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The Saving Lives at Birth partnership announced three promising projects that they would be funding as part of this initiative to obliterate some of the problems women face when giving birth that threaten their life and the lives of their children. Grants of 2 million will be implemented over four years to spearhead a mobile technology initiative in Ghana, HIV testing in Rwanda, and treatment to prevent newborn infections in Nepal.

More can be found on the USAID’s Impact Blog: http://blog.usaid.gov/2011/09/because-no-mother-should-die-giving-life-every-child-deserves-a-healthy-start/

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By: Maria Dieci

Over the past 20 years, maternal and child health have improved dramatically.  The number of children under 5 who die of preventable causes has reduced significantly, and the world has really taken measures to secure adequate healthcare for the more vulnerable sectors of the population: women and children.  However, improvements still need to be made.  In Niger, child malnutrition rates are on the rise, and in some of the world’s most disadvantage countries, maternal and neonatal mortality rates are increasing.  With 2015 only 5 years away, accelerated efforts must be made to ensure the attainment of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

The G8 summit has outlined a plan, the Muskoka Initiative, to achieve these goals.  The initiative focuses on strengthening health systems by providing skilled birth attendants, prenatal care, exclusive breast-feeding, education, and better primary care.  It also emphasizes action on a local level by bolstering community-based services that reach the greatest number of people in greatest need.  UNICEF wholeheartedly supports the G8’s decision.  Anthony Lake, the organization’s executive director commends the summit leaders, while calling the rest of us to action: “Today, the G8 countries have renewed their commitment to maternal and child health, and we must all hold ourselves accountable for achieving greater progress on this critical challenge.”  The only way to reduce the number of children and mothers dying due to inadequate healthcare is if we as an international community join together and make it happen.

RETURN TO THE OGV HOMEPAGE!

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By: Maria Dieci

Every four years, the world comes together over a shared love of soccer.  National pride blossoms and old rivalries resurface during the World Cup.  Emotions soar as entire nations watch with bated breath as their teams fight for the highly coveted title of world champion.  With hundreds of millions of people in every corner of the world tuning in to the matches, the tournament is proof of soccer’s ability to capture the world’s attention.  South Africa, the host country, understands its enrapturing nature, and uses it to promote children’s rights.

A TEAM EFFORT

UNICEF has partnered with various local organizations to bring education, opportunity, and safety to vulnerable children and youth.  A program called World Cup in My Village brings the excitement of the matches to rural African villages with live screenings.  In addition to giving children a safe space to watch the matches, the screens transmit vital information regarding children’s health and their rights.

Besides the promotion of children’s health, the World Cup campaigns seek to ensure protection for vulnerable children during and after the tournament.  Civil society partners in South Africa have worked together to make this a reality.  Child friendly spaces, established at the stadiums, offer protection and child care to children who become separated from their families or are targets of sexual exploitation or violence.  Protective measures have been established across the country.  Now, all nine South African provinces have trained social workers who can identify and effectively help children at risk.  The Red Card Campaign targets families, children, and tourists, and educates them about the dangers and consequences of child trafficking, exploitation, and abuse. Education comes in the form of red cards similar to those given to soccer players on the field for committing fouls, but these hold important messages about protection, prevention and awareness.

Education is empowerment, and every child should feel empowered to take charge of his or her life.  Through the 1Goal campaign, FIFA and civil society organizations across the world hope to tackle the poverty and gender inequalities in education currently present in South Africa.  The campaign culminates on July 11, with a summit on education in Cape Town.  Currently, 72 million children are denied education.  1Goal strives to put every one of these children in school by 2015.  2015 marks the end date for the Millennium Development Goals outlined by the UN as well.  This campaign is an effort to make these goals a reality, because currently there is not enough action being taken.  If efforts do not increase to secure universal education, 56 million children will still be denied schooling in 5 years.

CHILDREN FOR THE FUTURE

What these campaigns realize is that children are the future.  We cannot afford to lose a generation of doctors, soccer players, activists, and teachers because they were unable to attend school.  We should be doing everything we can to give youth these opportunities.  These campaigns use a universal love for soccer to promote a universal need for education and healthcare.  Because of their efforts, vulnerable youth are being equipped with the tools they need to map out their own futures and score their own goals.

RETURN TO THE OUR GLOBAL VICTORY HOMEPAGE WHERE YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN GIVING YOUTH OPPORTUNITY!

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Do you think providing opportunity to the world’s youth is a significant part of the long term solution to national security threats?  How should state building policies be informed by human rights? How can we encourage the international community to be proactive about strengthening justice systems and providing opportunity to youth? Post here!

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Our Global Victory is announcing its Atlanta Tattoo Artists for Human Rights Contest to benefit underprivileged children and communities in the areas of education, opportunity, and protection. Artwork submitted by the winning artist will be used on t-shirts and bags for charity to fund the humanitarian projects featured on the Our Global Victory website. These include building classrooms for refugee children in Uganda, creating leadership opportunities for at-risk youth in NYC, providing education and healthcare for children from slum communities in Pune and Mumbai, and providing literacy education for women and children working in the Nigerian marketplace. If you would like to have a copy of the flyer sent to your email address, please email Our Global Victory at ourglobalv@gmail.com with your request. The winner will be announced on July 28, 2010. For contest details, please view the flyer below:

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written by: Maria Dieci

This week, the Gates Foundation called for global collaboration to save women’s and children’s lives.  Melinda Gates pledged $1.5 billion, over the course of 5 years, towards maternal and child health, family planning, and nutrition programs for the developing world.  She urged other global leaders to make health implementation and education a top priority on their agendas.

What can be taken away from this strong statement is the progress that has already been made through maternal and childhealth-care projects, and the prospects that the future holds.  We, a global community of collaborating individuals, have taken steps in the right direction.  Recent studies estimate that the number of women dying from pregnancy related causes has decreased by 35% in 30 years.  This year, 7.7 million children are estimated to die – a shocking and saddening figure in itself to be sure– but when compared to the 16 million that died in 1970, it is clear that notable progress has been made.

The lives that have been saved have been saved through the implementation of simple and often low cost measures.  Education about family planning, breastfeeding, and keeping a baby warm, coupled with basic prenatal care are often all it takes to bring a healthy baby into the world and into the arms of a healthy mother.  This is paradoxically uplifting and frustrating news. Uplifting on the one hand because many lives can be changed if these practices are put to use in places where they are needed.  Frustrating because it makes you wonder why there are still millions of children dying   before they learn to read.

But these frustrations should not be left to fester.  Instead, they should be redirected towards constructive teamwork aimed at solving some of these problems.  If we do not lose sight of the goal, if we do not let the numbers overwhelm us, we can give every child in the world a chance to shape their own futures.

See how you can take the first steps in making this vision a reality by checking out the OGV website!

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Education not only leads to a greater chance for employment, it also protects children, and builds nations. Education gives children options and children who perceive themselves as having options are more successful and have more positive outcomes than children who do not perceive themselves as having options. The issue of providing access to quality education is an international one in developed countries and in developing countries. Over 75 million children  are not in school. Of those children who are in school it is unknown how many of them are receiving a quality education.

 

A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the need for better data gathering techniques in the U.S. school system. The article stated that public school records fail to keep track of how many children leave high school each year and that records do not track what happens to those children that have left school. These children are often underprivileged and in the most need. The article alluded that children who are the most challenging to education are often pushed out of the school system. What becomes of them?  

 

Further, children in foster care who age out of the system without a permanent family have often been in and out of foster care facilities and in and out of school. Options for these children are often bleak with many of them ending up homeless without the chance to attend college or learn the skills necessary to be competitive in the job market.

 

Children who work outside of the home, in an effort to support their families, are often preyed upon by human traffickers. For these children, school becomes a safe space because it is the teachers and other students who realize if they are missing and watch over them during school hours.

 

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Access to quality education is a human right and accomplishes the following:

  • Raises self esteem and self awareness which leads to positive relationships throughout life
  • Gives children the tools and skills that they need to be competitive in the job market after graduation
  • Teaches children valuable resources for the future
  • Provides a safe place during school hours
  • Gives children options
  • Attending school helps to prevent and ease symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder in refugee, internally displaced, war afflicted, and abused children
  • Information is used to prevent transmittable diseases and unwanted pregnancies
  • Provides nutrition – school meals may be the only meal a child has during the day
  • Provides the tools necessary to compare information
  • Develops analytical thinking
  • Contributes to peaceful communication and negotiations
  • Produces thoughtful leaders
  • Provides nations with future community developers, leaders, teachers, and skilled workers
  • Helps prevent the cycle of violence
  • Exposes children to new ideas, possibilities, healthcare, and mentors

 

Education plays many roles in a child’s life. It is necessary to make sure that all children have access to quality education and to not underestimate the amount of children or the origin of children in need.

Some ways to make a difference in the lives of children:

  • Support projects that benefit children
  • Become aware of educational issues in your area or other areas of interest and share your knowledge with others
  • Work with your company to develop a mentorship or other options focused program for underprivileged children
  • Volunteer to support youth opportunity projects in person or online
  • Let youth build their resumes by using some of their intellectual products with your company. This could be some artwork, poetry, essays, strategy, or marketing products 

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