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Bellamy meets with children formerly associated with fighting forces in Liberia

© UNICEF 2004
Bellamy greets hundreds of children displaced by conflict during her visit.

Also visits camp for those displaced by conflict

MONROVIA, 24 August 2004 - UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy today visited the Jah Tondo camp for internally displaced people and the Don Bosco Interim Care Centre for demobilized children formerly associated with fighting forces.

At Don Bosco, Bellamy talked to dozens of young boys who had been forcibly abducted or recruited into fighting forces, either as soldiers, spies, cooks, or porters. The children are going through the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Rehabilitation (DDRR) programme, and receive basic education and skills training, psychosocial support and counseling. They get to go home once their families are traced.

At Jah Tondo, Bellamy dropped in first on a UNICEF-supported World Vision clinic that provides basic health care for mothers and children, including immunizations, health screening, and birth facilities. Established in 2002, the clinic was looted twice during the fighting.

She was greeted by hundreds of children at her second stop, a child-friendly space run in conjunction with Liberian NGO Children Assistance Programme. To raucous cheering, Bellamy urged children to work hard and stay in school.

Bellamy then talked to over a hundred women and girls at a clinic for survivors of sexual and gender-based abuse run by the International Rescue Committee with training and financial help from UNICEF. Over 1,500 women and girls have received psychosocial counseling, referrals and other support since the clinic opened.

Her final stop at Jah Tondo was a supplementary feeding centre run by World Vision and supported by Food for Peace and UNICEF. The centre services around 3,000 malnourished children under 5.

The Jah Tondo camp is now home to over 20,000 people, including thousands of children displaced by conflict. UNICEF has built hundreds of toilets and dozens of water and hand washing points, as well as five wells and one borehole. UNICEF’s key partner at the camp is the Lutheran World Federation / World Service. Don Bosco is a Liberian NGO that receives UNICEF support.

During her three-day visit, Bellamy is to meet with Charles Gyude Bryant, Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, Jacques Paul Klein, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Liberia, Government ministers, UN agencies, NGOs and donors.

Bellamy will speak to journalists at a press conference at 9:00 a.m., 26 August, at UNICEF, Bright’s Apartment, Mamba Point, Monrovia.

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For more information, please contact:

MacArthur Hill, UNICEF Liberia, tel: (377-47) 516-182
Marixie Mercado, UNICEF New York, tel: (377-47) 531-445


 

 

 

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