Finding a safe space for learning in a country beset by violence
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 20 August 2014 – The grounds of the Boy Rabe Monastery in Bangui are filled with the sounds of children – singing, counting, reciting lessons. With almost two thirds of schools closed in the Central African Republic as a result of fighting and instability, the monastery has become home to one of 144 temporary learning spaces UNICEF has set up across the country.
In a country in conflict, a single hospital for children
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 12 August 2014 – The heat and humidity in Bangui’s paediatric hospital are overwhelming – doctors sweat while treating patients, and mothers fan their sick and injured children. There is no air conditioning, and the operating theatre is far from hygienic, with mould growing on the walls.
Mia Farrow talks about the tremendous loss suffered by children and women displaced in the Central African Republic
BODA, Central African Republic, 7 July 2014 – “There’s not only the loss of possessions, a home or the lives of family members… there’s the trauma of insecurity, the sense that they don’t have any safety. They wonder: Will we wake up in the morning?” says Mia Farrow. The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador has just visited the Central African Republic for the fourth time.
Displaced by violence, children in the Central African Republic face another threat: malnutrition
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 28 April 2014 – Inside the temporary shelters at the Eglise des Frères Castor displacement camp in the capital of the Central African Republic, the air is hot and static. Extended families are sprawled under white tarpaulin tents, sitting on woven mats that cover the dirt floors.
Routine immunization aims to save children's lives in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 21 April 2014 - Claudia can’t protect her daughter from homelessness, and she can’t protect her from rain and cold. But she can at least protect Melanie from measles, yellow fever and polio. That’s why she visited a mobile vaccination clinic at Carmel displacement site last week.
"We try to make the violence disappear": The challenge of teaching amid conflict
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 17 April 2014 – “We, the teachers, we try to make the violence and the war that we have experienced disappear,” says Nguinissara Rita, a primary school teacher at the St. Charles Louanga Missionary displacement site in Bangui, capital of Central African Republic.
“They killed my dear brother”: Civilians caught in the conflict in the Central African Republic
KAGA BANDORO, Central African Republic, 9 April 2014 – When night falls and the shooting starts, Adeline jumps up, grabs her 13-month-old son, Dimanche Jesus, and runs as quickly as she can to hide in the bush. She has spent too many nights like this. Her movements are slow, and her tired eyes show her exhaustion.
Families displaced by violence remain hopeful that peace will return to the Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 3 April 2014 – “They killed my daughter, her new husband – and then killed my little brother. Savagely. You wouldn’t recognize the body,” says Nurumuhamat.
Children displaced by violence in the Central African Republic face great risks
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 21 March 2014 – On a sunny Sunday morning in early January, the tones of reggae-flavoured Christmas carols filter over the Boy-Rabe monastery complex in the capital of the Central African Republic. The hillside camp is home to close to 40,000 people who have fled conflict; Bangui has been plagued by violence since December.
Delivering mosquito nets to protect displaced children from malaria in the Central African Republic
UNICEF and partners are rushing mosquito nets to families displaced around Bangui, Central African Republic, to prevent the deadly disease.
In the Central African Republic, remote villages in the grip of crisis
BAORO, Central African Republic, 21 February 2014 – The road from Bouar to Baoro, in the north-west of the Central African Republic, is a string of charred, ghostlike villages.
Field Diary: Children caught in violence in the Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 13 January 2014 – Early Saturday morning I arrived in Bangui as part of UNICEF's emergency response team in the Central African Republic. As the plane taxied towards the airport terminal, we could see the vast site bordering the airport where 100,000 people have built a makeshift camp after they fled fighting in and around Bangui.
Emergency intervention to support children’s health in the Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 13 January 2014 – Nearly 20,000 people – half of them children – have sought refuge on the grounds of the Saint Sauveur church in Bangui, one of 67 sites around the city where displaced families are living in precarious conditions.
Mia Farrow visits torn community in the Central African Republic
BOSSANGOA, Central African Republic, 13 November 2013 – During her visit to the Central African Republic, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow stopped at one of the ‘ghost’ villages that line the road to the town of Bossangoa. She looked around and picked up a charred plate that lay among the ruins of a home that had been burned.
In a country in conflict, bringing peace to children's minds
BOSSANGOA, Central African Republic, 6 November 2013 – Like most children, 13-year-old Felicia loves to draw. But her drawings are not the usual happy scenes of school and family and friends. In vivid colours, she draws a man lying on the ground dead, houses burned down, and men carrying weapons. For a young girl forced to flee for her life several times in recent months, the memories of violence are still fresh.
Despite conflict and displacement, half a million children vaccinated, and counting
BOSSANGOA, Central African Republic, 4 November 2013 – The vaccination area was strategically set up at an entrance to one of the displacement camps in Bossangoa, in the northwest of the Central African Republic. After returning from the fields to pick pumpkins, eggplants and cassava, women would stop in and get their children vaccinated.
After fleeing violence and looting, a teacher returns to school
BRIA, Central African Republic, 22 October 2013 – A group of children are lined up in the schoolyard singing lightheartedly as Aristide Modest Feikoumo listens on. He has not heard these voices in months.
In Central African Republic, going door to door to beat malnutrition
BAMBARI, Central African Republic, 5 September 2013 - Dieu-Donné Pamad sits on a thin hospital bed watching his baby sister laugh and play with their mother. Despite being more than a year older at 19 months, the boy is barely bigger than his 4-month-old sister.
With malnutrition and vulnerability on the rise in Central African Republic, agencies respond
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 10 July 2013 – Normal family life came to an abrupt halt when the armed coalition Seleka took control of Bangui and seized power in March this year.
Responding to the urgent needs of children in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 28 June 2013 – “I came here because my child was sick,” says Manuella Zokwe. “I tried to force her to eat, but she would not.”
As crisis persists in Central African Republic, doctors struggle to provide aid
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 26 June 2013 - In April, a group of children ages 5 to 12 were playing football in a Bangui neighbourhood when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded in the playing field. Fourteen children were injured and had to be rushed to Bangui’s pediatric hospital, where they received treatment from the medical NGO Emergency, a UNICEF partner.
Emergency vaccination campaign protects children from measles in conflict-hit Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 24 May 2013 – It’s the first day of a measles vaccination campaign, and 3-year-old Teves is among the first to be vaccinated at the Ouango Health Centre in Bangui. His mother, Aubierge Goneme, says she learned about the campaign from radio broadcasts and from organizers who passed through their neighbourhood with megaphones and pamphlets.
A student gets his youngest brother back from an armed group in the Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 6 March 2013 –The Central African Republic has endured a decade of repeated of military and political crises that have affected the socio-economic fabric, defence and national security of the country.
In the Central African Republic, UNICEF and partners bring healthcare to displaced families
OBO, Central African Republic, 17 October 2012 – In a hospital pediatric ward, three babies are recovering from malaria. Moris Mbodoli is looking after his son Anissa. “When Anissa had fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, I brought him here. We have been here for three days now. He is getting better and will be able to leave today,” he says.
In the Central African Republic, parent-teachers provide basic education in conflict-affected area and beyond
OBO, Central African Republic, 3 October 2012 - Since 2009, when attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) began in the area, the number of people fleeing their homes in and around the rural town of Obo, Central African Republic, has increased significantly.
Children associated with armed groups in the Central African Republic win back their lives
N’DELE, Central African Republic, 17–24 August 2012 - Mustafa* wipes his tears with the green camouflage headscarf he has worn for the past year and a half spent associated with an armed group in the Central African Republic known as Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP). His brother, who is 18 and remains a member of the group, stands in a crowd that has gathered to see Mustafa and two other boys leave. He is visibly emotional about Mustafa’s departure, but he tries to hide it.
Aid for children abducted and exploited by armed groups in the Central African Republic
OBO, Central African Republic, 25 July 2012 – “I was at home asleep with my mother, brothers and sisters. In the night some men came with weapons and torches. They took me and two other children away from my family and many others from our village,” said Sophie*, recalling her abduction and enslavement by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Central African Republic.
In the Central African Republic, UNICEF reaches out to ethnic minorities in the fight against polio
BOYALI VILLAGE, Central African Republic, 30 May 2012 – Following the discovery of four cases of polio in late 2011, UNICEF and its partners have supported the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) in organizing a series of emergency polio vaccination campaigns in 2012.
In Central African Republic, polio eradication is a national priority
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 20 April 2012 – At 7 a.m. one Sunday, the Mamadou-Mbaiki Heath Centre is buzzing with activity. Insulated boxes are being filled with cooling packs and polio vaccines. Vaccination teams – consisting of a vaccinator, a social mobilization specialist and a volunteer – are preparing to depart, getting an early start to the third day of the three-day National Polio Vaccination campaign.
In the Central African Republic, support for people living with HIV
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 15 March 2012 – It has been about 10 years since Giselle,* feeling unwell, went to the Bangui Community Hospital and learned that she was HIV positive. After her diagnosis, she fell into a deep depression.
Alarming outbreak of cholera in the Central African Republic begins to subside
BANGUI and NDIMBA, Central African Republic, 3 February 2012 – Véronique Yassambatendji was awakened late one night in October when her husband began experiencing severe diarrhoea and vomiting. The 30-year-old mother of four brought him directly to the local health centre in Ndimba, where he was treated with oral rehydration salts.
In the Central African Republic, UNICEF expands a nutrition treatment center for severely malnourished children
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 1 February 2012 - About 100 malnourished children are admitted each month in the Bangui Paediatric Hospital, many of them requiring three to four weeks of treatment.
Renowned photographer Jan Grarup documents UNICEF child survival efforts in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 17 June 2011 – Renowned Danish photographer Jan Grarup recently visited Central African Republic (CAR) to document the challenges facing young children in the country, and how UNICEF responds.
Italian Goodwill Ambassador Roberto Bolle highlights malnutrition in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 30 November 2010 – During a trip here in early November, acclaimed dancer and UNICEF Italy Goodwill Ambassador Roberto Bolle witnessed first-hand the malnutrition crisis afflicting children in CAR.
Chad and five other Central African countries pledge to end use of children in armed conflict
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 11 June 2010 – At a regional conference here this week, Chad and five other Central African nations signed a declaration on ending the use of child soldiers. In a recorded video address to the participants, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake offered fervent support for the move.
In Central African Republic, newly settled nomadic children go to school
YALOKE, Central African Republic, 13 May 2010 – Fatima Yadik, a mother of 12 and grandmother of 18, recently settled in the Central African Republic town of Yaloké after 60 years with her nomadic community. Her camp of Peuhl nomads was attacked by bandits who killed all the men and stole their cattle.
Providing education to conflict-affected children in the remote regions of Central African Republic
BOCARANGA, Central African Republic, 31 December 2009 – After years of conflict in the rural north of Central African Republic, dozens of simple 'bush schools' are helping many children displaced by the fighting to return to full-time education. For many, it is the only chance they have to study.
Deputy Executive Director Hilde Johnson warns of triple threat to child survival in CAR
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 20 October 2009 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde Johnson has called on the international community to support children in the Central African Republic (CAR) who are bearing the brunt of the country’s declining fortunes.
UNICEF partner helps Central African indigenous people learn their rights
NEW YORK/MBAIKI, Lobaye Province, Central African Republic, 7 August 2009 – The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recognizes the inalienable rights of all people. Yet for many Aka pygmies in the Central African Republic, the notion that they and their children are holders of rights is still an entirely new concept.
Influx of refugees creates silent emergency in eastern Cameroon
DHAHONG, Cameroon, 6 July 2009 – On the surface, the refugee situation in eastern Cameroon looks like a success, but it is also one of immense chaos. Since 2002, over 60,000 refugees from the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) have been integrated into host communities here.
UNICEF providing vital aid to CAR refugees in southern Chad
GORE, Chad, 3 June 2009 – After the death of her husband in 2007, Hadidia Aliou fled her home village in northern Central African Republic (CAR), taking her five children with her. The family now lives in the camp of Dosseye, one of three refugee camps located about 30 kilometres from the shared Chad/CAR border.
Scapegoating the most vulnerable in the Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 12 May 2009 – Laurent (not his real name) was 10 years old when he was sent to live with his uncle, aunt and their two little boys in Bangui, the capital city of the Central African Republic (CAR). One day his cousin fell seriously ill.
Refugees from Chad participate in focus group discussions
DAHA, Chad, 27 March 2009 – Since mid-February, over 7,500 refugees from the Central African Republic have arrived in Daha, after being displaced by violence. Daha has about 4,000 inhabitants and is located less than 200 meters from the shared border with Chad. More than 80 per cent of the displaced persons are women and children.
World Water Day and the need for global action on safe water and sanitation
NEW YORK, 19 March 2009 – As World Water Day 2009 approaches on 22 March, UNICEF-supported water, sanitation and hygiene projects are working to improve child health and survival in more than 90 developing countries.
UNICEF Chad aids families fleeing violence in the Central African Republic
DAHA, Chad, 18 February 2009 – Musa sits quietly on a mat under a small grass shelter, and the bewilderment in his eyes is palpable. The four-year-old has recently arrived in Daha, a small village in a remote part of south-eastern Chad near the border with the Central African Republic (CAR).
Campaign addresses three leading causes of child mortality in CAR
BOSSANGOA, Central African Republic, 6 January 2009 – An extensive multimedia campaign is being carried out in the Central African Republic to generate excitement and awareness about UNICEF’s latest vaccination campaign – one of the largest of its kind in the history of this country.
Goodwill Ambassador Joel Madden visits water projects in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 10 November 2008 – UNICEF USA Goodwill Ambassador Joel Madden has seen firsthand the deadly threat unsafe drinking water poses for thousands of children living in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Mia Farrow sees children returning to schools in northern Central African Republic
KAGA BANDORO-KABO, Central African Republic, 27 June 2008 – On a recent visit to the northern regions of CAR, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador witnessed first-hand how schools have begun to reopen, improving the lives of children affected by conflict here.
In the wake of increased kidnappings, UNICEF calls on governments to protect children
PAOUA, Central African Republic, 20 June 2008 – In the shade of the veranda, five-year-old Harouna Garga and his seven-year-old sister, Beldo, sit safely in their father’s lap in the family compound in Paoua, in north-west Central African Republic. Three years ago, however, their life was not so serene.
Mia Farrow calls for support to sustain refugees in Central African Republic
KABO, Central African Republic, 19 June 2008 – Due to internal fighting in northern Central African Republic, as well as continued instability in the neighbouring countries of Chad and Sudan, thousands of displaced persons have fled their homes to seek safety and shelter at refugee camps.
Mia Farrow urges support for ‘abandoned’ families in Central African Republic
NEW YORK, USA, 10 June 2008 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow today described the people of Central African Republic as “without question, the most abandoned people on earth.” She called on the full support of the international community to restore peace in the violence-ravaged country.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow calls for more international support to Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 23 May 2008 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has wrapped up a week-long journey to the Central African Republic by calling for more international support for the tiny, impoverished nation.
Mia Farrow travels to CAR to support the fight against polio
BANGUI, Central African Republic , 17 May 2008 – Actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has travelled to the Central African Republic (CAR) for a week-long visit to highlight the plight of thousands of women and children who desperately need the world’s attention.
Voix de Coeur Centre helps children heal from abuse in the Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 21 February 2008 – Louis, 5, is giggling as he sings along to the music at the Voix de Coeur Centre, which provides a home to some of the Central African Republic’s most vulnerable children.
Tetanus elimination campaign focuses on women, children and Pygmy groups
LOBAYE, Central African Republic, 29 January 2008 – One-month-old Kpa has been suffering from a high fever, severe muscle seizures and an inability to eat since birth – all classic symptoms of neonatal tetanus. To save her baby, Tatyana left her Aka Pygmy community deep in the forest and walked more than 15 km to find a hospital.
Bandit attacks lead to mass displacement across north-western CAR
BOSSANGOA, Central African Republic, 18 January 2008 – Despite the pain and hardship of being displaced from their homes, the Peuhl people of the Central African Republic (CAR) are continuing with their traditional way of life. They remain immaculately dressed in vivid fabrics and beaded jewellery, an amazing feat considering their ordeal over the past several weeks.
Therapeutic feeding centres save lives and support families in CAR
BOSSANGOA, Central African Republic, 7 January 2008 – In a region ravaged by more than a decade of conflict, secure employment opportunities and health services in Bossangoa remain few and far between. Marie-Ange is a 23-year-old mother of two who says that since her husband left her, every day has been a struggle to make ends meet.
Neige’s story: Recovering from malnutrition in the Central African Republic
BOSSANGOA, Central African Republic, 25 October 2007 – Neige giggles shyly and hides behind her grandmother’s shawl. Just three years old, she lives with 11 other family members in a tiny home on the banks of the Ouham River in northern Central African Republic (CAR).
Voix du Coeur Centre provides a safe haven for Bangui’s street children
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 10 October 2007 – Walking through Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, it is impossible to miss the large number of children weaving amongst the vendors, taxis and commuters. Dozens of children can be seen working and begging in the streets they call home.
Helping displaced children suffering from malnutrition in Paoua
PAOUA, Central African Republic, 4 October 2007 – Florence and her 10-month-old son Heritier live in a camp for internally displaced persons just outside Paoua. Recently, Heritier suffered from severe dehydration and was underweight and malnourished.
Temporary schools provide normalcy for children displaced by conflict
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 17 September 2007 – Seven-year-old Agnès Sadoua grins widely as she talks about her love for school, her friends and her family. Just a few months ago, however, Agnès and her mother were forced to leave their home in search of safety in the bush outside her town of Pauoa.
Insecurity has not dampened children’s aspirations in Central African Republic
EN ROUTE TO PAOUA, Central African Republic, July 2007 – Our convoy stopped on the dirt road intersecting the northwestern village of Nana Barya. Climbing out of the car, we were confronted by the burnt ruins of a village. In the entrance of one house lay a tiny child’s sandal, left behind in the fracas of flight.
UNICEF aids release of children from rebel forces in Central African Republic
GORDIL, Central African Republic, 2 August 2007 – “When I shot them I felt dizzy and passed out,” recalls Ahmed, a soldier who claims he is 16, though he looks much younger.
Child Soldiers Demobilized in the Central African Republic
NEW YORK, USA, 21 May 2007 – On Thursday, UNICEF announced that negotiations have started with rebel armed groups in the northeast of the Central African Republic for child soldiers to be released and returned to their families.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow highlights plight of CAR and Chad
NEW YORK, USA, 28 February 2006 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow was at United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday to draw attention to the plight of children and families displaced by conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad.
Thousands displaced in the Central African Republic struggle to survive
NEW YORK, USA, 20 February 2007 – Over the last year, brutal attacks on villages in the northwestern Central African Republic (CAR) have displaced thousands of people.
Mia Farrow visits conflict-afflicted Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 13 February, 2007 – In a rapidly arranged ceremony, President François Bozizé awarded UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow a presidential Medal of Honour in recognition of her services to his nation.
Conflict affects 1 million people in Central African Republic
NEW YORK, USA, 21 December 2006 – Nearly 1 million people are being affected by ongoing hostilities in a ‘forgotten emergency’ in northern Central African Republic (CAR).
Building a future for street children in the Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 27 June 2006 – “I want children in Bangui to learn from my own experience as a street child,” said 24-year-old Victor Yoongo.
For youth in the Central African Republic, the battle against HIV is just beginning
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 26 May 2006 – Although research has confirmed that 13.5 per cent of the population in the Central African Republic (CAR) is infected with HIV, until recently not a lot was done about it.
Breaking the cycle of poverty: UNICEF’s early childhood programme in CAR
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 23 May 2006 – Poverty is widespread in the Central African Republic (CAR). Years of insecurity, instability and lack of governmental investment in social services have plunged the country into a deep crisis.
UNICEF Executive Board President Andrei Dapkiunas visits the Central African Republic
NEW YORK, USA, 10 March 2006 – The President of UNICEF’s Executive Board, Andrei Dapkiunas, has just completed a five-day visit to the Central African Republic to raise awareness of children’s urgent needs after years of political turmoil.