Monday, February 23, 2015

Ensuring a brighter future for adolescents in Asia-Pacific

By Isiye Ndombi, Deputy Regional Director, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Office
With the right support adolescents like Suglegmaa, 13 from Mongolia, can thrive.
To help her stay in school, UNICEF supported gender-sensitive toilet facilities.
© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1768/Sokol
Adolescence is a critical juncture in our lives. After 25 years with UNICEF, 12 of which have been in the Asia-Pacific Region, I have seen first-hand the benefits of giving adolescents the right support, as well as the damaging repercussions if they are neglected.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Epic Arts and UNICEF Cambodia present 'Uptown Funk'


Staff and students with and without disabilities from Epic Arts in Kampot, Cambodia, wanted to make a video to challenge perceptions of what people with disabilities are capable of. UNICEF Cambodia thought it was a great idea and helped fund the video.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Not for sale: protecting children exploited in the sex industry

Saeng holds a picture he’s drawn of a woman dressed in designer clothes
© UNICEF EAPRO/2014/Andy Brown
Saeng (not his real name) was forced into prostitution when he was just 14 years old. After falling out with his parents and running away from home, he found himself on the streets with no money. One of his friends worked in the Bangkok sex industry and persuaded him to start. But Saeng was too young to make an informed decision, or to understand the risks he faced. His rights as a child were violated and he was sexually exploited by adults.

'All In' in Asia-Pacific: supporting adolescents at risk of HIV

A teenager from Kiribati collecting information on HIV and AIDS
© UNICEF Pacific/2014
Today, UNICEF and UNAIDS are launching the ‘All In’ campaign to end the AIDS epidemic in adolescents by 2030. This is an exciting new stage in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The last decade has seen remarkable success in reducing HIV transmission from mother to child, and advances in treatment.

I have worked on HIV and AIDS in Asia-Pacific for 20 years and seen many of these changes first hand. To complete this work, I believe we now have to focus on adolescents.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Youth radio: getting the message out loud and clear

Youth radio volunteers in Laos about to go live
©UNICEF Laos/2010/Souvannavong
While technology seems to be changing at light speed, delivering media into our hands and homes at the tap of a button, the humble radio still has an important role to play around the world in sharing information and helping people learn.

For World Radio Day this Friday, I spoke to UNICEF staff in Laos and the Pacific Islands about their youth radio initiatives. They told me how radio is giving a voice to young people and helping communities.