Jenner Pascua is a production officer for unicefusa.org
Last week Sigrid Kaag, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, released a statement about the recent death of a 12-year-old Yemeni girl.
"The death of Elham Mahdi al-Assi from internal bleeding following intercourse, three days after she was married off to a man at least twice her age, is a painful reminder of the risks girls face when they are married too soon."
This heart-breaking news reminded me of a recent photo essay UNICEF released in January. This week's photo shows a young bride from Bangladesh.
UNICEF/NYHQ2009-2317/Md. Ilias Mia
Bangladesh - Thirteen-year-old Tania, who is pregnant, carries a small jar outside her home, in the south-western district of Barguna in Barisal Division. Tania was married at age 10, an arrangement made by her parents when she was just a year old. Despite her pregnancy, she has many household tasks. She advises against marrying at too early an age.
Each spring for the past 25 years we search for the UNICEF holiday greeting card design to be produced and sold by Pier 1 Import stores nationwide during the holiday season. This year is no different - a huge thank you to the thousands of young artists for sending in their beautiful designs. Even though only one design is finally selected, each and every young artist is a winner for caring about UNICEF's mission .
Frida Giannini is the Creative Director at Gucci. She joined UNICEF representatives on a field visit to Malawi, where in addition to Mozambique, the company's five-year long campaign supports UNICEF programs for thousands of orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS.
On Wednesday, February 24th, Healthfirst, a not-for-profit company that offers free and low-cost government-sponsored health insurance programs, donated over $32,000 to the US Fund for UNICEF for Haiti earthquake emergency relief. A press conference was held to announce the donation. The funds, donated by Healthfirst employees and other company contributions, were presented to the US Fund's Chief Financial Officer Edward Lloyd by Healthfirst Vice President of External Affairs George Hulse.
Abigail Quesinberry/US Fund for UNICEF
Representatives from Healthfirst including Vice President George Hulse present a check for $32,185 to the US Fund for UNICEF for Haiti relief.
The US Fund's Chief Development Officer Robert Thompson was also on hand and spoke to the natural synergy of the two organizations' missions. Ricoh Dupree of Radio Soleil and Cynthia McCaffrey, Chief Program Officer at the US Fund for UNICEF also spoke and congratulated Healthfirst on their efforts. Edward Lloyd praised Healthfirst for their generosity in support of UNICEF's lifesaving work and for their continued commitment to the children of Haiti.
We are so grateful for the generous support of Healthfirst.
Yesterday, April 4, was International Mine Awareness Day. Programs and events were held around the world to educate people about the dangerous legacy of landmines, which affect more than 84 countries.
Children at play are particularly vulnerable to mines and cluster munitions since they come in interesting shapes and colors that attract children's curiosity.
This week's Monday photo shows a young survivor from Angola.
Sean Sutton/Mines Advisory Group
"A landmine victim in Angola
This is a serious problem with devastating consequences. Visit www.mineaction.org to educate yourself and help raise awareness.
If you live near New York City, today you can join U.N. Under-Secretary-General Alain Le Roy for the opening of an art exhibition to mark the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
Monday, April 5 2010, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m; North East Gallery, United Nations Visitors Lobby
"The late James P. Grant, a little-known American aid worker who headed UNICEF from 1980 to 1995 and launched the child survival revolution with vaccinations and diarrhea treatments, probably saved more lives than were destroyed by Hitler, Mao and Stalin combined" -- Nicholas D. Kristof, March 6, 2008
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the passing of James P. Grant, the former Executive Director of UNICEF and global children's champion. As a Congressional aide, I had the opportunity to see Jim Grant in action as he pressed Senators and Representatives to save children's lives and to make children a priority of U.S. foreign policy. I later had the privilege to assist him in his advocacy work when I joined the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
A child at a community center in Cote d'Ivoire, shares a book with UNICEF Executive Director Jim Grant.
The spirit of Jim Grant was very much alive when his friends and former colleagues gathered at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University to hear from distinguished experts at The James P. Grant Lecture: "An Unfinished Agenda for Children."
Ok ok, maybe not the superstars you were thinking when you clicked on the link. This may be a bit of an April fool's joke, but in our eyes these kids really are superstars!
Caleb, Zach, Maddie, Casey, Gracie, Dave, Teja, Nell, Maya, Ava H., Ava L., Adam, Scott, Simon, Nathan & John perform to raise funds and awareness for children in need.
A group of mostly 11 & 12-year-old kids from Farragut Middle School in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, created a music video performing all the vocals and instrumentals in order to raise funds and awareness for children in need.
11-year-old Caleb conceived the idea for this project after watching a video of celebrities performing to benefit efforts in Haiti. It's truly remarkable that these kids put so much work and effort to help those in need. This is kids helping kids at its best!
Haiti's earthquake was a children's emergency -- and the needs of children must be central to the country's reconstruction and recovery.
Left-right: UNICEF Haiti Acting Representative Francoise Gruloos; World Vision Haiti National Director Frank Williams (speaking); Plan International Haiti Director Jo-Ann Garnier-Lafontant; Oxfam Great Britain Mainstreaming Coordinator Marie Soudnie Rivette; SOS Children's Villages Haiti National Director, Celigny Daruis; Save the Children Haiti Child Protection Monitoring & Evaluation Senior Specialist Cynthia Koons and Moderator and BBC Reporter Matthew Price.
This was one consensus of a panel that met yesterday at UNICEF House to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the country's rebuilding process, on the eve of today's international donors' conference for Haiti. Save the Children, SOS Children's Villages International, Plan International, World Vision International, and Oxfam joined UNICEF for the special event.
All aid agencies, donors, and others involved "need to project the face of the Haitian child on the discussions," said UNICEF's Director of Programs Nicholas Alipui. Panelists also agreed that the agenda for recovery must be driven by the Haitian people.
Panel moderator Matthew Price, who is the BBC's World Affairs Correspondent, noted that some of those in the audience had braved the rain to attend. Reminding everyone of the current reality for many in Haiti, he then added: "Just imagine what it would be like living under a sheet strung between two branches... in the rain."