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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

UNICEF Article Tells About Children Like Those Clay Went to Help

If you go to UNICEF's website and put in "Somalia" or "Somaliland", quite a few articles come up from the past few years. I have a feeling a new one is about to be added as well.

One article that I came across at UNICEF's Somalia site tells about the children of Somalia, "one of the harshest places on the planet", and what they face in their often short lifetime. These are the children that Clay shared a week or so with, who he encouraged and no doubt brought a smile to their faces. A part of this article is quoted below, but you might want to read the rest, as well as some of the many informative articles UNICEF has available:
Somalia – one of the harshest places on the planet, an extreme environment that presents huge challenges to its people just in terms of simple survival. The combination of a hostile, predominantly arid environment, difficult terrain with settlements scattered over vast distances, the legacy of a nomadic way of life and a civil conflict that has shattered social structures and exacerbated poverty add up to mean that a Somali child’s chances of surviving to adulthood are among the lowest of children anywhere in the world. Add to this the fact that the odds of the child’s mother dying during pregnancy or in childbirth are also extremely high. These high death rates stem from the interaction of a number of causes set within a complex socio-political context , but are largely attributable to disease, dehydration, malnutrition, lack of safe water, and poor sanitation.
There are also a couple of articles written just this month, "Somalia participates in 'World's Biggest Lesson" by Denise Shepherd-Johnson, and "Training Boosts Girls' Confidence" by Jairus Ligoo and Kamal Nidam.

The first of these 2 articles has to do with education of children, and this is Clay's main focus when he visits countries with UNICEF.
Somali children last week took part in the ‘World’s Biggest Lesson,’ joining 7.5 million people from over 100 countries in a ‘lesson’ to ‘teach’ politicians and local leaders about the importance of giving everyone a chance to receive a quality education.

Schools, youth groups and children from the peer education ‘Child-to-Child Clubs’ in North West Somalia (the self-declared Republic of Somaliland) and North East Somalia (the semi-autonomous state of Puntland) participated in the ‘Lesson’ which was supported by UNICEF, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), international NGOs and national implementing partners, the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Somalia (FAWESOM) in Puntland and the Somaliland Student’s Assembly (SOLSA) in Somaliland. The event was the highlight of the Global Action Week for Education, 21-27 April. [The Global Action Week for Education is annual event organized by the Global Campaign for Education].....In North West Somalia (‘Somaliland’) girls from Havoyoco youth centre implored visiting local dignitaries to, “…let us all seek the light. Education is the light of the world…an educated person is like daylight, bright and friendly, whereas night is dull”
Read the rest of this article to see what good things will hopefully be taking place for the children in Somaliland, which is where Clay visited.

There is a wealth of information at UNICEF about the work in Somalia. I think you'll enjoy reading up on the situation there as it pertains to Clay's humanitarian work for UNICEF.


CDD supports:

Bubel Aiken Foundation GoodSearch for TBAF UNICEF