Tag Archives for "Next Generation"
Suruchi Ahuja is a UNICEF Next Generation Steering Committee member.
UNICEF’s Next Generation is excited to support the Community and Lady Health Workers program. Every year, almost 460,000 Pakistani children under the age of 5 die from preventable causes and nearly one in ten will not see their fifth birthday. Pneumonia and diarrhea are the main killers of young children and their low status in society can leave them at risk to daily violence at home and in school, and at risk of organized trafficking and sexual exploitation. Girls are particularly vulnerable as conservative attitudes often prevent them attending or finishing school.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the FEED Guatemala Bags for UNICEF really are a bright idea!
Handmade by women artisans in Guatemala from traditional Ikat fabrics, the FEED Guatemala pouch and bag will be available for purchase exclusively at Lord & Taylor stores nationwide and online just in time for Mother’s Day. FEED bags are part of the FEED Projects co-founded by UNICEF Next Generation steering committee member Lauren Bush. The goal of the FEED Projects is to support partners like UNICEF who provide nutrition to children through the sale of FEED bags. Lack of nutrition is a serious problem in Guatemala with nearly 23% of children over three months and under five years of age suffering from malnutrition while almost one-half suffer from chronic malnutrition. After travelling to Guatemala with UNICEF, Lauren wanted to double her efforts for the nutrition programs there – hence, the FEED Guatemala bags.
Here’s how it works: for every FEED 1 pouch sold, FEED donates $3.50 to the U.S Fund for UNICEF to provide daily nutrition for a child in Guatemala. For every FEED 3 Guatemala bag sold, FEED donates $10.50 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, to provide daily nutrition for 3 kids for a year. That’s a whole lot of numbers but it’s really simple – FEED 1 pouch will help 1 child and FEED 3 bag will help 3 children for not one day or one month but an entire year.
Singer/Songwriter Jon McLaughlin, a UNICEF Supporter, wrote this blog post upon returning from his first UNICEF field visit in Guatemala.
I just returned from my first UNICEF field visit to the beautiful country of Guatemala. To say this was a great trip would be an understatement…I left the country encouraged and inspired by the people I met there.
Our group was made up of me, my wife, the 11 other UNICEF folks from the U.S., an interpreter and 3 UNICEF staff who live and work in Guatemala, and we traveled around in a small bus manned by a tour guide and driver.
We visited a variety of places, from Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala City where we spoke to the brilliant staff of doctors and nurses, to the city of Quetzaltenango, where we met with members of the Parliament of Childhood and Adolescence. These amazing kids, ranging in age from 11-19, informed us about the jobs they have taken on as leaders in their communities, as well as representing their fellow youth at the national level of government.
|© U.S. Fund for UNICEF/Minah/2010|
|Jon McLaughlin playing with children at a UNICEF supported school.|
The highlight of the trip was being around the kids. We spent time at a public day care center in Quetzaltenango taking pictures and playing soccer with the kids and visited an elementary school in San Cristobal TotonicapÃ¡n, where we talked to the teachers about how the classrooms are run, what the kids are learning and how the kids get to and from school.
While in St. Cristobal, we also visited a health center for mothers and babies that are supplied with Sprinkles, a nutritional dietary supplement used to help fight malnutrition. At the center, they talked about how the Sprinkles worked, how they distribute them and, most importantly, how they are seeing results.
This trip was such a great opportunity to see the progress that UNICEF is making in Guatemala and the difference we’re making in the lives of the people.
Probably the most sobering moment of the trip occurred when we visited a shelter for migrant children and witnessed roughly 40 Guatemalan migrants who had illegally and unsuccessfully crossed the northern border to Mexico waiting in the shelter for a bus to take them back to their homes. Standing there in that small room with the 40 Guatemalans who had been caught was very hard, very awkward, and very uncomfortable.
I know it has the 4th highest chronic malnutrition rate in the world and I am aware of the poverty, the governmental corruption and the need for education. But, I now know what a beautiful place Guatemala is after meeting the beautiful people who live there. And I now know some of the wonderful people working in the UNICEF offices who are committed to change. Their work makes me want to work. Their hope gives me hope. And, in the words of Cynthia, a 14-year-old girl from Quetzaltenango, hope is the last thing to die.
Yesterday we arrived at a women’s health clinic in San Cristobal just in time for a nutrition counselling session for mothers. The session at the San Andres Xecul clinic was held outside, and all the women wore beautiful traditional clothing, carrying their children on their backs or holding their hands.
They played a learning game similar to ‘hot potato,’ only with an egg. Whoever was holding the egg when the drum stopped would have to answer a question. The counselor asked, “What is the importance of folic acid during pregnancy?”
-”Healthy development of the baby” the mother replied.
-”Is she right?”
All the mothers clapped and yelled “Siii!” and the game began again.
After the game we asked the mothers about Sprinkles (also called chispitas or microvitals). Our questions were translated into both Spanish and the mayan language, Kiche, so all the women could understand us. One mother told us Sprinkles “makes our children healthy.They have energy now, they have appetites and they aren’t sick all the time.”
We observed the monthly weight monitoring. I helped a mother measure her daughter’s height and I placed a 4-month-old on the scale to be weighed.
“All looks great!” the doctor smiled. I can’t describe how that moment felt.
We saw doctors handing out Sprinkles packets to the mothers and we learned that Next Generation’s $175,000 donation for Sprinkles will help this very clinic! Next Gen’s fundaising and donations will allow this clinic to hire more (much needed) staff, train staff, provide needed measuring equipment and mas Sprinkles for these families AND thanks to Next Gen we will be able to provide for even more families!
Muchas gracias Next Generation!