Real lives



Daily Diary



© UNICEF/Geo-2008/Giacomo Pirozzi
Yuri Malaev taking the photo of reconstructing houses for IDPs in Tsmindatskali settlement of Gori, Georgia. October, 2008.

Real Lives tells the stories of children in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States whose lives have been touched by UNICEF.

For interviews and diary pieces, click on the left menu.

All articles from 2008:

About big hopes, rural wonders and schools that children love to attend
The village school is located in an old Soviet-style building that once was an entertainment club for collective farmers and still carries the name of Lenin. The school has only 40 children as conditions inside are far from being child-friendly.

“I took a photo of the sky which brings hope in the hearts of people”
TBILISI, Georgia - November 21, 2008 - UNICEF organizes photo workshop for war-affected children in Gori

Sold for $12,000: Tackling child trafficking in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 19 November 2008 - Rumilya's life changed when her mother was detained for theft. Rumilya, then 12, and her sister Lili, then 16, were sent to live with 'caregivers'. One of them, Madina, had other ideas...

Young Kazakh filmmaker nominated for OneMinutesJr Award 2008
Amsterdam, Netherlands - November 17, 2008 - Shyngys Derbissov (15) from Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, is one of the nominees for this year's OneMinutesJr Award.

Stepping Stones - Early childhood development in Moldova
CHISINAU, Moldova - October 24, 2008 - Watch a documentary on early childhood development in Moldova, produced by Rockhopper TV for BBC World.

Preventing Violence in Schools through Student Councils
MITROVICE/MITROVICA, Kosovo - October 23, 2008 - "Violence is not a solution for anything", says Burbuqe Mikulovci, a student at the secondary school Frank Bardhi in Mitrovice/Mitrovica.

At Almaty conference, young people share their ideas on global health care
ALMATY, Kazakhstan, 16 October 2008 – Young people from several countries gathered in Almaty to take part in this week's international conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Alma-Ata Declaration on primary health care.

In Georgia, help for disabled children affected by conflict
GENEVA, Switzerland, 17 October 2008 – For a moment during the recent war in and around South Ossetia, Georgia, the front line nearly passed through the Senaki Institute, a residential school for 105 mentally and physically disabled children.

Preventing Avian Influenza by increasing knowledge in rural communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Vrtoče, Bosnia and Herzegovina - October 2008 - Prevention starts before the actual outbreak happens / Bosnia and Herzegoniva prepares for Avian Influenza

Pilot project helps children living with disabilities in communities of Tajikistan
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, 6 October 2008 – Speech therapist Samad Shoev assists Aziza, 3, in correctly pronouncing various vowels by gently using his hands to help shape her lips.

In from the cold: Sheltering Tajik children from disaster with early childhood care
International Day for Disaster Reduction, 8 October, arrives this year in the wake of a series of earthquakes, cyclones and hurricanes that have highlighted the urgent need to reduce disaster risk.

Executive Director promotes the rights of Roma children in Albania
TIRANA, Albania, 3 October 2008 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, on a two-day visit to Albania, highlighted the plight of Roma children and efforts to strengthen the juvenile justice system.

Outreach project reduces AIDS risk, boosts confidence for young people in Tajikistan
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, 1 October 2008 – Zarrina (not her real name), 18, has been working as a prostitute for two years.

UNICEF provides cash assistance to children affected by floods
PURCARI, Stefan Voda, 16 September 2008 - “With this money I will buy footwear and warm clothes for my children, to prepare them go back to school,” said Olesya Cialic, a mother of six children from Purcari village, Stefan Voda rayon.

Displaced mothers and children get help at UNICEF-supported breastfeeding centre
GENEVA, Switzerland, 11 September 2008 – In a classroom in a public school in Tbilisi, mothers held their newborn infants and shared stories of their flight from last month’s fighting in and around South Ossetia, Georgia.

Two families face the future – in Tbilisi, Georgia, and North Ossetia, Russian Federation
28 August 2008 From the same conflict in and around South Ossetia, Georgia, these are the stories of two families: two stories, two temporary shelters in different places, but one very uncertain future.

Children affected by conflict are in need of psychosocial assistance in North Ossetia
VLADIKAVKAZ, North Ossetia, Russia, 21 August 2008 - Irma Janaeva, a mother from the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, calls it “a miracle” that she and her son Sarmat, 2, managed to get away from their village while other relatives stayed behind.

Conflict in Georgia leaves thousands of children displaced and vulnerable
Tbilisi, Georgia, 21 August 2008 – Children of different ages played in the yard of a Tbilisi kindergarten. More than 24 hours had passed since they left the conflict zone around South Ossetia, and some of them were still afraid to enter the building.

Concern for thousands of children and women in need in Georgia and Russia
UNICEF is deeply concerned by the escalation of hostilities in South Ossetia, where reports indicate large numbers of civilian casualties.

A baby-friendly initiative expands to every corner of Turkmenistan
This morning Sapargul Berdyeva, 32, safely delivered her third child. Still weak and exhausted from the labors, her eyes are shining with happiness. Sapargul is happy that she is able to cuddle up and breastfeed her new born son.

Supporting breastfeeding mothers in Tajikistan
On the eve of Breastfeeding Week 2008, we visited some children’s clinics in Tajikistan; clinics for mother and child health consultations and where children are immunized.

"There is no substitute for mother's milk": World Breastfeeding Week in Bosnia and Herzegovina
FERHADIJA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1 August 2008 - On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August), UNICEF and the International Baby-Food Action Network (IBFAN) took it to the streets to promote the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.

Leaving no child behind: Birth registration campaign in Kvemo Karli, Georgia
KIZILAJLO VILLAGE, Georgia, 30 July 2008 - Three-year-old Sadat doesn’t have a birth registration, so do 22 per cent of all children living Kvemo Kartli, a regional largely dominated by ethnic group Azeris in Georgia.

Pilot project brings success to maternal and newborn care in Ferghana, Uzbekistan
FERGHANA REGION, Uzbekistan, 10 July 2008 - Guzalkhon Karabaeva is constantly smiling. Her newborn son is tranquil in her arms and so is the maternity ward in which we sit. No babies’ cries interrupt our chat - a clear testament to attentive childcare.

Children take a lead in the nationwide sanitation campaign
GEOKDERE, Turkmenistan, 8 July 2008 - Nazar Orazov, 13, is one of the 26 children participating in a hygiene and sanitation summer camp held in Geokdere, Turkmenistan.

Kyrgyzstan’s voice to be heard: Fifteen-year-old Ishkhan Buyuklyanov heads to J8
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 27 June 2008 - For the first time, Kyrgyzstan will be represented at the global children’s summit - Junior 8, which will be held on the island of Hokkaido, Japan from 2 to 9 July.

"Voice of the most vulnerable": Social workers receive a boost through UNICEF-supported training
CHISINAU, Moldova, 26 June 2008 – Around 500 community social workers from Moldova participated in a 5-day training session in the country’s capital Chisinau.

Children and young people from developing nations prepare for Junior 8 Summit
On the eve of the opening of the 4th Junior 8 Summit, children and young people from seven non-G8 countries have gathered here to discuss the global issues that are most pressing to them and their communities.

What would you say to world leaders?
Want to send a message to G8 leaders? Want to make a video about how J8 themes, like climate change and HIV, affect you?

Against the odds, Chechen landmine survivors score goals on the football pitch
The legacy of conflict is all over this indoor football field, where 11 young men, all missing a limb, regularly gather to score a goal for beating the odds.

Child-friendly schools give hope to a young IDP girl in Azerbaijan
Despite all the challenges Rena Garayeva like many of her peers aspires for better opportunities. “I want to tell other IDP children that they should work and study twice as hard to enhance their abilities and have a better future that they dream about.”

"Stars against AIDS" in Eastern Europe
UNAIDS has brought together a group of successful women from Russia and Ukraine to help dispel the taboos and prejudice that often surround AIDS and to reduce discrimination against people living with HIV.

Uzbek children join hands in participation, rights protection and riding rollercoasters
Around one hundred children, from every region in Uzbekistan, have come together in Tashkent. They have all won an essay competition on child rights and they are here to better understand these rights and to make their voices heard.

Radio Salam continues to be on air in Batken with UNICEF support
Radio “Salam” of Batken – UNICEF’s “Baby” and Partner - is visited by the Italian UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Paola Saluzzi.

Central Asia: Nutritional problems remain despite improvements
“Chronic malnutrition is when children are too short for their age, but there are also hidden issues - what you call hidden hunger - a lack of minerals and vitamins in the food that leads to micronutrient deficiencies."

Hope for Armenia’s vulnerable children
How a children’s support centre provides a fresh start for some of the country’s most vulnerable children

Breaking down barriers for special needs children
How Armenia is reforming its education system to benefit all children

UNICEF initiative helps children with special needs receive an education in Moscow
On 9 April, the wife of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, visited School 142 – a Moscow school that is at the forefront of a UNICEF-supported programme to include children with special needs in the classroom.

A full-service ‘triangle of support’ helps Russian families cope with HIV
To help bridge the gap between infant medical services and longer-term family support, the city of Chelyabinsk, with UNICEF’s support, is piloting a new programme called ‘Compass’.

TV cartoon in Kyrgyzstan promotes educational messages
TV programme in Kyrgyztan gets educational message across to young children

UNICEF delivers aid to Tajik children affected by severe winter
UNICEF brings goods to Tajikistan to help children cope with the cold weather

"I am ill now because I was discriminated against in my childhood"
The village school is located in an old Soviet-style building that once was an entertainment club for collective farmers and still carries the name of Lenin. The school has only 40 children as conditions inside are far from being child-friendly.

“We live in a poor country and do not even have money for our children!”
A mumps epidemic is making victims in Moldova

Children in Tajikistan try to cope with cold weather
Children in Tajikistan have to cope with the cold weather

"I carry five litre buckets three times per day”
Parveena Muhammedkhajaeva has interviewed children about the cold in Tajikistan

National salt iodization gives children a head start in Turkmenistan
By taking measures to ensure that preventable disorders are kept at bay, Turkmenistan is giving more of its children the chance to chase their dreams.

Life-skills lessons turn Turkmen students into role models
“I was really struck by how drugs can destroy your whole life,” she says. “So I really feel it’s important for me to share this information with my friends and relatives.”

Achieving MDG 4: Focusing on Neonatal Mortality in Armenia
Even though the Armenia Demographic and Health Survey found that the overall infant mortality rate has gone down, the country’s neonatal mortality rate has increased.

Uzbekistan fortifies foods to protect children against anaemia
With increased awareness and improved nutrition, there’s growing hope that more children in Uzbekistan can enjoy an active and healthy childhood, far from a hospital ward.



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