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Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare’

SAVING LIVES AT BIRTH: A GRAND CHALLENGE FOR DEVELOPMENT

USAID in partnership with the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation, the Government of Norway, Grand Challenges Canada, and the World Bank invite applications for fast-tracked funds to solve issues related to maternal and neonatal health. This Grand Challenge aims to utilize partnerships between public, private, for-profit, and non-profit sectors to propose high-risk high-reward solutions that are unconventional and powerful.

The applications should be received between April 20, 2011 and April 29, 2011. The can be found on the grants.gov website under number RFA-OAA-11-000006.

The partnership seeks to address roadblocks to healthy pregnancies and births in three major domains:

1- Science and Technology

2- Service Delivery

3- Demand

Gather your teams, develop solutions, and apply!

RETURN TO OUR GLOBAL VICTORY

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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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By: Maria Dieci

Doctors without Borders (MSF) and VII Photo agency partnered to document and show the world the neglected and mostly invisible crisis of childhood malnutrition in a multimedia exhibit in New York City.  The exhibit, Starved for Attention, marries video footage and photography from some of the most accomplished human rights photojournalists to create haunting and powerful collages of various malnutrition “hotspots” — Burkina Faso, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, India, Mexico, and the USA.

The Brooklyn based exhibit is minimalist: the main room is a little too big, a little too bare…a visitor walks in and immediately feels slight discomfort, obviously the intended reaction.  The photos and videos are projected from several television screens, mounted on sleek white free-standing panels.  The footage is soundless, except for two stations where one can choose to turn on the accompanying documentary with a remote control.  It is powerful and uncomfortable to see a steady stream of lifeless eyes, emaciated bodies, and hopeless situations.

A GLOBAL TRAGEDY

At any given time 195,000 children are plagued by malnutrition worldwide.  About 80% of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  According to MSF, malnutrition kills at least one third of the 8 million children under the age of five who die each year.  The root cause is largely poverty: many families simply cannot afford nutrient-rich foods. Families struggle to survive on simple and nutrient poor diets of porridges made with whatever local cereals are available.  Maize, rice, sorghum and millet are often staples in these areas.

Mothers are not ignorant of what is happening: they watch their children slowly waste away before their eyes.  There is nothing that they can do besides give up their own food for their children, which they do.  In the exhibit, one desperate mother revealed that she would regularly give her rations to her hungry children; she only needed to eat once a week to stay alive.  But this is not nearly enough.  Mothers should not have to watch their children die, helpless to save them.

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

Every one of these deaths can be prevented if the nutritional requirements of young children – the most vulnerable are infants under two years – are met. Starved for Attention not only focuses on the tragedy of childhood malnutrition, but more importantly on the successful programs put in place to fight it, and how they must be developed.  Mexico and the United States exemplify the successful implementation of these strategies.  They focus on children up to two years of age: direct nutrition programs ensure that even children from the poorest families have access to invaluable foods such as milk and eggs.


Our Global Victory is committed to providing children worldwide with futures full of opportunity and promise.  Visit our website to get involved and learn more about our mission!

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By: Maria Dieci

The International Day of the African Child has been celebrated annually on June 16 since the Organization of African Unity founded it in 1991.  This holiday is celebrated to honor the memory of all of those killed and all of those who marched in the 1976 demonstrations in Soweto, South Africa.  Thousands of school children in the city took to the streets to protest their inferior quality of education and to demand the right to be taught in their native language.  The rally was the target of police brutality.  Hundreds of young boys and girls were gunned down.  In the few weeks of protests that ensued, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand people were injured.  This day of remembrance does not simply dwell on the past, but looks toward the future of African children.

The focus of this holiday is on the collective responsibility of national governments to plan and budget for children’s rights.  UNICEF executive director, Anthony Lake, asserts that the millions of African children that die before they learn to read can be saved with an increased investment in health care and education by the governments.  These advances will not only save the lives of the children, but will improve the development of the nation.

Reasons to Invest in Children:

  • Health and Education = Productive members of society
  • Increased education leads to better workforce
  • Educated workers earn more – boost local economy
  • Better health leads to healthier future generations
  • Cycle of poverty will be broken!

Our Global Victory helps secure optimistic futures for Africa’s children.  Help one of our partners, the HoPE Primary School project, give Ugandan children the gift of an education.

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This week, in Washington DC, the 2010 Women Deliver conference will bring together global leaders to discuss political, economic, technological, social, and cultural solutions for women and girls.

Mother and child head home to Nigerien village of Tsaki. UNICEF/NYHQ2005-1050/Chalasani

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Our Global Victory is my passion. I created this organization to help unite the advocacy efforts of non-profits, corporations, governments, and individuals for underprivileged children. The greatest impact results when diverse organizations work together toward a common goal. Together we can achieve Our Global Victory and help children reach their full potential. 

I have had the privilege to know the stories of many courageous children who faced barriers to education, healthcare, and safety. A young woman, whose father was incarcerated, struggled to help her mother raise her younger brothers and sisters while attending school. A boy, who was physically abused and had attempted suicide, fought to rebuild his self-esteem and focus on the future. A twelve year old, forced from his home by war, wrestled to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder and to have one night of sleep free from nightmares. Their stories, and countless others like them, are both tragic and triumphant. They are, unfortunately, too common. Barriers to opportunity make it hard for children to reach their full potential and, in many cases, make it impossible. 

It is their stories and the hope of change that inspire me everyday. The world loses so many inspirations – about 26,500 children* – are lost each day due to poor health conditions, poverty, negligence, and other preventable causes. I believe that every child has the right to opportunity and that every individual has the right to contribute to the world in a meaningful way. Our Global Victory is dedicated to creating partnerships that result in a better future for children and the communities where they live… a better future for everyone. It is possible. 

 

 

 

*From UNICEF, ‘State of the World’s Children 2008’: http://www.unicef.org/publications/index_42623.html

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