For the next three days, high-level officials, child advocates and UNICEF experts are meeting in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, for talks on ending one of the most critical issues facing children in Central Africa — forced recruitment into armed groups.
This week’s photo is a stark reminder of the omnipresence of violence throughout the region. While this boy in the Central African Republic (CAR) may just be collecting casings left strewn on the ground of his destroyed village, other children are being collected themselves and made to fight in one of the dozens of conflicts that continue to victimize women and children.
I’m a firm believer in comfort food. It does wonders for the soul and imparts a sense of contentment. My favorite comfort foods are definitely milk and cookies. For many of us these are the quintessential pair of comfort foods, the items sure to cure whatever ails us. For others, these items are beyond comfort and convenience
When I was a kid, I watched the Olympics in a cozy pair of footy pajamas, curled up on the couch with my siblings and our dog. At some point, I’m pretty sure I ate ice cream.
When Lopez Lomong was a kid, he watched the Olympics by leaving the refugee camp he was living in and walking five miles to get a glimpse of track and field events on a black-and-white TV. He was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, orphaned by the fighting in Darfur. By the time he watched the Sydney Olympics of 2000 on that black-and-white TV, he had experienced more fear, violence and hardship than most people endure in a lifetime.
|© UNICEF/ HQ04-0899/Shehzad Noorani
|SUDAN: Hamudi Abdullah Mohammed witnessed the death of his parents during an early morning militia attack on his village in Darfur. This phopto was taken at the Kalma camp for displaced people, near Nyala, capital of South Darfur.
Lopez Lomong spent 10 years in the Kenyan refugee camp and was eventually adopted by an American family. Now he’s 23 years old and is, himself, an Olympic runner. Last week in Beijing, he carried the flag for the U.S. team during the Olympic opening ceremonies. He is also active in a group called Team Darfur
Today I’d like to address one last comment to my original post on child survival. Kathryn Hornbein wrote, “In your comments today, I saw nothing about the issue of conflict and child mortality/morbidity. Yet I think a majority of problems are caused or aggravated by war.”
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