In Benin, a 17-year-old girl pays a heavy price for not being registered at birth
COTONOU, Benin, 31 July 2012 – Since January 2011, 17-year-old Irene Godonou A. has been an apprentice at a sewing programme in Agblangandan, located a half-hour’s drive from Cotonou.
In Benin, health extension workers bring care closer to home, saving lives
KETOU, Benin, 17 May 2012 – Malaria strikes one of Lucia Bognonsa's children about twice a year. When it does, she has a number of options: She can buy a remedy from the village herbalist. She can purchase tablets from unregistered ‘mobile pharmacists’, tradesmen who travel by bicycle or motorbike selling drugs. She can also take the child to a hospital 3 km away, where treatment is free. But her preferred choice is to call her neighbour, a 65-year old subsistence farmer.
In Benin, UNICEF-supported education and child rights programmes offer children a way out of exploitation
DJOUGOU, Benin, 3 April 2012 – Kabirou Sayo is only 15 years old, yet his life story could fill a book. “It happened at the end of a school day,” he explained when asked how he came to be a victim of child trafficking. ''I met a man called Baba who traffics in children. He tried to tell me the advantages of leaving for Nigeria.''
In Benin, help for women confronting HIV and stigma
ABOMEY, Benin, 8 March 2012 – “Shh! Please, there should be no mention of 'it' in the street,” said 20-year-old Leonie Sossou* as she led visitors to her home.
A second chance at childhood for exploited and vulnerable children in Benin
COTONOU, Benin, 24 February 2012 – Bread seller Honorine Noudjèmèdji, 14, zigzags deftly through Dantokpa, one of the biggest markets in Benin's commercial capital. Loaves are piled high on a tray on her head, at customers’ eye-level.
In Benin, Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo promotes birth registration to protect children’s rights
COTONOU, Benin, 24 January 2012 – A legal identity is a critical right, one many children in Benin are denied. During a visit to her home country, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo, an internationally renowned singer, advocated for improvements in the birth registration system to guarantee this right for all children.
In Benin, care centre offers a path away from poverty
PARAKOU, Benin, 19 October 2011 – Two years ago, Eric N’Koue was nearly sold by his father to child traffickers. Fortunately, he was intercepted by police and brought to the UNICEF-supported Saint Joseph Centre, a facility providing care and opportunities for vulnerable children in the eastern city of Parakou.
In Benin, new monitoring tool engages illiterate parents in their children's education
SINENDE, Benin, 14 April 2011 - Bana Lafia, 12, can do something her parents cannot - read. Illiteracy is a serious problem in Benin, with nearly two-thirds of the adult population unable to read or write. Up until now, Bana’s parents have not been able to play a significant role in her education. However, a new monitoring sheet created by UNICEF in cooperation with Benin’s Ministry of Education is empowering parents like Bana’s to be active participants in her schooling.
UNICEF and partners prepare for long-term recovery in flood-ravaged Benin
PORTO NOVO, Benin, 28 December 2010 – Over the past two months, Benin has experienced some of the worst floods of its history. Today, as the water is receding, the long-term consequences of the crisis are starting to emerge.
After the floods in Benin, school year starts under harsh conditions
GANVIE, Benin, 16 December 2010 – In the past two months, Benin has experienced some of its worst floods since the 1960s. And now, students in the flood zone are returning to school under harsh conditions.
Community pre-schools as building blocks for access to primary education in Benin
SINENDE, Benin, 26 November 2010 – Despite Benin’s worst flooding in recent history, which inundated two-thirds of the West African country this past fall, UNICEF-supported education initiatives here continue to thrive.
UNICEF supports mothers and children in flood-stricken Benin
COTONOU, Benin, 9 November 2010—When floodwaters inundated Vossa, a suburb of Cotonou, Lucie Zanou had to leave her house in the middle of the night carrying her two children. The floods destroyed most of her belongings and all of the crops she grew to support her family.
UNICEF school kits support children returning to classrooms in flood-ravaged Benin
KPOTO, Benin, 4 November 2010 – As floodwaters slowly recede in Benin, the magnitude of the tragedy is being revealed. The recent floods here and elsewhere in West Africa have killed almost 400 people and affected 1.5 million. Children are the hardest hit.
In the wake of Benin's flood crisis, support for the most vulnerable is essential
ZAGNANADO COMMUNE, Benin, 29 October 2010 – Constante Dagninhoun, 33, married and the mother of five young children, is among the 680,000 people affected by the floods that have wreaked havoc in Benin.
UNHCR airlifts tents as UNICEF focuses on safe water for flood victims in Benin
COTONOU, Benin, 28 October 2010 – In one of the first large-scale responses to a crisis that seemingly hasn't yet registered with much of the world, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has airlifted thousands of tents for people displaced by the devastating floods in Benin.
Lucie's story: A mother of two copes with life in flood-affected Benin
COTONOU, Benin, 26 October 2010 – Lucie Zannou, 30, lives in Vossa, a small suburb of Cotonou that has been devastated by the recent floods in Benin. Leaning on her makeshift shelter – a dilapidated old truck – she describes the horrific situation she and her two young children face daily in the wake of the disaster. As she speaks, she rubs her belly, sadly revealing that she is seven months pregnant.
UNICEF and partners respond as floods inundate two-thirds of Benin's territory
COTONOU, Benin, 19 October 2010 – UNICEF, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and the Government of Benin are mounting a humanitarian response to massive flooding that has covered two-thirds of the country’s land mass.
Safe havens protect children from abuse and exploitation in Benin
PARAKOU, Benin, 24 May 2010 – Sophie, 13, was promised into an arranged marriage by her older brother. When she refused, he physically abused her. “He beat me up and told me he was going to kill me,” Sophie said. She escaped and hid on the outskirts of the village. A policeman found her three days later, tired and scared.
It takes a community to educate a girl, or a boy, in Benin
BEMBÉRÉKÉ, Benin, 20 April 2010 – Going to school can be a long, lonely walk for a young girl in Benin. That’s if her parents even let her pursue an education. But a UNICEF-supported scheme of ‘big sistering’ in 16 districts of this West African country makes the journey enjoyable – and serves as a monitoring system to ensure that girls get to school each day.
Engaging communities to prevent malnutrition in Benin
ALIBORI DEPARTMENT, Benin, 14 April 2010 – More than one in three Beninese children under the age of five show signs of chronic malnutrition. In the drier, northernmost part of the country, most families harvest crops for both income and their own consumption, feeding their children whatever is available from this yield.
Angélique Kidjo visits programmes for vulnerable children in Benin
COTONOU, Benin, 31 December 2009 - UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo made a two-day visit to Benin, her native country, to witness first-hand the UNICEF supported programmes that are helping vulnerable children there.
Workshop in Benin tackles challenges of school fee elimination
COTONOU, Benin, 29 June 2009 – Four years after the launch of the School Fee Abolition Initiative (SFAI), 40 representatives from Congo, Mali, Togo and Benin convened a five-day workshop in Cotonou last week to assess the programme’s results and share their experiences.
Benin completes first round of National Immunization Days against polio
COTONOU, Benin, 5 March 2009 – About 2.7 million children under the age of five are to be vaccinated in Benin during two rounds of National Immunization Days (NIDs) this year. Benin, like several neighbouring countries, is witnessing a resurgence of wild poliovirus.
Maestro Myung-Whun Chung takes advocacy tour to promote development in Benin
ADJA-OUERE, Benin, 5 January 2009 – Director of Radio-France’s Philharmonic Orchestra and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Myung-Whun Chung recently took a four-day visit to Benin, where he spent time touring various UNICEF-supported programmes in the field.
Fourth ‘All Girls to School’ campaign launches in Benin
TOVIKLIN, Benin, 22 October 2008 – “We want to go to school, achieve primary education, and go forward in order to become ministers, civil servants, teachers, physicians, top executives,” sang 12 young girls from Toviklin, a rural town in the southwest of Benin.
Benin conducts anti-malaria bednet campaign to save children's lives
OUIDAH, Benin, 22 October 2007 – Benin has begun one of biggest anti-malaria campaigns ever organized in that country. More than 1.6 million long lasting insecticide-treated bednets with the potential to protect 90 per cent of Benin’s children, have been given out from 4,000 distribution posts nationwide by 28,000 distributors.
In Benin, Angélique Kidjo visits centres for trafficked and abused children
COTONOU, Benin, 4 October 2007 – At the Laura Vicuna Centre for child rehabilitation here in Cotonou, UNICEF Goodwill Angélique Kidjo held in her arms a sobbing Rosine, 13, who had just bravely told her story of abuse.
In West Africa flood response, UNICEF focuses on the most vulnerable children
NEW YORK, 25 September 2007 – Four weeks of heavy flooding have taken a damaging toll on countries in West and Central Africa, with hundreds of thousands of people displaced, several hundred killed, and homes and farmland swept away.
Angélique Kidjo raises awareness on child rights in her native Benin
SÔ-AVA, Benin, 13 September 2007 – World renowned singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo is in her home country of Benin this week to raise awareness about child rights. As part of her tour, she will visit communities across the nation, talking to leaders and parents about the benefits of education for all – especially girls.
‘Les inséparables’ films help combat child trafficking in Benin and worldwide
COTONOU, Benin, 10 July 2007 – ‘Les inséparables’ tells the story of brother and sister Yawa, 12, and Abi, 9, who are sold to a female child trafficker by their father without their mother’s knowledge.
Donation from the Netherlands supports girls’ education campaign in Benin
COTONOU, Benin, 10 August 2006 – A generous donation of $7.6 million from the Government of the Netherlands is helping UNICEF kickstart the ’All girls to school’ campaign in Benin.
West and Central African nations join forces to end child trafficking
ABUJA, Nigeria, 7 July 2006 – A multilateral accord against the trafficking of women and children was signed here yesterday, as UNICEF and its partners spearheaded a joint ministerial conference of 26 West and Central African countries, representatives of European governments, the International Labour Organization and the UN Office against Drugs and Crime.
Alone in Benin, a Togolese teen finds refuge and the courage to return home
ANEHO, Togo, 22 May 2006 – The heat is oppressive here in Aneho, a small, quiet town. It is hard to imagine that just over a year ago the streets were filled with noise and rage.
Benin launches UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS
COTONOU, Benin, 4 January 2006 – More than a thousand people, including students, government officials and UNICEF staff, were present at the French Cultural Centre of Cotonou to kick off the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign in Benin.
Togolese refugee children back to school
LOKOSSA REFUGEE CAMP, Benin, 31 May 2005 - In a dusty courtyard in the Lokossa refugee camp, a former palm tree plantation in southwest Benin, over 1000 children between the ages of four and 18 are about to go back to school.