NEW YORK, USA, 27 April 2012 – Sixty four years ago, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, education was declared a basic human right for everyone, no matter their circumstances, gender, location, religion, language, ethnicity or socio-economic background. Yet, according to UNESCO, 67 million children of primary school age are out of school and being denied the opportunity to fully reach their potential.
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A girl learns to identify numbers on her first day of school at UNICEF-supported Preschool No. 9 in the Baliqchilar settlement, Azerbaijan.
By Rudina Vojvoda
NEW YORK, USA, 23 April 2012 – Every year, more than 200 million children under age 5 are not able to reach their full potential in cognitive development potential due to poverty, gender discrimination, conflict, malnutrition, inadequate care and lack of educational opportunities.
MASHTA EL HAMMOUD, Lebanon, 17 April 2012 – Stepping off their minibus in the mountain village of Mashta el Hammoud, in northern Wadi Khaled, a group of children scampers up the stone steps to their classrooms. While the prospect of maths and Arabic classes may not seem attractive, there’s no mistaking these youngsters’ eagerness for the afternoon that lies ahead.
There’s a special reason for their enthusiasm: Many of the students are Syrian, and this weekly visit to an NGO centre is helping them reclaim the educations that were forced to abandon when they fled the violence gripping their homeland.
COLOMBO/JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, 12 March 2012 – Families of children who disappeared during Sri Lanka’s 27-year-long conflict wait for news of their lost ones outside a UNICEF-funded Family Tracing and Reunification Centre (FTR) in the northern town of Mullaitivu.
Until UNICEF and its government partners established this office, these families had no place to report their losses. Since its opening, the centre has registered 707 children as missing and has helped reunite 32 children with their families.
Assessing work on the ground
Members of the Bureau of UNICEF’s Executive Board – UNICEF’s governing body – visited the centre and spoke to family members, offering support and continued assistance. They were on a week-long mission to Sri Lanka with the aim of assessing UNICEF’s work in the field with government agencies and development partners.