Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jackie Chan

Sometimes you just get lucky. And so I found myself in a labyrinth of scaffolding and plastic sheeting, underneath the stage at the Beijing Workers’ Stadium, listening the roar of 18,000 fans. They were there to see the cream of China’s modern musicians, supported by K-pop and J-pop superstars, and to celebrate the birthday of UNICEF’s fabulous Goodwill Ambassador Jackie Chan.

Since 2004, Jackie has travelled the world with UNICEF supporting children in need. In his first year as a UNICEF Ambassador, Jackie visited Cambodia and helped children learn about HIV/AIDS prevention and landmines. In Viet Nam, he fought to end stigma and discrimination against children with AIDS, and helped mothers learn how to prevent passing the disease to their children.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Young survivor of the Solomon Islands flash floods tells his story

Isiah Andrew at West Kola-Ridge. © UNICEF Pacific/2014/ATahu
Isiah Andrew, 8 years old, may be one of the youngest to survive the dreadful flash floods that swept hundreds of homes away in the Solomon Islands, leaving 17 people dead, 30 missing and an estimated 12,000 people homeless as of yesterday.

Isiah lives with his parents in Wagina, a settlement in Choiseul province. A week before the floods, he came to Honiara to spend his one week school break with his sister as he always does. But little did he know, this holiday would be a haunting one for the rest of his life.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Making an impact - Gaspar Fajth’s perspective on social policy

Students in Thailand. Social policy can have a big impact on children’s education
© UNICEF/0075 Jirada 10/Kritsada Jirathun
Lena Nguyen interviews Gaspar Fajth, UNICEF regional adviser for social policy and economic analysis

The last few decades have brought enormous economic growth to the East Asia and Pacific region, along with social achievements. Children have benefitted from both but progress has been unequal, with children in urban areas, for example, benefitting more than their rural counterparts.

UNICEF is working to translate this new-found wealth into improvements in children’s lives that are lasting and equitable. One way we do this is through our economic and social policy work, which focuses on helping governments develop and implement policies to realise the rights of all children.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Water, sanitation and hygiene are essential for the health of our children

Students from MaloMalo Primary School practicing hand washing.
© UNICEF Pacific/2013
Charlie (Description of a real boy but not his real name) doesn’t care much about washing his hands. In fact, he never thinks about it because he has no water supply, no soap, and no knowledge about its importance in preventing disease. He is a ten year old Solomon Islander going to a school that has no toilets or water.

Video: World Water Day 2014

Chander Badloe, UNICEF Regional Adviser on Water and Sanitation, explains the importance of improving children's access to clean water and proper sanitation in East Asia and the Pacific, where more than 180 million people still live without access to safe water.