Stories from the field: Schools for Laos

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By Vivien Maidaborn (@Maidaborn), UNICEF NZ Executive Director

At the end of 2014 I visited Laos, I wanted to see for myself the situation children are facing there and the work UNICEF is undertaking to improve educational outcomes for children.

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What I saw amazed and inspired me and I want to share it with you. But first, following my incredible experience, let me tell you how vitally important your support is and just what a powerful impact you will have for children in Laos. Read More »

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Expert view: Child Friendly Cities are cities that work for all

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By Deborah Morris-Travers, UNICEF NZ Domestic Advocacy Manager

As a way to mark national Children’s Day, UNICEF NZ and Wellington City Council co-hosted a Child Friendly Cities Forum on February 26. Wellington City used the opportunity to announce it has registered with the UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Initiative and will be working towards full accreditation.

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A month in the Pacific Islands with UNICEF

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By Akane Sandom, UNICEF NZ Youth Programme Assistant

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The Pacific is well-known to New Zealanders for its picturesque landscapes, strong family ties and fierce rugby competition. This month, however, I was able to experience a different side to the Pacific, spending four weeks with the team in UNICEF Pacific. This gave me a taste of how UNICEF operates in the Pacific and a close look at many of the current issues surrounding child rights in the region.

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Preparing to tackle child poverty globally: three goals for 2015

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By David Stewart, Chief of Child Poverty and Social Protection at UNICEF HQ

Children in Mali eat the midday meal offered at their school.

Children in Mali eat the midday meal offered at their school.

In an earlier post, I discussed the renewed emphasis on child poverty in the new development goals over the past year, and why this was a crucial development for children and societies.

The year ahead will be equally important as Member States finalise the new global agenda, including the measurable indicators to track progress, and guide the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In this context three key issues we see for the year ahead:

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Long way back to freedom: Child soldiers in South Sudan

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By Claire McKeever

After being forced to join an armed group in South Sudan, a boy escapes his life as a combatant, but finds that the freedom of his life before is still far off.

David, 16, former child soldier.

David, 16, former child soldier.

“The bullets were heavy. It was impossible to run. It was hard to use a gun…”

When the words won’t come, David*, a slim 16-year-old boy, gently drums his fingers on his older brother’s knee three times – enough to give him the courage to keep going. His soft voice and bowed head at first disguise the horror he has experienced as one of more than 12,000 children estimated to have been recruited by armed groups in South Sudan since violence erupted over a year ago.

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