UNICEF Australia works for the survival, protection and development of every child http://instagram.com/unicefaustralia https://twitter.com/unicefaustralia UNICEF works to uphold children’s rights as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and around the world this work takes shape in a number of ways:
- We deliver long-term international development programs, and partner with local organisations who are doing the same
- We respond to humanitarian emergencies, delivering both short- and long-term support and protection for children in crisis situations
- We advocate for children by influencing policy and guiding decision makers in prioritising children’s best interests at all times
At UNICEF Australia we work to protect and promote children’s rights by advocating for the rights of children in Australia and overseas, and engaging children in Australia in the concept of rights and how they can promote and respect the rights of other children. We also fundraise for and deliver international development programs in the following key areas:
- Child protection
- Child survival
- Humanitarian emergencies
UNICEF’s work is funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments – not by the United Nations.
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Not so long ago, Nyakena looked down at her growing belly and imagined a bright future for her family in South Sudan. Her husband had a good job. She was ready to give birth to twins. Life was good. Then, conflict plunged Nyakena's life into a hellish existence of fear and hunger. Her village was burnt to the ground. Her husband fled to avenge his parents' death. And without enough to eat, her children became malnourished and grew thinner every day. Finally, Nyakena found hope in a UNICEF-supported clinic. With the right treatment and care, her twins are putting on weight and mum is feeling optimistic. She wants them to become friends with children from all parts of the country, so they will never know hatred and be able to love and respect their peers. She wants everyone in South Sudan to put away their differences and come together for the sake of their children’s futures. And, as food shortages and famine leave 250,000 children severely malnourished, Nyakena wants every one of them to get the same treatment as her twins. UNICEF is working around the clock to make it possible.
Baby Emmanuel is alive today because of this woman's extraordinary strength in the face of war and hunger. When brutal violence came to Helen's village in South Sudan, she escaped with one child on her back and another in her arms, walking hundreds of kilometres in search of safety. But as the war devastated local food supplies, Emmanuel fell ill with severe acute malnutrition - the deadliest form of the disease. He struggled with diarrhoea and vomiting until Helen finally made it to a health centre where UNICEF provides emergency treatment. Helen doesn’t know what the future holds but, with the right support, her little one still has a fighting chance. Every day counts. Famine has already struck parts of South Sudan and UNICEF is racing to treat more than 200,000 severely malnourished children across the country.
One year ago today, a massive cyclone flattened villages in Fiji and left children in crisis. Today we want to say a huge thank you to UNICEF supporters for so generously helping the recovery. Here are five things we've delivered together: 1) Access to safe water for 20,745 students 2) New school supplies for 50,440 children 3) Temporary classrooms for 41,262 students 4) Safe spaces to play and socialise for 10,867 young friends 5) Psychosocial care for 62,613 children recovering from profound stress
“It wasn’t easy for me to be separated from the one I love. But I had to be strong to pull myself together because I knew the separation was because of the Boko Haram attacks. So I had no option. The very first day we met in the camp, I could not resist her. I had to hold her to my cheek. Really it was a great moment that day. Heaven was very close to me that day.” – Ibrahim and Hauna, Nigerian refugees, newyleds and hopeful parents living in Cameroon.
16-year-old Aida shared this intimate moment after giving birth prematurely in Malawi. “When my baby rested on my chest, skin to skin, I felt his heartbeat and he felt mine. I can never forget this moment. I want him to be a lawyer to defend the defenceless.”
These boys were bursting with energy at a storytelling class in Assam, India, where UNICEF is supporting a creative approach to education. A focus on storytelling is helping to keep the boys engaged, boost attendance rates and give students a stronger sense of confidence. When we asked for a photo, they certainly weren’t shy.
GOOD NEWS: The Australian Government is moving to prevent the violent and degrading treatment of children we saw last year in the Northern Territory's Don Dale detention centre. It has committed to ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which opens Australia's detention facilities up to independent monitoring and commits the government to treating people humanely under international law. It's a good day for children and for every one of you who called for change.
Awana was just a baby when violence forced his family to flee their home. “Boko Haram was killing people,” says his mother. “My husband was a farmer but we had to leave it all behind.” Now Awana is safe from Boko Haram but he’s facing a deadly new threat: severe acute malnutrition. “There is no milk for my baby,” says his mother, herself malnourished. “I feel like giving up. I feel he will die.” But there is hope for this family and every child fighting the silent killer of malnutrition. UNICEF is working in Nigeria to give therapeutic food and life-saving treatment to 220,190 young children like Awana this year.
“New clothes, new day, new hope." Muhammad uses a UNICEF voucher to buy warm winter clothing for his children in Iraq.
For over two years, ISIL banned girls in East Mosul from getting an education and forced many schools to close. But now, as fighting subsides, UNICEF has supported 30 schools to reopen and helped 16,000 students back to class with new learning supplies. Sujood's father is overcome with joy for his daughter. "She can go back to school now. Today for me it's like I am born again."
Conflict in Yemen has touched the life of every child and it's been a particularly cruel blow to the already marginalised Muhamasheen people. This girl's community lived in slums on the fringes of society with very limited access to social services, then war threw their very survival into doubt. To help girls like this survive the conflict, UNICEF provides unconditional cash transfers to the poorest and most excluded communities in Yemen. It's enough to buy basic needs like medicine, food and the everyday essentials a family needs to live in dignity.
In a busy camp for displaced people in Somalia, Muhubo’s baby was struggling with the deadliest kind of malnutrition. “If it wasn’t for the community health workers who found us while going door-to-door, she would have died,” says the mother. Thankfully, therapeutic food gave her baby strength and another chance at life. This year, as drought and conflict leave 40% of Somalia’s population without enough decent food, UNICEF is working to reach 112,500 more young children with this life-saving treatment.