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BARCELONA, Spain, 11 March 2010 Lionel Leo Messi, one of FC Barcelonas bright… In a sun-filled room above Camp Nou, FC Barcelonas legendary home in the heart of the Catalonian capital, the 22-year-old footballer signed a two-year commitment to work on behalf of the worlds most vulnerable children. Three hundred people attended the packed event including UNICEF staff, government officials, family members, teammates, FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta, Mr. Messis coach, a passel of journalists and a dozen very excited schoolchildren. I know there are a lot of children that have diseases, many that dont have an education, many that dont have good nutrition. I am ready to do everything I can to help them in my collaboration with UNICEF,¨ said the newly minted Goodwill Ambassador. We are very proud and very excited to welcome you to the UNICEF family, Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Philip O´Brien told Mr. Messi, speaking on behalf of Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. This is a commitment you are making not to UNICEF, but to children, he added.
ALERT - More than 10 million people across the Horn of Africa are in dire need… To learn more, please watch the video below. You can also read the full story by visiting: http://bit.ly/pLyDEh
In the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Girls’… By Shantha Bloemen ENTFUBENI, Swaziland, 14 May 2010 At sundown, Thulani Gama tells his 10-year-old twin siblings to collect firewood while he grinds corn for their supper. At sunrise, he wakes the twins and tells them to wash. Without breakfast, all three children begin their hour-long walk to school in rural Swaziland. Thulani, 13, is the head of his small household. He and his siblings Samkelo and Samkelisiw look after one another since, like many parents, their widowed mother left home to look for work in Mbabane, Swazilands capital. Thanks to a new programme supported by UNICEF and the Government of Swaziland, Thulani and his siblings are now able to attend school. The Government of Swaziland is aiming to improve access to education for vulnerable children. A 2005 constitutional law requires the first phase of free primary school education, starting with grades one and two. The programme will expand by one grade level each year until 2015, when it will cover all seven grades of primary school. http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/swaziland_53646.html
http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/s… BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka 4 May 2010 In a remote part of eastern Sri Lanka, the… Many of the students at this school were displaced by violence during Sri Lankas more than two decade-long civil conflict. In addition, they have had to contend with the devastation wreaked by the Indian Ocean tsunami five years ago. Space and resources are stretched, said Arulayah Thivyathevu, the schools teacher. Students of different grade levels must attend class together and share one curriculum an often difficult task. To support the school and enable classes to continue, UNICEF has provided furniture, teaching materials, plastic sheeting for class partitions and other resources.
NEW YORK, USA, 3 May 2010 As Anthony Lake assumes his new role as UNICEF’s… Appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon following what Mr. Ban called “a long and distinguished career with the United States Government,” Mr. Lake has worked on a wide range of foreign policy, national security and humanitarian issues. During a ceremony this morning at UN headquarters in New York, Mr. Lake was sworn into office by Mr. Ban. “Peace and security are the foundation of a world fit for children,” said Mr. Lake. “Wars not only kill children, they breed disease and destroy economic hope. And in the end, real peace is not found in a piece of diplomatic paper. It is found in the secure and healthy lives of girls and boys.”
MAPUTO, Mozambique, 15 June 2010 — The girl was only 12 years old when her… Run by the Ministry of Interior with support from UNICEF and non-governmental partners, the Alto Mae Support Centre is one of 200 such centres located in hospitals and police stations across the country. Last year, they helped more than 3,500 children. In an effort to help promote zero tolerance for violence and abuse, UNICEF recently joined forces with the International Festival of Music and the Association for Artists to host a concert with some of Mozambique’s top musicians — including Dilon Djindji, Jose Mucavele, Elvira Viegas and Valdemiro Jose, among others. Held on 5 June in Maputo, the concert was dedicated to spreading the word and changing attitudes against child abuse, domestic violence and trafficking. It was one of a series of child-focused events organized here in the run-up to Day of the African Child, which will be observed tomorrow, 16 June. “Children should never have to experience violence and abuse. It is our responsibility to put an end to it,’ says Stewart Sukuma, one of Mozambique’s most popular musicians. http://www.unicef.org/
Every day, more than 1,000 infants worldwide are infected with HIV during their… Pregnant women and mothers living with HIV, and their infants, need to receive medicines from pregnancy all the way through to the end of breastfeeding in order to stop the transmission of HIV. Barriers to this needed treatment include lack of medication, the high cost of antenatal care and delivery, long waits at clinics, lack of transportation to health centres, and HIV-related stigma and discrimination. For the last few years, UNICEF has been working with partners on an innovation to address some of these issues – the Mother-Baby Pack.
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