My name is Kristen Mangelinkx and I work in the Boston office of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. On Saturday, I will be traveling to Brazil for the week to visit UNICEF’s programs in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Conceicao do Coite, a rural area that is a several hour drive from Salvador.
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Although Brazil is considered a middle-income country, approximately 50 million people still live in poverty. While infant mortality rates are declining and improvements in living conditions, child healthcare, and nutrition are being made, the progress is not spread equally throughout the country. Deaths of children in the Northeast region where we will be traveling are twice as high as those in other parts of the country.
UNICEF’s programs in Brazil are focused on improving access to healthcare for vulnerable children, developing quality education and reducing drop-out rates, improving access to services for mothers and children with HIV/AIDS, and protecting children from violence. On this trip we will be able to see these programs in both an urban and rural context.
I will try to write daily about our visits and answer questions that are posted, so please visit the blog each day and send me your questions!