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Tag Archives: Democratic Republic of Congo

Ending Violence against Women and Girls

Women celebrate the inauguration of the City of Joy in DRC.

— On February 14, women, men and children everywhere were rising up in opposition to violence against women. We were part of a campaign called One Billion Rising, which grew out of the fact that 1 in 3 women around the world will be raped or abused in her lifetime. That’s more than one billion women and girls.
UNICEF works around the world to protect women and girls from violence. In 2007, UNICEF and V-Day launched the creation of a safe space in Bakavu, DRC, for survivors of sexual violence, called City of Joy. This is just one example of how UNICEF and partners are working to end violence against women and children.

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Child soldiers and Red Hand Day

This is a picture of a 13-year-old boy from the Democratic Republic of the Congo named Mwindo (not his real name). Like many thousands of children in war-torn countries around the globe, Mwindo was pressed into becoming a child soldier when he was nothing more than a kid. He was taught to use weapons, was given an Uzi to carry and was expected to fight.Today, February 12 is Red Hand Day⎯a day to support and commemorate children who serve or have served in armed conflict.

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Newsnet: putting an end to polio

UNICEF has been battling polio for decades. In 1988, UNICEF teamed up with a coalition of organizations and governments to launch a hugely ambitious partnership called the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Since then, incidence of polio has dropped by more than 99 percent. Still, polio hangs on. While endemic in only four countries — Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Nigeria — polio does not respect borders or sovereignty. And all it takes for the disease to spread is for only a few people to remain unvaccinated. Even in places where it has been eliminated, just a handful of new polio cases can reverse decades of work.

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Hope for former child soldiers in the DRC

— Read a field account of the UNICEF-supported programs in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo providing training, guidance and supplies to support the release and rehabilitation of former child soldiers

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A rocky road to school in DRC

— Travel to Congo and you’ll see that kids are kids, wherever they are. In Goma we visited a pre-school for children ages 3-5, and I couldn’t help comparing the experience to that of my own kids. My kids often complain about their long walk to school — almost a mile. I wondered what they would think about the road to this preschool! “Bumpy” would be an understatement. It was almost impassable by car and very tricky to walk. But I had a great appreciation for the road when I heard that the community had gotten together to clear the biggest, sharpest rocks left from the volcano eruption in 2002, which devastated the city.

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Notes from a fieldtrip to the DRC

— The Democratic Republic of Congo is enormous in every respect: more than 60 million people, 25 million children and more than 60% of the population living under the poverty line; a land mass the size of the western Europe with fewer miles of paved roads than Delaware; unimaginable reserves of valuable minerals with primitive infrastructure to support it; one of the lowest per capita incomes on earth and, importantly, 1 out of every 5 children under age 5 dying of preventable causes.

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