Friday, February 26, 2010

UNICEF, taking responsability for our children.

As an infant I was the pride and joy of my parents, it was only later that they began to worry about me! I insisted on driving a perfectly good motorcycle on one wheel and launching myself off mountain tops with only a flimsy piece of fabric as a vehicle.

I am grateful to my parents, they provided me with every thing I needed and much more I was fortunate to have a happy childhood.

I find it tragic to learn that one child under the age of 5 years old dies every 3 seconds from preventable causes.
Studies by The World Health Organization indicate that diarrhea, contracted from unclean water kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

Two thirds of infant deaths can be avoided by simple and cheap methods! It is a right for all children to have access to basic necessities. A name and nationality, clean drinking water, food, education, medical care and protection.

UNICEF supports and lobbys for the rights of the child, helping them to get a good start in life, develop and get a school education.
The priority being the poorest and most disadvantaged populations.

UNICEF gives structural help as well as emergency aid.
In exceptional emergency situations protected areas are created in which children are cared for so they will not be further abused or exploited.

With over 60 years of experience and with a presence in more than 200 countries UNICEF plays a significant role in the group of international organisations having a clear insight into the many obstacles facing the well being of millions children.

UNICEF is funded entirely through voluntary contributions and thanks to a wide variety of partners, UNICEF is able to realise the most innovative ideas for tackling the most difficult challenges on a global scale.

A large part of what UNICEF does is to identify problems in a particular area, then using its expertise in partnership with local government, NGO’s, women’s organisations, local leaders and youth movements, supply them with the means to improve their situation.

UNICEF works around the world to improve water supplies, sanitation facilities and promotes safe hygiene practices in schools and communities. One month after the earthquake in Haiti, UNICEF and partners were already supplying over 900 000 people with clean water and building thousands of toilets and showers throughout the affected areas.

UNICEF initiates and endorses campaigns to reduce mortality rates related to diarrhea diseases by…. handwashing with soap.

Hand washing with soap, especially before preparing food and after using the toilet, is one of the most cost-effective interventions for reducing child death and has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease by over 40 percent.

A staggering 1.9 million children die every year of diarrhea.

Though most episodes of childhood diarrhea are mild, acute cases can lead to significant fluid loss and dehydration. This dehydration can lead to death unless fluids are quickly replaced.

A little packet of rehydration salts is another simple, inexpensive and lifesaving remedy that prevents dehydration in children suffering from diarrhea. When mixed with clean water and taken orally it helps to rehydrate the body, that is help it retain water.

Costing only 5 cents to manufacture this little packet replaces expensive intravenous treatments and can help to save a life.

Supporters of UNICEF and other recognised help/relief organisations are encouraged to give a modest monthly amount as opposed to donating one off gifts. Most certainly all contributions are gratefully received but having a regular income allows UNICEF to plan more efficiently and have the funds and equipment on hand when disaster strikes, enabling them to respond immediately to emergencies.
Secondly the Belgian government (de Overheid as it affectionately known) subsidises UNICEF and other charitable causes based on the number of supporting members, the more members the more is given.
And thirdly, the more regular paying god mothers and fathers there are, gives UNICEF more leverage when lobbying for the rights of children.

Some years ago I signed up to be a godfather of UNICEF’s children,
It is good to know that even with a modest monthly amount, packets of rehydration salts are being distributed to hundreds of needy children per month.

A small amount for a big impact.

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