From time to time, experts working in the Back on Track programme will maintain weblogs to keep everyone up to date on the latest news and activities. Users may also ask questions, respond and comment to posts, hence the name "Ask the Expert."

Podcast #81: “If something is wrong around you, if something is not working in your community, act”

By Rudina Vojvoda

Listen to the inspiring story of two women who are changing the world and sharing their motivation.

NEW YORK, United States of America, 16 August 2013 – 19 August marks World Humanitarian Day, a time to pay tribute to men and women whose actions make the world a better place.

© Save the Children Zimbabwe/2013/Mukwazhi Dr. Tererai Trent laughs with children at the Matau Primary School in her hometown in Zimbabwe.

To commemorate the day and learn how each of us can promote human welfare and inject social change in our communities, UNICEF’s podcast moderator, Alex Goldmark, spoke with two women who have done just that: Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg is a professor at the University of San Francisco and is the founder of Akili Dada, a leadership incubator investing in high-achieving young African women from underprivileged backgrounds; Dr. Tererai Trent is a Zimbabwean woman who, despite all odds, managed to educate herself, realize her dreams and help other girls in her community realize theirs.

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Podcast #80: On International Youth Day, young activists share their views on the role of education in building peace

By Rudina Vojovda

Youth activists share their views on the importance of education in laying the foundation for a peaceful society.

NEW YORK, United States of America, 12 August 2013 – International Youth Day is celebrated on 12 August every year to raise awareness about issues affecting young people and to celebrate their achievements.

To commemorate the day, UNICEF podcast moderator Alex Goldmark spoke with three young activists about their understanding of peace and how education can help them build peaceful and democratic communities.

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The Battle for Damascus

Arch of Jupiter in Damascus, Syria.

By Carlos Vasquez

AMMAN, Jordan, 8 May 2013 – When I arrived in Jordan for my third mission to the region on April 5th, Za’atari camp had more than 100,000 refugees; five times the amount since my first visit 8 months ago in September 2012. The total number of refugees spread over 4 countries is more than 1.4 million Syrian people today (Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey). The needs are great and it’s hard to keep up. UNICEF uses a 20 per cent factor to plan for education service delivery; that is an estimate of 280,000 displaced school age children in the region. In Za’atari alone we are delivering 3.5 million litres of water every day to meet the demand of refugees.

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“Inclusive education is a right and human rights don’t have a cost”

NEW YORK, 04 October 2012

Richard Rieser is the managing director of World of Inclusion, an expert disabled international equality trainer, consultant and teacher. Recently, Mr. Rieser is supporting UNICEF as one of the minds behind Rights Education and Protection project (REAP). We spoke with Richard about inclusive education and the role of teachers in providing quality education for children with disabilities.

©UNICEF/ New York /2012/Rudina Vojvoda
Richard Rieser speaking at the side event to the Fifth Session of the Conference State Parties Working Together to Implement Inclusive Education (Article 24)

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News from Za’atari Camp, Jordan

By Carlos Vasquez

AMMAN, JORDAN, 28 September 2012 – As I fill my bags to prepare for my departure back home, I have an overwhelming feeling of emptiness. I want to bring with me the family that crossed the Syrian-Jordanian border overnight, the mother holding her new born child under the Bedouin tent, the child that sells cigarettes to help his family, the child in a wheel chair with no place to go and all those frustrated by the inability of the international community to end the 18 month armed conflict.

©UNICEF/Jordan/2012/ Carlos Vasquez
Boy in Za’atari Camp, Jordan.

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Albanian youth calls for schools as peace zones

NEW YORK, USA, 20 September 2012

Photo courtesy of Save the Children
Katerina Thanasi during Children, Youth and Peacebuilding event organized in New York, September 2012.

Katerina Thanasi is a fifteen-year-old girl from Gjirokastra, Albania. Supported by Save the Children, Katarina is working to promote peace and conflict resolution in her country. She recently participated in a Children, Youth and Peacebuilding event in New York organized by Save the Children, the International Peace Institute and the Permanent Mission of the Norway to the United Nations. In the lead up to the International Day of Peace on the 21 September 2012, UNICEF interviewed Katerina about her projects and the importance of using education as a tool for peace.

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