Archive | September, 2011

Ali’s story: In drought-ravaged Kenya, education is the key to a brighter future

By Rob McBride

WAJIR, Kenya, 26 September – 2011 – In a futile attempt to save the last of the goats, Ali Yusef Omar, 16, and one of his younger sisters had no other option but to feed the ravenous animals handfuls of shredded-up cardboard boxes they had scavenged from the local town. Kept in a make-shift pen made of thorn bushes, only three remain out of a herd that had once numbered two hundred.

“Of course these goats are going to die,” said the boy with a resigned shrug of his shoulders. “You think they’re going to survive on boxes?”

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Governments urged to build on innovations, speed up inclusive education reforms for children with disabilities

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-1096/Kate Holt
A girl with a speech problem receives speech therapy at the Voinicel Centre in Chisinau, the capital Moldova, Republic of, 2011


MOSCOW, 27 September 2011 – Some 1.1 million children with disabilities in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States are hidden away at home or in institutions. They are likely to be out of school and among those most vulnerable to neglect, abuse and exploitation, UNICEF said at a major conference which opened today.

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Equal education opportunities for children with disabilities

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-1152/Kate Holt
Six-year-old Nemanja Brkic (left) and a classmate hold up drawings in their nursery school in Novi Sad, capital of Vojvodina Province. Nemanja was born with hearing problems. His nursery school is one of the first to accept disabled children as part of a new law integrating disabled children into regular schools. Nemanja is the only child in his class with special needs, and, with therapy, he is able to keep up with his classmates.

By Rudina Vojvoda

NEW YORK, USA, 21 September 2011 – Over 1.5 million children in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) live with disabilities. Commonly locked up in segregated institutions or hidden away in their homes, children with disabilities are one of the most marginalised groups of our society. They are often denied their basic right to quality education and lack opportunities to interact with their peers and participate actively in the society.

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Displaced youth in South Yemen cope with the effects of war

© UNICEF Yemen/2011/Rasheed
Amani Ali (standing second from right) and Saleh Salim (far right) teach other displaced children about hygiene. Amani and Saleh are members of a WASH committee of volunteers trained by UNICEF to provide awareness on hygiene and sanitation in the Belqis school, which is sheltering the displaced from Abyan.

By Ansar Rasheed

ADEN, Yemen, 15 September 2011 – It is the fourth day of Ramadan in Aden, a port city in the south of Yemen, and the temperature has reached over 40 degrees centigrade. Although it is summer holiday, the yard of Belqis School in Aden is full of children. Some play under the sun, while others attend educational sessions in a tent organized by UNICEF. The children are from families displaced by fighting in the restive region of Abyan between government troops and militants suspected of links to al-Qaeda.

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Liberia rebuilds education system after years of civil war

By Priyanka Pruthi

GANTA TOWN, Liberia, 16 September 2011 – War, bullets and bloodshed – words which generations of Liberians are still more familiar with than books or schools. It’s only been eight years since the country knew peace; the scars from its paralyzing 14-year civil war remain visible as its people try to heal. Today, the government is working to rebuild the infrastructure that was completely destroyed – large parts of Liberia doesn’t have roads and millions are living without basic access to water, healthcare or electricity. But ask any Liberian what they need most and the answer is the same – education.

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For Somali refugee children in Kenya, the new school year offers a fresh start

By Manuel Moreno and Kyle O’Donoghue

DADAAB, Kenya, 9 September 2011 – For children around the world, the end of the school holidays usually comes with mixed feelings. That was surely the case as schools re-opened their doors this week in the Dadaab refugee camps in north-eastern Kenya.

The difference here is that many of the pupils are new arrivals who have travelled from Somalia with their families looking for safety from famine and violence. Most of them are not even familiar with formal schooling.

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