Wednesday, March 12, 2008
NEW YORK, USA, 25 February 2008 – UNICEF and IKEA are re-igniting enthusiasm for reading amongst a generation of children in Albania who have been deprived of books.
For almost two decades, libraries have been repurposed and school budgets slashed while the government has focussed on transitioning to democracy. Books have become a scarce and expensive commodity, out of reach for many poor families. The resulting dearth of literature has left well over half of Albanian 15-year-olds unable to complete more than the simplest reading tasks.
“At home I only have three books,” explains Ermedina Hoxha, 13. “The last books the school library received was six years ago but they are inappropriate. We also have books from the old Communist era. If you go to Peshkopi Library they have few books for children – sometimes only one copy.”
‘Learn to read, read to learn’
With €1 million from UNICEF’s largest corporate donor, the Swedish home furnishing retailer IKEA, the ‘Albania Reads’ project aims to open a library in each of 850 schools. In collaboration with the government, libraries have already opened in 160 schools – to the delight of
children and teachers alike.
“What’s best is that the Albania Reads project works with the Ministry of Education so that the books we receive are the same books that children need in literature classes,” says Musa Nikolai, the teacher in charge of the new library at the school in Katundi i Ri.
Forty minutes from Ermedina’s hometown, Katundi i Ri is a small farming community
and typical of the target communities at the heart of Albania Reads.
Many children have no books at home, and it is not uncommon for girls to drop out of school at the age of 13.
“We know reading is very important for learning,” says UNICEF Representative in Albania Carrie Auer. “First you learn to read and then you read to learn. So if we want continuous achievement in school, reading is important.”
Re-establishing the culture of literacy
It is not only schoolchildren who benefit from the project. With the ability to check out books to take home, children are able to share them with parents and siblings. Extending the reading experience to the whole family can help to raise literacy levels across the entire society.
At the same time, teachers are being trained in new techniques to encourage reading, and an Albania Reads awareness campaign is planned to help re-establish the country’s
culture of literacy. Also in the works are a children’s magazine and a national literary award with winners to be decided by young people.
IKEA’s contribution to Albania Reads was part of a $10.5 million donation to UNICEF in 2007. Since 2001, IKEA has given UNICEF a total of $46.2 million to help improve the lives of children around the world.
The children are in desperate need of education!Why not help them?
Sunday, March 9, 2008
1.What does UNHCR mean?
The UN Agency for Refugees. Created in 1951, today, UNHCR is responsable with giving the first-aid in 120 countries. UNHCR is the only agency with a specific purpose, to help and solve problems for the refugees all over the world. When people are forced to run away because of a war or persecutions, they go to the UNHCR for immediate assistance. They provide them food, shelter, water, medical care and safety. If necesary, they help them re-establish in other countries and start a new life. UNHCR is apolitical and helps all the refugees uninterested in their race, religion, political oppinions or sex. They focus on humanitarian needs and rights, especially for women and children.
2.Who is considered a refugee?
The Convention from 1951 regarding the refugees, defines the refugee as being a "person which, because of a certain fear to be persecuted for its race, religion, nationality,
being part of a social group or a political oppinion, beyond the borders of its country and because of this fear, doesn't want to remain under the protection of its country."
3.How many refugees are under UNHCR's care?
In 2005, the number of people assisted by UNHCR were almost 19.2 million.
These include almost 9.2 million refugees, 1.5 million repatriated persons, 840. 000 applicants for the asylum,
over 5.5 million people inner displaced and over 2 million apatriated
and other persons of much interest.
More then a half are women and children.
UNHCR operates in 116 countries.
They are active in almost every situation that leaves refugees and parts of the world that are in conflict.
From Columbia to Kosovo and from Angola to Afganistan, UNHCR is there to help people in need. They provide basic services, judicial protection and they want to develope long-lasting solutions for the refugees and other people in need.
It's about being human and trying to help other people that are in danger and need us to CARE!
Personally, I'd be excited to be a part of UNHCR and I'd love to do something for the others..
Every day, on average, more than 26,000 children under the age of five die around the world, mostly from preventable causes.
Nearly all of them live in the developing world or, more precisely, in 60 ’priority’ developing countries and territories.
Many developing countries have achieved some remarkable advances in reducing child deaths over the past few decades. However, much remains to be done. Concrete action must be taken to improve primary health care for mothers, newborns and children. Communities, governments and international health organizations must work together and unite their efforts for child survival.
The State of the World’s Children 2008 reviews the current state of child survival and primary health care for mothers, newborns and children. It also examines the main threats to and solutions for improving child survival today.
The report states that in order to achieve these objectives, the key stakeholders – governments and communities, donors and international agencies, non-governmental organization and private sector collaborators will need to unite their actions and partnerships in support of maternal and child survival and health. Working together, we can ensure that mothers, newborns and children receive quality essential health services, improve their health and nutritional status, and place the survival of children at the heart of global efforts to advance humanity.
acces this link: http://www.unicef.org/voy/
Try to make the world a better place for our children,
and our children's children so that they know it's a better world for them!