Kenya: Putting On a Smile On Innocent Faces of HIV-Positive Children

Nairobi, 12 November 2010 — In the living lounge of St Andrew's PCEA Tumaini Children's Home, a group of children are watching a Christian movie on TV.It is 4pm, and nine of them have just returned from the nearby Hekima Primary School, while another 15 have come down from their classroom on the second floor of the three-storey building.What started off as a three-bedroom charity project on December 15, 2001 with just 10 children has become a sanctuary for the children, staffed by three housemothers and a manager. Although the six-apartment home can accommodate as many as 50 children, at the moment it only has 24 because of the costs involved.It takes big hearts and enormous goodwill on t...

Somalia: Children Facing the Worst, Says UN

Nairobi, 4 November 2010 — Armed groups in Somalia have continued recruiting children to fight and engage in piracy, and girls have found themselves facing increasing risk of sexual violence, a senior UN official says."In some areas, Al-Shabab leaders are asking parents to give [them] a child. I heard of people hiding their children to escape recruitment," Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict, told a news conference on 3 November following a mission to Somalia and the semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland."Children are expressing the difficulty of living in Mogadishu," she added. "As they walk past ...

CONGO: Malnutrition causing a quarter of under-five deaths

Brazzaville, 28 October 2010 - "Malnutrition is an area that requires further progress: in Congo, more than a quarter of deaths among children under five are attributable to malnutrition," said Gianfranco Rotigliano, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) regional director for West and Central Africa, at the launch of a campaign to reduce maternal mortality.The Act Now, No Woman Should Die Giving Life campaign was launched across the country on 20 October, and involves the government, three UN agencies (the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the UN Population Fund - UNFPA), civil society and private partners. It aims to reduce the maternal mortality rate of 781 per 100,000 live births."The mor...

Without Investment in Agriculture, Africans Stay Hungry

JOHANNESBURG, 24 October , 2010 - Inadequate access to water, recurring floods and droughts as well as a lack of political will to invest in small-scale agriculture perpetuate hunger across Africa, the continent’s food security experts say.They are responding to the 2010 Global Hunger Index (GHI), published in mid-October, which shows that 29 countries in the world have hunger levels that are considered alarming or worse. Twenty-two of these - more than two thirds – are located in sub-Saharan Africa.The GHI – a 100-point system calculated based on the proportion of people who are undernourished, the percentage of children under five who are underweight and countries’ child mortality ...

ZIMBABWE: Mining industry attracts child labour as economy picks up

SHURUGWI, 14 October 2010 - The economic upswing in Zimbabwe is luring workers under 18-years-old to the now bustling mining town of Shurugwi, about 350km south of the capital Harare in Midlands Province.Tinashe Mugwira, 15, left home in January this year and walked the 50km to Shurugwi in search of work at the mines in the mineral belt known as the Great Dyke, where gold, chrome and nickel are found."I had always heard that these Chinese were employing young children for as long as they can work on the mines, so I decided to come here when I stopped going to school after my father fell ill and my mother could not raise money for food," a skinny Mugwira told IRIN.Foreign mining companies sta...

Nigeria: Nation Elected Into UN Youth Body

Nigeria, 1 September 2010 - Nigeria has been elected into an eight-man Board of Directors to push for the adoption of convention of Youth Rights at the United Nations General Assembly session slated for September this year.The election was conducted at the just concluded Mexico World Youth Conference, according to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary of the Nigeria Ministry of Youth Development, Mr. Goddy Ewerem.The statement said Nigeria and South Africa represent Africa on the board of directors because of what delegates at the conference described as political commitment to youth development in both countries.He said Nigeria was elected alongside Spain, Mexico, Russia, South Af...

Unicef Welcomes Govt Measure to End Use of Child Soldiers

Sudan, 31 August 2010 - The United Nations agency charged with protecting the rights of children on Tuesday welcomed the launch of a programme by the Sudanese Government to end the use of child soldiers by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).The formation of the child protection unit follows an action plan signed by the SPLA committing to release all children in its ranks by November 2010 and to end the exploitation of children as soldiers across southern Sudan.The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) hailed the development as a milestone for the rights of children in the country, where the SPLA and the National Congress Party (NCP) signed a peace accord in 2005 to end the long-runn...

Momentum Building for Maternal Health in Republic of Congo

20 August 2010, BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo — As the Republic of Congo marked its 50th Anniversary of Independence today, it embarked on unprecedented steps to advance quickly in the areas of reproductive health and gender equity.On the eve of the Congolese Independence Day, President Denis Sassou Nguesso announced that henceforth emergency obstetric care, including Caesarean sections, would be free. He also said he would submit to Parliament a bill calling for equal access for women to political, administrative and elective positions. Both are major step forward in this middle-income country that nevertheless has a high rate of maternal mortality (781 deaths per 100,000 live births, ac...

LIBERIA: African Youth Charter Document Submitted to Legislature for Ratification

Liberia, August 12, 2010 - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has submitted to the National Legislature for ratification, the African Youth Charter. According to an Executive Mansion release, the Charter was submitted on Monday, August 9, 2010. It outlines the rights, duties and responsibilities of African Youth and Member States of the African Union, and establishes a foundation upon which to build policies, programs, and actions for youth development in the Member States.The Youth Charter, among other objectives, aims at preserving basic rights afforded to Youth, which include the right of development, privacy, protection of family and property, freedoms of movement, expression, and associa...

SOUTH AFRICA: Country Delivers on Goal 3 of MDGs

South Africa has delivered on Goal 3 of the Millennium Development Goals calling for the elimination of gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2015.According to Engendering Statistics, 2009: 2, the primary enrolment rates of girls about doubled in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa, rising faster than boys' enrolment rates. This substantially reduced large gender gaps in schooling.Reflecting on the country and department's successes during an Inaugural Women's Legacy Dialogue on Friday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said research has shown that 98 percent of young people aged 7 to 15 are involved in education programmes."Youth liter...

 

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