Posts tagged UN

This year, on 11 October, the International Day of the Girl Child focuses on Innovating for Girls’ Education. The day provides a platform to highlight the continued importance of girls’ education as well as examples of successful, scalable and innovative approaches for tackling lingering challenges related to access, keeping girls in school and ensuring that their education is relevant and meaningful to their future.

(via UNICEF: Innovate to ensure all girls are educated for the twenty-first century)

Also see:

Watch highlights from an event held at United Nations General Assembly marking the first anniversary of the Global Education First Initiative. The event calls for more leadership and better coordination of funds to achieve global education goals.

Delivering on the global education promise (by unicef)

The Mozambican Ministry of Education believes that Mozambique is close to achieving the main education target in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which is universal access to primary education, but recognises that the quality of education is still low. The goal is that, by 2015, all children, both girls and boys, can complete a full course of primary education.

Dear Malala (by Plan International)

A two-minute film of girls from all over the world writing a letter of solidarity to Malala. The film highlights the need for girls’ education and asks the viewer to Raise Your Hand in support of girls’ education.

Malala Yousafzai makes education plea at UN (by Channel4News)

Reuters writes:

(Reuters) - Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year for demanding education for girls, marked her 16th birthday with an emotional speech at the United Nations on Friday in which she said education could change the world.

"Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution," a confident Yousafzai said to cheers from the podium.

Yousafzai was shot at close range by gunmen in October as she left school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, northwest of the country’s capital Islamabad. She was targeted for her campaign against the Islamist Taliban efforts to deny women education.

"They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed and out of that silence came thousands of voices," she said in Friday’s speech.

"The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born," Yousafzai said.

Check out The Guardian, Devex, and The Huffington Post for additional coverage and commentary.

Malala Yousafzai may be one of the best-known students in the world, but she is also a teacher. This month she will mark her 16th birthday by coming to the United Nations and sharing an important lesson about education — particularly for girls around the world.
Malala is the courageous young education rights campaigner from Pakistan who was targeted and shot by extremists on her way to school. After a long road to recovery, Malala is back and determined to keep making her voice heard.
On 12 July, Malala will be joined by hundreds of students from more than 80 countries in a unique Youth Assembly, where diplomats will take a back seat as young people take over the UN. They will gather to issue a global call for quality education for all. (via UN Global Education First Initiative – United Nations Secretary General’s Global Initiative on Education – Malala Comes to the United Nations)
Photo credit: Vitalvoices.org

Malala Yousafzai may be one of the best-known students in the world, but she is also a teacher. This month she will mark her 16th birthday by coming to the United Nations and sharing an important lesson about education — particularly for girls around the world.

Malala is the courageous young education rights campaigner from Pakistan who was targeted and shot by extremists on her way to school. After a long road to recovery, Malala is back and determined to keep making her voice heard.

On 12 July, Malala will be joined by hundreds of students from more than 80 countries in a unique Youth Assembly, where diplomats will take a back seat as young people take over the UN. They will gather to issue a global call for quality education for all. (via UN Global Education First Initiative – United Nations Secretary General’s Global Initiative on Education – Malala Comes to the United Nations)

Photo credit: Vitalvoices.org

More than 65% of girls over 15 in Ghana’s Northern Region have received no formal education (compared with the national average of 21%). This is why our support continues to be pivotal to these communities. DFID Ghana will be working with communities in the north, Camfed and the Government of Ghana to ensure that these 70,000 girls remain in and complete secondary school through targeted incentives by 2016. The support includes school fees, uniforms (made by local tailors which helps provide the community with work), and school supplies. (via UNGEI - Ghana - What does education mean to girls in Ghana?)

More than 65% of girls over 15 in Ghana’s Northern Region have received no formal education (compared with the national average of 21%). This is why our support continues to be pivotal to these communities. DFID Ghana will be working with communities in the north, Camfed and the Government of Ghana to ensure that these 70,000 girls remain in and complete secondary school through targeted incentives by 2016. The support includes school fees, uniforms (made by local tailors which helps provide the community with work), and school supplies. (via UNGEI - Ghana - What does education mean to girls in Ghana?)

61 million children are yet to go to school. When Will They Learn? (by Education Envoy). More here and here.

unicef:

Children of Syria: Witnessing Pockets of Hope in the Midst of TurmoilBy Mark Choonoo - Emergency Specialist, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa
The following op-ed was published in the Huffington Post on 7 February 2013.
I have just completed a mission to Homs where I stayed for one month as part of a mission to assess the humanitarian situation in the governorate, review our programmes and to strengthen and build our relationship with local partners.
Almost one in three persons in Homs is a displaced person, our partners on the ground tell us, and according to them, two thirds of the displaced population are children. Explosions, the sound of shells landing and the crack of gunfire are all part of the day-to-day life here.
Less than a kilometre from the hotel where I was staying, fighting raged on with a ferocity that shakes the city. Even after 20 years of doing this type of work in some very dangerous areas of the world, every explosion still made me worry. Amid this, we as a humanitarian team had to keep focused on how to improve the lives of those affected by this two-year long crisis.
I walked around to see how children in Homs are living. In a convent that works with children, situated at the end of a line of fully standing buildings and right before the destruction and rubble begins, I was amazed to find children reading books, listening to teachers, drawing pictures and playing games. The drawings on the walls spoke of smiling faces, waving hands, laughter and messages about the need to forgive. A total contrast to the rubble outside that represents so many battered lives.
I also went to what is called the “towers” which are unfinished blocks of apartments turned into collective shelters for displaced families. There, I met a 14-year-old girl and her younger brother who have literally opened a classroom on their own for themselves and their peers. The two siblings, whose schooling was disrupted because of the conflict, have transformed their shelter into a learning space where children come to study text books together.
The common message I got from parents and all education practitioners I met was the need to make sure that children can continue their schooling. A significant part of the education infrastructure in Homs has been severely affected by the conflict, with many schools either damaged, or turned into shelters for displaced families.
Naturally, this is putting enormous pressure on classrooms that are still functioning and on teachers who are challenged to do more than their best to teach double and triple the size of their normal class.
Unicef is working with partners to provide remedial learning programmes to help more children continue their education. About 6,500 children benefited from this programme in Homs so far and we are working to reach more children in the coming weeks. We will also soon be providing formal schools in Homs with essential school supplies to allow more children to enrol and improve the quality of education.
In Homs, I saw and heard about much suffering and desperation, but I also encountered amazing stories of people who, in the midst of all this, are doing everything they can to cope with their circumstances and create pockets of hope in a world of chaos.
Our partner in Talbiseh town, in Homs Governorate, told us how women are coping with the shortage of clothes, in this harsh winter, by turning blankets donated to them into clothes.
We are providing winter supplies and non-food items for affected families, including packages of children’s winter clothes. Unfortunately, because of the ever growing scale of the crisis, there’s not enough to go around for every child.
Our partner in Talbiseh described how they will unpack the content of the boxes of children’s clothes that they receive from Unicef and distribute to mothers and children piece by piece, according to the need. “So for instance, we will give shoes to a child who needs them and give pyjamas to another child who has shoes but no clothes.”
During the last two weeks, Unicef relief supplies — which include family hygiene kits, blankets, quilts, food kits and high-energy biscuits for children — reached more than 67,200 people in Homs.
I cannot imagine the fear a little child experiences with each shattering blast that rocks the city. Most children I saw were showing some signs of distress. This is why it is extremely important that we set up child friendly spaces and provide psychosocial support for as many children as possible.
We met with some local organisations working on psychosocial projects to discuss how we can work together. They are groups of energetic young people who have never imagined that one day they would need to do such work in their own city. Given my experience as a counsellor, I was asked to help them set up a focus group of practitioners to help address the problem.
If we had more resources, and strong partnerships, there is so much more that we could do. I realize more and more the fear that has crept into communities, and into children’s lives. Our work in the area of psychosocial support will be extremely important to make sure that children can regain connection with their childhood, and grow up to become healthy members of their society.
Follow Mark Choonoo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/UNICEFmena
Photo caption: Children engage in fun activities in one of the UNICEF-supported recreational facilities in Homs.Photo credit: UNICEF/Syria2013/Mouaz Mahfouz

unicef:

Children of Syria: Witnessing Pockets of Hope in the Midst of Turmoil
By Mark Choonoo - Emergency Specialist, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa

The following op-ed was published in the Huffington Post on 7 February 2013.

I have just completed a mission to Homs where I stayed for one month as part of a mission to assess the humanitarian situation in the governorate, review our programmes and to strengthen and build our relationship with local partners.

Almost one in three persons in Homs is a displaced person, our partners on the ground tell us, and according to them, two thirds of the displaced population are children. Explosions, the sound of shells landing and the crack of gunfire are all part of the day-to-day life here.

Less than a kilometre from the hotel where I was staying, fighting raged on with a ferocity that shakes the city. Even after 20 years of doing this type of work in some very dangerous areas of the world, every explosion still made me worry. Amid this, we as a humanitarian team had to keep focused on how to improve the lives of those affected by this two-year long crisis.

I walked around to see how children in Homs are living. In a convent that works with children, situated at the end of a line of fully standing buildings and right before the destruction and rubble begins, I was amazed to find children reading books, listening to teachers, drawing pictures and playing games. The drawings on the walls spoke of smiling faces, waving hands, laughter and messages about the need to forgive. A total contrast to the rubble outside that represents so many battered lives.

I also went to what is called the “towers” which are unfinished blocks of apartments turned into collective shelters for displaced families. There, I met a 14-year-old girl and her younger brother who have literally opened a classroom on their own for themselves and their peers. The two siblings, whose schooling was disrupted because of the conflict, have transformed their shelter into a learning space where children come to study text books together.

The common message I got from parents and all education practitioners I met was the need to make sure that children can continue their schooling. A significant part of the education infrastructure in Homs has been severely affected by the conflict, with many schools either damaged, or turned into shelters for displaced families.

Naturally, this is putting enormous pressure on classrooms that are still functioning and on teachers who are challenged to do more than their best to teach double and triple the size of their normal class.

Unicef is working with partners to provide remedial learning programmes to help more children continue their education. About 6,500 children benefited from this programme in Homs so far and we are working to reach more children in the coming weeks. We will also soon be providing formal schools in Homs with essential school supplies to allow more children to enrol and improve the quality of education.

In Homs, I saw and heard about much suffering and desperation, but I also encountered amazing stories of people who, in the midst of all this, are doing everything they can to cope with their circumstances and create pockets of hope in a world of chaos.

Our partner in Talbiseh town, in Homs Governorate, told us how women are coping with the shortage of clothes, in this harsh winter, by turning blankets donated to them into clothes.

We are providing winter supplies and non-food items for affected families, including packages of children’s winter clothes. Unfortunately, because of the ever growing scale of the crisis, there’s not enough to go around for every child.

Our partner in Talbiseh described how they will unpack the content of the boxes of children’s clothes that they receive from Unicef and distribute to mothers and children piece by piece, according to the need. “So for instance, we will give shoes to a child who needs them and give pyjamas to another child who has shoes but no clothes.”

During the last two weeks, Unicef relief supplies — which include family hygiene kits, blankets, quilts, food kits and high-energy biscuits for children — reached more than 67,200 people in Homs.

I cannot imagine the fear a little child experiences with each shattering blast that rocks the city. Most children I saw were showing some signs of distress. This is why it is extremely important that we set up child friendly spaces and provide psychosocial support for as many children as possible.

We met with some local organisations working on psychosocial projects to discuss how we can work together. They are groups of energetic young people who have never imagined that one day they would need to do such work in their own city. Given my experience as a counsellor, I was asked to help them set up a focus group of practitioners to help address the problem.

If we had more resources, and strong partnerships, there is so much more that we could do. I realize more and more the fear that has crept into communities, and into children’s lives. Our work in the area of psychosocial support will be extremely important to make sure that children can regain connection with their childhood, and grow up to become healthy members of their society.

Follow Mark Choonoo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/UNICEFmena

Photo caption: Children engage in fun activities in one of the UNICEF-supported recreational facilities in Homs.
Photo credit: UNICEF/Syria2013/Mouaz Mahfouz

The Pakistani government and the United Nations’ education agency unveiled a plan today to motivate girls around the world to enroll in schools by the end of 2015.
Organizers dubbed it the “Malala Plan,” after Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old education activist who survived being shot by a Taliban gunman in October. Malala’s father, Ziauddin, attended the ceremony along with Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, who announced a $10 million in seed funding for the plan. 
(via New UN plan to get girls in school boosted by Malala’s father - CSMonitor.com)

The Pakistani government and the United Nations’ education agency unveiled a plan today to motivate girls around the world to enroll in schools by the end of 2015.

Organizers dubbed it the “Malala Plan,” after Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old education activist who survived being shot by a Taliban gunman in October. Malala’s father, Ziauddin, attended the ceremony along with Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, who announced a $10 million in seed funding for the plan. 

(via New UN plan to get girls in school boosted by Malala’s father - CSMonitor.com)