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Uganda, 28 February 2014: Uganda inaugurates global commemoration of 25 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with a call for innovations to reach world’s most marginalized children

Uganda is first of many countries to host ACTIVATE Talks to engage people to contribute to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2014 Report: ‘Innovating for Children, Innovating for Equity’

KAMPALA, 28 February, 2014 – More innovative ways of thinking and working are required to meet the needs of the world’s most marginalized children, UNICEF said today at its inaugural 2014 ACTIVATE Talk in Kampala, Uganda.

“The world needs new ways of thinking and working to improve children’s lives”, said Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF’s Representative to Uganda. “We need innovative solutions to save more children’s lives and to help more children reach their full potential. And we need innovative solutions to reach the most excluded and vulnerable children.”

Over fifteen Ugandan innovations were recognized for their impact on the lives of children in Uganda while five key innovations – one for each stage of a young person’s life including pregnancy, birth, under five years of age, between 6 – 14 years of age, and between 15 – 24 years of age - were featured.  The five feature innovations included:

Matibabu - a mobile phone application used to test for malaria in pregnant mothers and children;

MobileVRS - a mobile phone birth registration system that functions via sms messages;

The Medical Concierge - a tele-medicine service providing free information to parents on the health of their children;

EMO – a solution which eradicates the odour in school latrines contributing to improved school attendance and quality education for children;

U-Report - a mobile-phone based citizen participation system that enables young people to express their views on national and community development issues to contribute to public affairs management.

“Constraints give rise to creativity, so one of the efforts we are making is to identify the wealth of creativity that exists around the world, capture it and see how it can be promoted and supported to reduce children’s inequities both across and within countries” said Dr. Sharad Sapra, UNICEF’s Principal Advisor and Director of UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre.

“All of the innovations we saw today show the power of creative thinking to affect positive change in children’s lives and the communities and countries they live in.”

The Kampala ACTIVATE talk is the first in a series of many Talks to be held worldwide this year in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was signed on November 20, 1989.

The best knowledge and input from the year’s ACTIVATE Talks will culminate in a digital State of the World’s Children report, which will be launched at the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20th, 2014, in New York, USA.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information, please contact: 

Jaya Murthy, UNICEF Uganda, +256 717 171 110, 

Charles-Martin Jjuuko, UNICEF Uganda, +256 717 171111, 



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