World Giving Index 2013 shows Kiwis are charitable

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Check out this amazing infographic from the Charities Aid Foundation, breaking down giving trends around the world for 2013.

It turns out Kiwis are very charitable indeed. New Zealand finished second equal with Myanmar and Canada based on scores in categories for helping a stranger, donating money and volunteering time.

Click to enlarge the graphic below and learn more:

World Giving Index 2013

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Walk for Water becomes a reality for students

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In early 1980, hiking a steep trail towards Annapurna in the Himalayas, the author happened upon a young Nepali keen to practise his English. Eight hours walk from the nearest town, he offered shelter for the night at his family home. I slept that night in the attic squeezed between sheaves of drying corn cobs fascinated by the glimpse of extended family life unfolding on the lower floor.

The space brought new meaning to open plan living. Despite the altitude and plummeting temperatures, there was no glass in the windows but there was a cooking pot bubbling away on a fire directly on the dirt floor in the centre of a single room that the family shared with two water buffalo!

I made the hike with them to fetch their water – a 3km trek back down the mountain to a muddy pond where more water buffalo wallowed. This was the source of all their daily water.

UNICEF NZ Youth Ambassadors Nadya Fauzia and Cordellia Oh organised the Walk for Water fundraiser.

UNICEF NZ Youth Ambassadors Nadya Fauzia and Cordelia Oh organised the Walk for Water fundraiser.

Thirty years later, then Year 12, Cordelia Oh also made the journey to Nepal as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award. The living conditions for rural families had changed little in those intervening years and the plight of those living in third world conditions spurred her to apply to become a UNICEF NZ Youth Ambassador this year.

This weekend, the daily walk for water became reality for 85 students from Saint Kentigern and neighbouring schools, Macleans, Pakuranga College, One Tree Hill College, and a team from Auckland University, who came together to raise funds for UNICEF to help address the need for clean water and sanitation.

Students from Saint Kentigern, Macleans College, Pakuranga College, One Tree Hill College, and Auckland University, ahead of Walk for Water.

Students from Saint Kentigern, Macleans College, Pakuranga College, One Tree Hill College, and Auckland University, ahead of Walk for Water.

Cordelia, along with fellow UNICEF NZ Youth Ambassador Nadya Fauzia from Macleans College, organised students into groups of four or five to create a family unit that walked together for an hour carrying buckets of water – having sought sponsorship for the number of laps completed.

This task aimed to symbolise how more than 2 billion people around the world, who lack a safe supply of water, must walk 6km each day, roughly 3 hours, to fetch drinking water. Spirits were high but it didn’t take long to discover that the task was more difficult than first imagined.

Water is heavy and you can’t afford to spill the family supply. It’s also awkward to carry and soon some resorted to a sight seen around the world – a bucket placed on the head and a sedate and steady walking pace.

A girl carries a bucket of water back home after filling it with a hand pump near Savelugu, northern Ghana.

A girl carries a bucket of water back home after filling it with a hand pump near Savelugu, northern Ghana.

The students are now gathering their sponsorship money and hope to have raised a good amount for UNICEF NZ. Well done to Cordelia for taking on this task.

Note from the author: Suffice to say the mixture of warm, unpasteurised buffalo milk from a mug washed in the self-same water brought my hiking to an abrupt end!

This entry originally appeared on the website of Saint Kentigern.

 

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Plastic basins help keep children alive during flooding in the Solomon Islands

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More than one week after devastating floods in Honiara, Solomon Islands, over 9,000 people are still sheltering at evacuation centres.

While those who are able go out during the day to work and try to repair or rebuild, mothers and children stay there day and night. One of the evacuation centres is a big room at the Holy Cross Cathedral.

Please donate to our urgent appeal for the Solomon Islands

These three babies survived the flash floods with the help of plastic basins.

These three babies survived the flash floods with the help of plastic basins.

Three babies – Alistair Iroga, Lester Maemalaohu and Harry Sareto, all survived the flash floods on April 3-5 because their parents put them in plastic basins and pushed them across the flood waters to safety.

The flood destroyed the homes and possessions of the babies’ families. Alistair’s father, John Iroga, said that this was the most frightening experience he has ever had:

“The current was so strong and at the same time Alistair was screaming and trying to jump out from the basin while another three of my neighbour’s children were also jammed into the basin, screaming in fear.”

John luckily made it to the river side together with the children floating in the basin, and was grateful that men and women ran to assist him get the children up to higher ground. More than 30 children under the age of five continue to live at the Holy Cross Cathedral Hall and it they will not be leaving soon as there are no homes for them to go back to.

Janet was helped along the road to recovery after a visit to the clinic.

Janet was helped along the road to recovery after a visit to the clinic.

Janet Nickson is another baby there. Her family was living right next to Matanikau River and their home is completely gone. Janet and her family were lucky that when the rains became heavy, her father was able to arrange for them to go to an uncle’s house, situated higher up and farther away from the river.

The day the flash flood swept through the village at the bottom of Koa Hill, Janet’s father was the only one at their house. He had to struggle through rushing water, debris and pouring rain to reach a sheltered spot. Janet has been ill recently, but her parents were able to take her to a nearby clinic for diagnosis and treatment, and she is recovering well. Young children, especially small babies, are particularly vulnerable to stressful events and to living in crowded conditions where they are exposed to viruses and bacteria.

Health workers in mobile teams and at clinics are checking for acute respiratory infections, skin infections and diarrhoea. Mothers are being encouraged to continue breastfeeding and to sleep under mosquito nets with their infants. But living in such conditions, the nights are long and hot and some people do not have a net, or say they cannot sleep under it because of the heat. So dengue fever is another risk.

The survival of Janet, John, Lester and Harry and the recovery of their families very much depends on the relief supplies and services. UNICEF is working with the Solomon Islands Governments and other humanitarian partners to reach these vulnerable children and their families with clean water and toilets, soap, essential micro-nutrients and health care.

Please donate to our urgent appeal for the Solomon Islands

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UNICEF donates tents and tarpaulins to the Solomon Islands

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By Atenia Tahu, Communication Officer with UNICEF Pacific

UNICEF Pacific donated three 80m² tents and 20 tarpaulins to the Honiara City Council, for use by people who fled from floodwaters between 3-5 April. The tents are erected at the Festival of the Pacific Arts (FOPA) compound that is being used as an evacuation centre, and the tarpaulins are used on the roofs of leaf huts to prevent leaking when it rains. Around 350 people are currently sheltering there.

For many families currently living in evacuation centers, there is no home to go back to, as their houses were destroyed. Furthermore, their main means of income, gardening, is no longer possible since the flood has wiped out everything leaving behind only mud and swamp.

Please donate to our emergency appeal for the Solomon Islands.

 

Honiara City Council volunteers assist in transporting UNICEF tents to the FOPA compound.

Honiara City Council volunteers assist in transporting UNICEF tents to the FOPA compound.

“UNICEF was pleased to help out with these tents and tarpaulins that we had pre-positioned in case of an emergency, ” said Karen B Allen, UNICEF Pacific Representative. “Our focus now will be on helping the Ministry of Education get school age children back to school, and we will be donating more tents and tarpaulins for this purpose. Not only is school important for these children’s education, but we know that it will also help them to recover from trauma and stress, giving them a sense of normalcy and safety.”

The 80m² tents set up at FOPA compound. Evacuees who have been camping at the King George School are expected to move to FOPA and into these tents over the weekend.

The 80m² tents set up at FOPA compound. Evacuees who have been camping at the King George School are expected to move to FOPA and into these tents over the weekend.

Please donate to our emergency appeal for the Solomon Islands.

 

Read an inspirational story of survival from the flash floods.

 

This post was originally published by UNICEF Pacific.

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Baby Clera celebrates two-week birthday in Solomon Islands evacuation center

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Vika Waradi, Communication Officer, UNICEF Pacific

A mother’s joy of giving birth to her healthy baby girl turned into a fight to save her daughter’s life.

 

Miracle baby Clera and family survived Solomon Islands floods.  She is two weeks old today.

Miracle baby Clera and family survived Solomon Islands floods.
She is two weeks old today.

Only a week after returning home from hospital with her new bundle of joy, Madeline Hiro, found herself desperately trying to save her family from the raging waters that took their family home during the recent flash floods in Honiara.

She now joins 52,000 people who have been affected by this disaster that has also claimed the lives of at least twenty-four people, many of which were children.

The Panatina Pavilion is actually a multi-purpose hall at Solomon Islands National University that is now one of the largest evacuation centers in Honiara – home to more than 2,000 people who lost their homes and belongings as a result of the flash floods.

Please donate to our urgent appeal to get aid to the Solomon Islands

 

There are now about twenty-four evacuation centers in Honiara housing more than 9,000 people. The strain on evacuation centers and its facilities continue to be exacerbated with the issue of overcrowding. Access to food, water and proper sanitation continue to be major concerns in many of these evacuation centers.

“When I gave birth to my daughter, Clera, I didn’t think that in less than one week of having her with us at home, that my family would lose everything”, said Madeline as she led me to her family’s little corner just a few feet away from where we stood.

 

And there she was. Precious little Clera, the youngest of nine siblings, now sound asleep oblivious to all the commotion and chatter happening around her in the crowded evacuation center.

More than 2000 evacuees remain at Panatina Pavilion evacuation centre in Honiara.

More than 2000 evacuees remain at Panatina Pavilion
evacuation centre in Honiara.

Late last week UNICEF Pacific provided 300 collapsible containers, soap and purification tablets to Caritas for distribution to evacuation centers through the WASH cluster and three large UNICEF tents have also been handed over to Ministry of Education.

Two emergency health kits equipped with medical supplies and medication that can cater for approximately 20,000 people arrived into the country this week. These health kits were handed over last Saturday to the Ministry of Health with one to support Good Samaritan Hospital and the second to be provided to Honiara City Council.

UNICEF Pacific is also working towards establishing learning centers with activities for children in evacuation centers and is ready to dispatch more WASH kits, collapsible containers, tents and other supplies in addition to the ongoing support for urgently needed assessments through the various clusters.

UNICEF supplies being delivered to the Solomon Islands, include emergency health kits & ORS

UNICEF supplies being delivered to the Solomon Islands, include emergency health kits & ORS

Although many people have already started leaving evacuation centres, many more still remain without a place to go. The concerns of overcrowded evacuation centres is an urgent priority, particularly as the likelihood of outbreaks of diseases due to poor access to clean water, inadequate hygiene facilities continues to increase. Food is also a major issue and efforts are being made by all relevant stakeholders to ensure that supplies and assistance is provided to those affected.

This story originally appeared on the UNICEF Pacific blog.

 

Please donate to our urgent appeal to get aid to the Solomon Islands

 

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