundaria.  Él preferiría no irse lejos de su familia, pero no hay otra opción, porque eso es lo que hace un papá para apoyar los sueños de su hija.

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

UNICEF apoya comunidades indígenas para que todos los niños y las niñas tengan educación de calidad y el día de mañana contribuyan al desarrollo de sus comunidades. Así muchos niños pueden seguir estudiando y estar cerca de sus familias, porque con tu apoyo ayudamos a cumplir sus sueños.

 

Amaia López, cooperante de UNICEF México

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©UNICEF Montenegro/Dusko Miljanic

Why we need to invest in early childhood in Montenegro

©UNICEF Montenegro/Dusko Miljanic

©UNICEF Montenegro/Dusko Miljanic

Anyone who has been anywhere near a three-year-old recently will attest to their inexhaustible curiosity. They ask as many as 100 questions an hour – and around about the age of three, those questions switch from “what and where” to “how and why” questions – in a search for meaning in the world around them.

Early childhood is the optimum time for cognitive and sensory development and the years from three to five are when the executive function, also known as the human ‘air traffic control system’, is growing most actively.

Thus, the way parents, peers and the wider society responds to a three-year-old’s searching questions will be a major determinant of his or her education and life success, as well as their long-time contribution to economic, social and democratic development of their society.

This is why Nobel Prize winner, and one of the world’s leading economist, James Heckman calculated that the biggest return on investment from the public purse occurs in the earliest years of childhood.

Recent research has dramatically expanded our understanding of early childhood development and much of this new knowledge was sorely missing when the current education model of most countries was designed in the 19th century.

But today the disparity between those who don’t go to pre-school and those who do, seems clear. There is, for example, a correlation in mathematics outcomes for 15-year-olds who did not go to preschool being a year behind, among the 55 countries included in the OECD/UNESCO PISA study.

Thus in the last few decades there has been a huge drive in the world’s wealthiest countries to secure a pre-school place for every child. In the European Union, for example, the pre-school coverage rate is around 92% with a target of 95% coverage by 2020. Some countries such as Ireland and Latvia have had rapid growth in the past few years.

But what about low- and middle-income countries? In the draft United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, universal access to pre-school is set as a target for 2030. But there is a long way to go.

In the Central and Eastern European & Central Asia region – much of which borders the EU and is working towards integration with the EU economy – some countries have a coverage rate as low as 10%, much lower than the EU target of 95%. Here in Montenegro there is 52% enrolment of three- to six-year-olds in pre-school, but only 40% attend in real terms.

©UNICEF Montenegro/Dusko Miljanic

©UNICEF Montenegro/Dusko Miljanic

There is indeed a gulf between Montenegro and the European Union – which it eventually hopes to join. But there is also a geographical gulf and a poverty gap because a child born into the poorest section of society or the least developed municipality is nine times less likely to attend pre-school than one born in a wealthy family or municipality.

As in many countries, there are three drivers of poor attendance. The first is a lingering belief that pre-school is primarily for the purpose of daycare – not child development – and that this can be better provided at home by the extended family. There is a lack of understanding of the unique value of a professional and evidence-based pedagogical learning programme for the child.

The second is poverty and the inability to pay even relatively low fees for the service. This is coupled with the non-income dimensions of poverty such as the absence of a means of transport from often disparate rural locations to pre-schools in urban regional centres.

The third is the evolution of pre-school as a largely urban phenomenon for working families, which combine the functions of paedagogical development of children with daycare facilities such as kitchens, dining rooms and sleeping facilities where a child may stay all day, but where only 40% of the space and time is used for child development and where the investment and running costs can by disproportionately high.

The government of Montenegro has committed to increasing the enrolment of children in pre-school from 52% to 95% by 2020 with the technical support of UNICEF, through the establishment of a free-of-charge three-hour daily programme for all children, focusing on the poorest first. This will be achieved through innovative financing models and the establishment of pre-school facilities in primary schools, health posts, and other grassroots facilities in the disparate areas that are not covered by the current urban kindergartens. Shifts will also be developed in existing kindergartens to accommodate children during the afternoons for the three-hour programme.

Montenegro also joins Chile and South Africa as one of the three countries where UNICEF is working in partnership with the H&M Conscious Foundation to encourage an increased investment in ECD.

In addition, a public awareness campaign is underway to increase demand in areas where it is low. If such models can be replicated and mainstreamed through the aspiration for the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, we have a chance of reversing both the impact of inter-generational inequity between low- and high-coverage countries; the massive disparities between wealthy and poor children within countries like Montenegro; and the lost opportunities for all societies through a collective failure to respond to our latest knowledge on the essential need for early development of the brain when it is growing most rapidly.

Benjamin Perks is the UNICEF Representative in Montenegro

 

©UNICEFMéxico/AzulPardavé

Los derechos de la infancia a través de los ojos de sus protagonistas

Para quienes trabajamos en UNICEF, participar en la 2ª edición del Concurso Colorea tus Derechos, fue una gran experiencia, nos alegra mucho habernos sumado nuevamente a la iniciativa de ISA Corporativo para impulsar el conocimiento y respeto de los derechos de las niñas, niños y adolescentes.

Este año recibimos más de ocho mil dibujos, las opiniones expresadas por quienes participaron nos permitieron contar con información a la que de otra manera difícilmente tendríamos acceso, quizá a través de una encuesta o de un estudio, pero no así como se recibió, de primera mano.

En los dibujos vimos escuelas y libros, médicos y hospitales, casas y familias, dibujos que reflejan los derechos de la niñez; pero también encontramos violencia, como la que observan muchos de los niños y niñas de México,  ojalá que las historias que se reflejan en estos últimos, se borren pronto, del papel y de la memoria, que pronto digamos que la falta de oportunidades, la violación de derechos y la pobreza son cosas del pasado de México.

Dibujo de Alma Mariana Hernández 1er  lugar

Dibujo de Alma Mariana Hernández 1er lugar

La selección de los dibujos y cómics finalistas y de los ganadores fue una tarea muy compleja, porque teníamos que elegir doce ganadores para premiarlos, pero en realidad todos y cada uno de los materiales que recibimos se merecía ganar porque refleja la opinión de una niña, niño o de adolescente, y cada una de ellas merece ser escuchada.

Dibujo de Juan Ramón Álvarez Bravo

Dibujo de Juan Ramón Álvarez Bravo

El propósito del  concurso fue  promover entre los niños, niñas y adolescentes el conocimiento y la conciencia de sus derechos para avanzar hacia una cultura en la que los conozcan y los exijan. Sobre todo porque por primera vez en México hay una Ley General de los Derechos de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes y se trata de uno de los avances legislativos más significativos de México en los últimos 25 años en materia de derechos de la infancia,  y tendrá un impacto positivo en los 40 millones de niños, niñas y adolescentes que viven en el país.

©UNICEFMéxico/AzulPardavé

©UNICEFMéxico/AzulPardavé

María Teresa Chávez trabaja en el área de Comunicación de UNICEF México

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Grade 4 students in O’Thmar annex-village school. ©UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Iman Morooka

A volunteer teacher brings education to remote community in Cambodia

Grade 4 students in O’Thmar annex-village school. ©UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Iman Morooka

Grade 4 students in O’Thmar annex-village school. ©UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Iman Morooka

O’Thmar is a remote ‘annex-village’ in Battambang Province, located about 20 kilometres from the official village it is affiliated with. Annex-villages in Cambodia are informal settlements, often remote or geographically isolated, established mainly because of population movement and growth. Their unofficial status usually means that they are cut off from services, including education.

Like in other annex villages, in O’Thmar there are few services available. The 160 families still rely on collecting rainwater for household use. Only two families have toilets in their houses.

But they do have a school, thanks to one man’s determination to bring education to children in his community.

His name is Sok Chan, who returned to his home country in 1993 after living in a refugee camp in Thailand since the 1980s. He chose O’Thmar as his new home, hoping to earn an income by cutting trees in the forest.

Mr. Sok Chan stands in front of the blackboard in a newly established classroom.

Mr. Sok Chan stands in front of the blackboard in a newly established classroom. ©UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Iman Morooka

“Only a few families were living in this area when I first came. There were about ten children in total, but no school. So I decided to teach those children. I had the experience because I had taught children while living at the refugee camp”.

Mr. Sok started giving lessons in a neighbour’s house in 1996. Some families who were able to pay gave him nominal fees, but many poor children attended for free. He split his time between teaching during the day and working at night. The size of his class grew steadily, eventually reaching over one hundred children. With the support of the village chief, a small classroom was built about 10 years ago.

Mr. Sok had to split the day into short sessions to be able to teach grades one to five. He didn’t follow the official school year calendar. Instead he worked all year around, six days a week. He had to buy the textbooks and other learning and teaching materials himself.

In 2014, UNICEF officers went to visit the community as part of their ongoing work to assess the situation of children living in remote annex villages and came across Mr. Sok’s incredible initiative. They shared the information with key local authority members including the Provincial Governor, the Provincial Office of Education, as well the District Governor.

As a result, the officials organized to visit the classroom to see it for themselves.

Mr. Sok Chan (right) and District Governor Chea Sambath, a strong advocate for the school, with the grade 4 students. ©UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Iman Morooka

Mr. Sok Chan (right) and District Governor, Mr. Chea Sambath, a strong advocate for the school, with the grade 4 students. ©UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Iman Morooka

“When I saw the children, about one hundred of them crammed in one small classroom, I almost burst into tears”, said District Governor, Mr. Chea Sambath, who has since become a strong advocate for the school.

Senior officials at the Provincial Office of Education (POE) looked into the matter, and decided that Mr. Sok’s school should be considered a formal primary school, meaning that it is entitled to receiving financial support, teaching and learning materials, and official teachers from the Government.

Thanks to support from the Governor, who helped mobilize resources, additional classrooms have been built. The school is now part of the formal education system, following the public curriculum. While new teachers have joined the school, Mr. Sok, now a teacher on contract with the POE, continues to teach his students.

The newly established classrooms in O’Thmar annex-village.

The newly established classrooms in O’Thmar annex-village. ©UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Iman Morooka

“I am happy to be officially recognized as a teacher. Now that I am on contract with the Provincial Office of Education, I don’t have to doubt my pedagogical skills. I meet with other teachers every Thursday to exchange information and learn from each other.”

When asked what motivates him to continue his job as a teacher, Mr. Sok says how proud he is to see the success of his students. “I feel happy when other teachers tell me that my former students are doing very well in high school. I want them to go on to receive higher education, to become teachers, to contribute to developing the country”.

Governor Chea is also a witness to the success of Mr. Sok’s students. “The other day, I attended a ceremony to honour outstanding students in the district. I was very happy to learn that the girl who became number one at District level was Mr. Sok’s former student.”

Iman Morooka is currently serving as Chief of Communication a.i. at UNICEF Cambodia.

On 28 January, workers carry large buckets and other items that are part of school infection prevention and control (IPC) kits, in a warehouse in Monrovia, the capital. The logos of UNICEF and USAID (the United States Agency for International Development) – which helped fund the kits – are visible on some of the buckets and other items. The kits also contain buckets with faucets, rubber gloves and rubber boots, thermal guns, chlorine and chlorine sprayers, soap, brooms and other items for schools to implement the strict safety protocols that have been developed for the resumption of classes in the context of the Ebola outbreak. UNICEF has procured and is packaging and dispatching more than 7,000 IPC kits to over 4,000 schools in the country. Liberia, with Guinea and Sierra Leone, continues to experience widespread and intense EVD transmission.

In late January/early February 2015 in Liberia, as schools prepare to reopen, UNICEF and partners are helping reduce as much as possible the risk of Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission. Support includes training teachers to implement safety measures, such as daily temperature screenings, and supplying thermometers and hand-washing kits for schools. Because of EVD, public schools in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone remained closed after the July–August break, depriving 5 million children of months of education. Amid continued school closures in Liberia and Sierra Leone, UNICEF is working with governments and communities to prepare for their eventual reopening. Schools are scheduled to reopen in Liberia on 16 February.

Cinq façons dont l’UNICEF lutte contre Ebola – mise à jour

Il y a quelques mois, nous avions publié un article de blog expliquant comment l’UNICEF aidait à lutter contre Ebola dans les pays affectés. De nombreux progrès ont été faits depuis – le Libéria a récemment atteint zéro cas – nous voulions donc vous informer de tout le travail qui a été – et qui continue d’être – fait.

27 mars : des agents de mobilisation sociale parlent avec des habitants, dont des enfants, à Freetown, en Sierra Leone.

27 mars : des agents de mobilisation sociale parlent avec des habitants, dont des enfants, à Freetown, en Sierra Leone. © UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0540/Bindra

1. La collaboration avec les communautés

Parce que les communautés sont au cœur de l’intervention, nous avons travaillé en étroite collaboration avec elles afin de promouvoir les comportements qui aident à stopper la transmission, comme les inhumations sans risques et le lavage des mains. Nous engageons le dialogue avec des membres clés de la communauté, menons des campagnes d’information massives, et faisons du porte-à-porte, atteignant ainsi plus de deux millions de foyers.

Nous appuyons les centres de soins communautaires, avons participé à l’élaboration de kits d’intervention rapide et formé des agents sanitaires aux protocoles spécifiques à Ebola. Nous fournissons également l’eau et l’assainissement aux unités de traitement de l’Ebola.

26 avril : en Sierra Leone, une fillette se fait vacciner contre la rougeole par un agent sanitaire.

26 avril : en Sierra Leone, une fillette se fait vacciner contre la rougeole par un agent sanitaire. © UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1149/Bindra

2. La revitalisation des services de santé non-Ebola

Bien que la priorité reste de faire passer le nombre de cas d’Ebola à zéro, nous participons également à la revitalisation des services de santé non-Ebola. Nous avons fourni des services de traitement massifs contre le paludisme et participons à d’importantes campagnes de vaccination contre la rougeole.

En Guinée, un professeur utilise un thermomètre infrarouge fourni par l'UNICEF pour prendre la température d'une fille qui entre dans sa classe.

En Guinée, un professeur utilise un thermomètre infrarouge fourni par l’UNICEF pour prendre la température d’une fille qui entre dans sa classe. © UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0568/de Mun

3. La protection des écoles

Nous avons aidé les gouvernements à mettre en place des mesures pour minimiser le risque de transmission dans les écoles, notamment la prise de température et le lavage des mains, et avons participé à la formation des professeurs à l’application de ces protocoles. Nous avons fourni du savon et des seaux à une vaste majorité d’écoles en Guinée, au Libéria et en Sierra Leone.

Une fille se lave les mains avant d'entrer dans sa classe, dans l'établissement d’enseignement secondaire de St Joseph à Freetown.

Une fille se lave les mains avant d’entrer dans sa classe, dans l’établissement d’enseignement secondaire de St Joseph à Freetown.© UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0820/Irwin

 4. L’amélioration de l’hygiène et de l’assainissement

Nous avons travaillé à l’amélioration de l’hygiène et de l’assainissement, à la promotion du lavage des mains, et distribué des centaines de milliers de savons et de seaux avec des robinets. Une bonne hygiène est indispensable pour stopper la transmission du virus Ebola.

Janvier : des agents portent des grands seaux et d'autres articles faisant partie des kits de prévention et de contrôle de l'infection (PCI) dans les écoles, dans un entrepôt à Monrovia.

Janvier : des agents portent des grands seaux et d’autres articles faisant partie des kits de prévention et de contrôle de l’infection (PCI) dans les écoles, dans un entrepôt à Monrovia. © UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0193/Ratnam

5. La livraison de matériel

Nous avons fourni du matériel important pour les soins et le traitement des personnes touchées par Ebola, pour la protection des agents sanitaires et pour l’accès continu aux services de base. Mi-avril, nous avions fourni environ 8 000 tonnes par air et par mer en Guinée, au Libéria et en Sierra Leone.

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

Un gran movimiento por UNICEF y la lactancia

La mañana del 30 de abril de 2015 una copiosa lluvia hacía más pesado el tráfico matutino de la Ciudad de México. A eso de las 6:00 los pasillos de TV Azteca empezaron a inundarse con el ir y venir del staff de UNICEF ataviado con la reconocida camiseta negra con logo blanco. Ese sería el gran día, el día del Movimiento Azteca en favor de la lactancia materna.

En punto de las 7:00 el conductor estrella de Hechos AM, Jorge Zarza anunciaba el arranque del Movimiento Azteca número 86, que concluiría a las 23:00 hrs. con el cierre estelar a cargo del conductor  prime time de la cadena, Javier Alatorre.

©UNICEFMéxico/LuisCedeñ

©UNICEFMéxico/LuisCedeñ

La experiencia de trabajar en televisión abierta a nivel nacional durante un día completo, significó una maravillosa oportunidad para promover en todo México la importancia de la lactancia materna.

El Movimiento Azteca es un esquema de Televisión Azteca que cada mes promueve la causa de una institución diferente con fines de abogacía y de recaudación de fondos. Este abril, por primera vez, UNICEF y la televisora, hicieron sinergias en favor de una causa por la salud y el bienestar materno infantil.

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

©UNICEFMéxico/MauricioRamos

Del 16 al 30 de abril se colocó en la programación de TV Azteca una serie de entrevistas con madres lactantes, funcionarios de UNICEF y otros voceros que promovieron los beneficios de la lactancia materna. También se colocaron llamados a la sociedad para que hiciera donativos que permitirán a UNICEF continuar impulsando la práctica de la lactancia en México.

El Movimiento Azteca de UNICEF por la lactancia materna, junto con una campaña mediática hicieron posible que el tema se colocara en la agenda y despertara el interés de diferentes actores para que el país deje de ser el último de América Latina, junto con la República Dominicana, en cuanto al índice de lactancia materna exclusiva durante los primeros seis meses de vida de los bebés.

 

Rocío Ortega es Oficial de Comunicación de UNICEF México

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