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Fleeing the Floods in Mozambique

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— We are in the Chiaquelane camp near Chokwe, the city in Mozambique that was devastated by the flooding of the Limpopo River. Most of the city’s 70,000 residents escaped with whatever they could grab, as violent waters engulfed their homes.
Arsenia is 15 years old, and the day the waters came, Arsenia fled her home with three aunts and 12 cousins, most of them under the age of ten.
With no tent for shelter, Arsenia and her family spend long days at Chiaquelane exposed to the elements, come hellish heat or rain. But things are getting better at the camp. Even morning classes have started, a relief for Arsenia, who says she misses school and her schoolbooks.

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This Valentine’s Day, Give an Inspired Gift

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— Last weekend I thought of a sentiment that sums up Valentine’s Day perfectly for me: “Love grows with sharing.” As you think about getting the perfect gift for your Valentine, what better way to share your love than to give a UNICEF Inspired Gift. Inspired Gifts are real items like therapeutic milk, books or soccer balls, that go to help children around the world. Once you’ve selected your Inspired Gift, you can choose an eCard or a printable card to announce the gift made in honor of your Valentine and how it will be shared to help kids around the world.

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Ewan McGregor Helps Kids on Ellen Show

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— Actor and UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor was on the Ellen show last Friday, talking not only about his latest movie, but also about UNICEF. He specifically urged viewers to donate to help the children of Syria, who are not only dealing with the violence in their country, but are now facing a bitterly cold winter.

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U.S. Makes Progress in Protecting Children

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— As you may know from our advocacy alert, the United States has yet to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The U.S. did, however, ratify two optional protocols, which help ensure that children never serve as soldiers, and which prohibit child prostitution, child pornography and the sale of children. In January, the United States presented a report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on its implementation of both protocols. The Committee noted that the U.S. has made significant progress since ratifying the treaties a decade ago, but it also highlighted some areas where the U.S. Government might make improvements.

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Improving the Lives of Children in Jamaica

Boy at UNCEF-supported Denham Town school in Jamaica

— Many of us see Jamaica as an island paradise, the birthplace of Reggae music, and home to world class athletes. But Jamaica is not perfect: The country is home to one of the world’s greatest wealth disparities and has one of the highest homicide rates. These harsh realities create a difficult environment for children. I recently had the privilege of hearing UNICEF Jamaica Representative Robert Fuderich speak about UNICEF’s programs in Jamaica, and attending this event further deepened my appreciation for UNICEF’s work.

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Hangout with the End Trafficking Project

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— The film Not My Life forces us to face the reality of human trafficking by documenting the lives of victims from across the globe.
This Wednesday, February 6, from 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM ET, join a Google+ Hangout with Not My Life’s Director Bob Bilheimer, UNICEF’s Chief of Child Protection Susan Bissell and UNICEF USA’s End Trafficking project. We’ll discuss what human trafficking looks like around the world and how the work of UNICEF and the film Not My Life are making a difference.

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