Friday, May 8, 2015

Promising WASH initiatives in Asia Pacific

Water, sanitation and hygiene remains an important topic through the Asia-Pacific region. UNICEF's Sanjay Wijesekera, global chief of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), recently visited Cambodia to learn about UNICEF's work in the region to help keep children clean and healthy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Survive and thrive: nutrition for vulnerable children

Aileen Tabio feeds therapeutic food to her malnourished son
© UNICEF EAPRO/2015/Dorothy Foote
I’ve known since my college years that I wanted to work in health. I became even more interested when I did volunteer work in Burundi, in Central Africa. The land there is very fertile, anything can grow, and there were fruits and flowers everywhere. I became fascinated with how poverty affected children’s nutrition. I couldn’t understand how, in a country where everything can grow so easily, children were malnourished. I decided to take up a career in public health nutrition.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Nutrition in Timor-Leste, where half of all children are stunted

Emilia fed Sebastiao with breast milk for six months
© UNICEF EAPRO/2015/ Christiane Rudert
I’m the regional nutrition adviser for UNICEF in East Asia and the Pacific. I recently visited the small, young island country of Timor-Leste, to get a better understanding of the nutrition situation and UNICEF’s work on nutrition there. During the visit I went to the district of Ermera.

The rough, muddy road to Ermera winds up the steep, exuberantly green mountainside. The scattered houses exemplify impoverishment, and the small plots of maize, albeit very tall, do not suggest a robust foundation of agriculture. As we climbed further up this road, and the rainclouds closed in, now and then we came across groups of school children walking slowly along, very far from any village or school.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

UNICEF supporters come together for Vanuatu

Jackson Hill, 2, joined his parents on a sponsored walk to raise
money for children affected by Cyclone Pam
© UNICEF UK/2015
British toddler Jackson Hill has only just taken his first steps but, with the support of his parents, he has just completed a sponsored walk for children in Vanuatu.

“We have been lucky to travel to many countries but none as welcoming as Vanuatu,” said the parents of two-year-old Jackson. “The kindness and generosity we experienced from the people we met was humbling.”

“We are very keen to do what we can from the UK to support communities affected by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. We recognise the incredible work carried out by UNICEF and wanted to support its vital work in emergency relief.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cyclone-affected family prioritises education

Mother Nuku with her daughter Evelyn, who has received
school supplies from UNICEF © UNICEF Pacific/2015/Sokhin 
It took mother of four, Nuku Kilorie and her family 20 terrifying minutes to reach safety when Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu, completely destroying her family home on March 13, 2015.

Their dash to safety also meant crossing the Tebokoa River. In normal times the river poses no threat to anyone but, on this night, it burst its banks, sending a chest-height raging torrent of water, debris and coconut trees through the village, destroying everything in its path.