You are here: Home » Tag Archives: UNICEF

Tag Archives: UNICEF

Feed Subscription

Usain Bolt to play charity football match amid pro contract hint

After his retirement from the track, Usain Bolt is making strides towards a new career. The Jamaican sprint great will captain a star-studded side in charity football match and has hinted at a professional contract. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Usain Bolt is set to make a return to the sporting world in a charity football match which has previously attracted such luminaries as Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, Brazilian legend Ronaldinho, actor Will Ferrell and pop star Robbie Williams. The eight-time Olympic gold medallist announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he will be joining the Soccer Aid World XI - a motley crew put together to help raise funds for the United Nations Children's Fund, Unicef. Since retiring from athletics he's also flirted with playing cricket and been pictured at the US Grand Prix. Read more: Untouchable Usain Bolt bows out in London Bolt, long linked with trials at Borussia Dortmund thanks to both parties' relationship with Puma, will captain the side, with Williams skippering the English XI that will line up against them. "Robbie and his England team better watch out as I won't be going easy on them," said Bolt, who also claimed he has a "special celebration" planned should his side win. Thee announcement came hours after Bolt, 31, had sent out a tweet suggesting that he'd signed for a team before South African Premier Soccer League outfit Mamelodi Sundowns put out a tweet of their own featuring Bolt in their training gear and a knowing hint about his future. But it seems Bolt's tweet was only related to the charity match, with the Puma logo on the Mamelodi Sundowns kit probably explaining their part in the somewhat confusing series of events. The Soccer Aid match will take part on June 10 at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium.

After his retirement from the track, Usain Bolt is making strides towards a new career. The Jamaican sprint great will captain a star-studded side in charity football match and has hinted at a professional contract. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Usain Bolt is set to make a return to the sporting world in a charity football match ... Read More »

Half of Syria’s school children miss out on education

UNICEF and other aid organizations are trying to help children go back to school. Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai has called on governments to do more, so that Syria will still have a future left when peace returns. The civil war in Syria has been raging for five years now and there is no end in sight. Among those who suffer from the violence and chaos the most: Syrian children, who are especially vulnerable. According to UNICEF, the United Nations' aid program for children, there are around 2.5 million children registered as refugees outside of Syria. Many of them are living in camps in countries like Lebanon, Jordan or Egypt. They have lost everything and are traumatized by the death and violence they had to witness. International aid organizations are fighting for these children to have a future, and not to become a lost generation. One of the most important tools in this effort: education. Ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting this week, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has called on the heads of governments across the world to guarantee 12 years of school for every refugee child. "Education is crucial," Yousafzai told news agency Associated Press. "I understand that, you understand that, people understand that, but when it comes to world leaders' decision making, they completely ignore it, as if they have no knowledge and are completely ignorant." Missing teachers, closed-down schools On September 19, the UN will host its first summit on migrants and refugees. Yousafzai, who became the youngest nobel laureate ever in 2014 for advocating all children's right to an education, will not be attending the 71st session of the General Assembly. At 19 years old, she's focusing on her school work and college applications instead. But there are millions of children who don't have the chance to attend university or even go to secondary school. Aid organizations like UNICEF are working to provide as many children as possible with access to education. They deal with refugee children in Syria's neighboring countries, but also with kids who are still inside the war-ridden nation. More than 700,000 Syrian refugee children in neighboring countries aren't going to school even though they should be. Inside the country, the situation is even worse: One quarter of all schools aren't used for educational purposes anymore and 50,000 education professionals no longer work in their jobs - they fled the country, died or joined the fighting. That's why 2.1 million Syrian school children don't have the possibility to attend class. "Half of Syria's school children aren't in school," Juliette Touma, communication chief for UNICEF's Middle East and North Africa office, told DW. "Some of them have never been in school, others have missed up to five years." No Lost Generation In 2016, UNICEF plans to give 854,000 Syrian refugee children in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey access to formal education. To that end, UNICEF is one of organizations supporting the No Lost Generation initiative. Supported by different UN agencies, a variety of international and local NGOs, governments and private donors, the initiative aims to "provide opportunities for children and youth… to heal, learn and develop again." "In the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, the second-biggest refugee camp in the world, we built nine schools from scratch," Touma said. "In other countries we expand learning space by renovating existing schools, adding more classrooms or installing heating." The initiative has also introduced the double-shift methodology in numerous schools, for example in Jordan. In the morning, Jordanian children will attend school and in the afternoon, the classrooms are used to teach Syrian refugee children. "We think outside the box to provide education," Touma said. Girls' tough struggle For refugee girls, the situation is especially precarious. They are even less likely to go to school than boys. "Refugee girls are wondering how long they can stay out of school before they're forced into early marriages or child labor," Yousafzai said in a press statement. The Nobel Prize winner was shot in October 2012 for defying the Taliban in her home country Pakistan by going to school and advocating education for girls. Today, her charity Malala Fund focuses on "helping girls go to school and raise their voices for the right to education." The fund's current social media campaign #YesAllGirls wants to draw attention to the plight of refugee girls. UNICEF's Juliette Touma recounts the story of one girl in a Jordan refugee camp who convinced her parents to not marry her off and let her go to school instead. But Touma also says that the number of young girls getting married is rising, because their parents have lost everything and are so poor that they see no other option. The No Lost Generation Initiative is doing everything to fight this practice and to make sure that girls and boys get a chance to go to school. "For UNICEF, education is as important as water and vaccinations because it nourishes a child's soul," Touma said. "School is really a safe haven - and also an investment in the future. Bear in mind that the war in Syria will eventually come to an end, hopefully sooner rather than later. We will need these children to rebuild the country."

UNICEF and other aid organizations are trying to help children go back to school. Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai has called on governments to do more, so that Syria will still have a future left when peace returns. The civil war in Syria has been raging for five years now and there is no end in sight. Among those who ... Read More »

UN: Middle East conflicts keep 13 million children out of school

About 13.7 million school age children from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are not in school because of conflict, a new UNICEF report says. It warns of 'losing a generation' of children. Forty percent of school-aged children from five war-torn Middle Eastern countries are not attending school, the United Nations agency for children (UNICEF) said Thursday. The report warns that a lack of education would lead to more militancy, migration and a dark future for the region as a whole. "We are on the verge of losing a generation of children in this region," Peter Salama, UNICEF's regional chief, told the AP news agency. "We must act now or we will certainly regret the consequences." The dropout rate could increase to 50 percent in coming months as conflicts intensify, he warned. In a report on the impact of conflict on education in six countries and territories across the region, UNICEF says more than 8,850 schools were no longer usable due to violence. It detailed cases of students and teachers coming under direct fire, classrooms used as makeshift bomb shelters and children having to risk crossing firing lines to take exams. "It's not just the physical damage being done to schools," Salama said, "but the despair felt by a generation of schoolchildren who see their hopes and futures shattered." In its report, UNICEF calls for better informal education services in countries affected by school closures and for donor nations to prioritize education funding throughout the Middle East. Syria The Syrian conflict - now in its fifth year - has been devastating for children. One in four schools have been closed since the conflict erupted, causing more than 2 million children to drop out and putting close to half a million in danger of losing their schooling as 52,000 teachers have left their posts. "Even those Syrian teachers who have ended up as refugees in other countries have faced obstacles which prevent them from working," the report said. Yemen One of the worst direct attacks on a school in the region came in Yemen, where 13 staff and four children were killed in an assault on a teachers' office in the western city of Amran. "The killing, abduction and arbitrary arrest of students, teachers and education personnel have become commonplace" in the region, the report said. Hundreds of schools and colleges have been closed since March, when a a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes on Iran-backed Houthi rebels who had seized the capital Sanaa and several parts of the country. A least seven schools in Yemen have been requisitioned by warring forces to be used as makeshift barracks or shelters for displaced families, the report said. Palestinian Territories In the embattled Gaza Strip, which saw a 50-day war last year between Hamas militants and Israel's military kill about 2,200 Palestinians and 73 on the Israeli side, the UN said at least 281 schools had been damaged, and eight "completely destroyed." "My children were injured in a school. They saw people injured with missing hands or legs, with wounded faces and eyes," the report quoted Gaza mother-of-two Niveen as saying. "They no longer see school as a safe place." Iraq Violence in Iraq, where pro-government forces are battling the self-styled Islamic State militant group has had a severe impact on the schooling of at least 950,000 children. The report detailed scenes among the 1,200 schools in Iraqi host communities that have been turned into shelters for those displaced by violence, with up to nine families per classroom forced to prepare meals in courtyards. Libya, Sudan Conflict has also affected child learning in Libya - still reeling from the 2011 ouster of dictator Moammer Gadhafi - with more than half of those displaced reporting that their children have not enrolled in school. In the second city of Benghazi alone, the UN said just 65 of 239 schools are still open. In Sudan, the agency said high numbers of internally displaced families fleeing violence in Darfur and South Kordofan states were putting incredible strain on the country's marginal education infrastructure.

About 13.7 million school age children from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are not in school because of conflict, a new UNICEF report says. It warns of ‘losing a generation’ of children. Forty percent of school-aged children from five war-torn Middle Eastern countries are not attending school, the United Nations agency for children (UNICEF) said Thursday. The report warns ... Read More »

UNICEF 2015 report: Millions of children caught in the middle of conflict

Killed, maimed, kidnapped, enslaved, forced to flee: violence against children has reached horrifying levels. The UN children's aid group Unicef calls for much more protection for children. The right to education, care and protection - for children growing up in war zones these are little more than empty promises. Currently, in the world's five most conflicted countries - Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen - some 21 million children are directly affected by violence. Terror groups such as "Islamic State" (IS) and Boko Haram intentionally disregard the principles of international humanitarian law in order to generate a maximum of attention. "Children are subjected to bomb attacks in their homes and in their schools; they are kidnapped, killed, sexually abused and recruited as child soldiers," says Ted Chaiban of UNICEF International. One in ten children worldwide lives in a country or region that is defined by armed conflict. That means that an unfathomable 230 million children grow up caught in the middle of conflicts. "Children caught in the middle" is also the title of the 2015 UNICEF report, which was just presented in Berlin. With its 270 page report, the children's aid organization seeks to draw attention to the ways that uncertainty, hate and violence destroy the lives of millions of children. Fewer contributions It is said that there have not been this many child refugees since the end of the Second World War. And UNICEF has never had to ask for so much money for emergency aid in conflict regions. This year that sum will be about $3 billion (2.7 billion euros). Two-thirds of that money comes from state funding, one-third from private donations - and it gets harder to raise every year. "It is far easier to gather donations for victims of natural disasters than for Syrian war refugees," says Jürgen Heraeus, chairman of UNICEF Germany. "People say, 'natural disasters could affect any of us,' so they have a certain empathy, whereas the other case is an armed conflict and they feel that it has nothing to do with them," he said. "The UN's world food program and UNICEF have both had to cut back on food rations due to lack of funding. Therefore they cannot help all of the children, youths and other needy persons that are so dependent upon such aid," laments Germany's Development Minister Gerd Müller. In the past two years, says Müller, some 70,000 children have been born on the floors of tents in refugee camps. He has witnessed the suffering in such refugee camps firsthand and tells of recently meeting a mother holding her seventh child in her arms, as she sat next to her 16-year-old son who had lost both of his legs in a conflict. Müller goes on to criticize the fact that in Germany the willingness to donate money to help refugees and displaced persons is waning. "The images keep washing over us, and unfortunately we are becoming increasingly numb to them." But the global community must live up to its promises and do something. School and psychotherapy Last year, the development ministry gave UNICEF about 150 million euros ($167 million) to support projects in war and conflict zones. A large part of that money was used to aid refugees from Syria and Iraq. "Because of such support 100,000 children can attend school in Lebanon alone," reports Müller. Financial aid is scheduled to be increased this year, although Müller declined to say exactly how much when asked. Germany is among the most important donors for school projects for Syrian refugees. Ted Chaiban emphasizes that it is importent for children and youths to go to school and to get a glimpse of a world that is formed by hope, not hate. That is why the children's aid organization is active in making sure that children get psychological and social support as well. Simple children's centers are enough to start with and therapy can take place in tents. "Germany wants to focus on the program this year," says Gerd Müller, who also announced further financial aid for this kind of support. Jürgen Heraeus stresses that the opportunity for a return to stability and peaceful development is dependent upon giving youths orientation and jobs. "If we are unable to catch this generation, to give them an education and hope for a better future, then they will simply drift away."

Killed, maimed, kidnapped, enslaved, forced to flee: violence against children has reached horrifying levels. The UN children’s aid group Unicef calls for much more protection for children. The right to education, care and protection – for children growing up in war zones these are little more than empty promises. Currently, in the world’s five most conflicted countries – Syria, Iraq, ... Read More »

Rebel groups release hundreds of child soldiers in Central African Republic

Armed groups in the Central African Republic have released hundreds of child soldiers as part of a deal with UNICEF. The agency estimates that up to 10,000 children are working for fighters in the African nation. More than 300 children, some who were under 12 years old, were set free under a United Nations-brokered deal on Thursday. Under the deal, the leaders of 10 armed groups operating in the region agreed to discharge all children under their control, and to not recruit any others. It's the biggest single release of child soldiers since violence broke out in 2012. Three separate ceremonies were held to mark the occasion near the town of Bambari, with children freed from the ranks of Christian militia and Muslim rebel groups. A representative from the UN's children's agency, UNICEF, Mohamed Malick Fall, said the event was encouraging. "After two years of heavy fighting, the release of children by these groups – on the same day – is a real step towards peace," he said. "Violence and suffering can now give way to a brighter future for children." The deal to free the 357 children was finalized earlier this month at a reconciliation forum in the nation's capital, Bangui. UNICEF says it will reunite some of the children with relatives, while others will be put with foster families while they try to locate relatives. They have already been medically screened, and will be provided with psychosocial support as they return to normal life. The latest round of conflict broke out in 2013, when the largely Muslim Seleka rebel alliance ousted President Francois Bozize. In retaliation, Christians formed vigilante groups targeting Muslim civilians accused of helping support the dominant Muslim regime. Tens of thousands of citizens fled into neighboring countries to escape the bloodshed, with roughly 25 percent of its population displaced since December 2013. UNICEF says it believes there are still between 6,000 and 10,000 children working among the fighters in jobs such as cooks and messengers. They are also concerned over the numbers of girls and young women who have been forced into sexual relationships with fighters. The agency has called for more funding to help with reintegrating the children, saying as of April 30 this year it had only received $17 million (14.9 million euros) out of the $73.9 million (65 million euros) it needed. The Central African Republic is also in the middle of a child sex scandal, in which several French peacekeeping soldiers are accused of abusing young children during the crisis.Armed groups in the Central African Republic have released hundreds of child soldiers as part of a deal with UNICEF. The agency estimates that up to 10,000 children are working for fighters in the African nation. More than 300 children, some who were under 12 years old, were set free under a United Nations-brokered deal on Thursday. Under the deal, the leaders of 10 armed groups operating in the region agreed to discharge all children under their control, and to not recruit any others. It's the biggest single release of child soldiers since violence broke out in 2012. Three separate ceremonies were held to mark the occasion near the town of Bambari, with children freed from the ranks of Christian militia and Muslim rebel groups. A representative from the UN's children's agency, UNICEF, Mohamed Malick Fall, said the event was encouraging. "After two years of heavy fighting, the release of children by these groups – on the same day – is a real step towards peace," he said. "Violence and suffering can now give way to a brighter future for children." The deal to free the 357 children was finalized earlier this month at a reconciliation forum in the nation's capital, Bangui. UNICEF says it will reunite some of the children with relatives, while others will be put with foster families while they try to locate relatives. They have already been medically screened, and will be provided with psychosocial support as they return to normal life. The latest round of conflict broke out in 2013, when the largely Muslim Seleka rebel alliance ousted President Francois Bozize. In retaliation, Christians formed vigilante groups targeting Muslim civilians accused of helping support the dominant Muslim regime. Tens of thousands of citizens fled into neighboring countries to escape the bloodshed, with roughly 25 percent of its population displaced since December 2013. UNICEF says it believes there are still between 6,000 and 10,000 children working among the fighters in jobs such as cooks and messengers. They are also concerned over the numbers of girls and young women who have been forced into sexual relationships with fighters. The agency has called for more funding to help with reintegrating the children, saying as of April 30 this year it had only received $17 million (14.9 million euros) out of the $73.9 million (65 million euros) it needed. The Central African Republic is also in the middle of a child sex scandal, in which several French peacekeeping soldiers are accused of abusing young children during the crisis.

Armed groups in the Central African Republic have released hundreds of child soldiers as part of a deal with UNICEF. The agency estimates that up to 10,000 children are working for fighters in the African nation. More than 300 children, some who were under 12 years old, were set free under a United Nations-brokered deal on Thursday. Under the deal, ... Read More »

Scroll To Top