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Field stories | 2013


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For one Palestinian girl, confidence is found in education and activities
KUFR ZEIBAD, State of Palestine, 26 December 2013 – Mariam is 14 years old. She lives in Kufr Zeibad, a tiny village in the northern West Bank. She attends school and will work in the family's small sewing shop,

Christmas in Tacloban: Ruins and hope
TACLOBAN, Philippines, 20 December 2013 – Christmas celebrations will be muted this year in Tacloban and across the Philippines, where more than 14 million people have been affected by one of the largest typoons on record.

Polio immunization effort aims to reach all Syrian children
DAMASCUS, Syria, 19 December 2013 – The largest-ever immunization campaign in the Middle East has recently been underway, with the aim to vaccinate more than 23 million children against polio in the region, including in the Syrian Arab Republic,

Child-friendly centre provides relief to typhoon-affected children in Tacloban City
TACLOBAN, Philippines, 6 December 2013 – Frances Ramandiman, 10, claimed the little guitar from the UNICEF box for a few minutes, enough time to pick out a few chords and practice strumming.

In the Philippines, schools gradually reopening after Typhoon Haiyan
PALO, Philippines, 5 December 2013 – It is not just another day in Palo. Then again, since Typhoon Haiyan blasted through a swath of the Philippines, life has been incredibly difficult – especially for children.

As winter sets in, essential supplies arrive for Syrian refugee children in Iraq
ERBIL, Iraq, 4 December 2013 – UNICEF has received its first shipment of winter clothing and shoes for Syrian refugee children in Iraq.

Rebuilding a life – and returning to school – after Typhoon Haiyan
TACLOBAN, Philippines, 2 December 2013 – It's been a long three weeks since Typhoon Haiyan ravaged Tacloban City, and very slowly, the city shows signs of trying to right itself.

In Tacloban, vaccination campaign takes aim at deadly diseases
TACLOBAN, Philippines, 27 November 2013 – In this city devastated nearly three weeks ago by the force of Typhoon Haiyan, debris and garbage are being collected, shops and banks are starting to open, the streets are heavy with traffic,

In Guinea, one girl’s story of violence reveals a commonplace nightmare
DUBREKA, Guinea, 26 November 2013 – Fatou, 12 years old, had just finished the school year and was looking forward to spending summer with friends, food and music, like girls everywhere. As she sat with her brothers discussing plans for the coming months,

Philippines field diary: Amid endless challenges, a day of inspiration in Tacloban
TACLOBAN, Philippines, 22 November 2013 – For several days, UNICEF child protection staff in Tacloban, working with local government and NGO partners, were trying to track down a group of unaccompanied children who had lost their family to the destruction

Haiyan: Creating an oasis where children can be children, and safe
TACLOBAN, Philippines, 21 November 2013 – Hearing a group of children singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ at the new child-friendly space in Tacloban, it seems as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened outside this tent.

Haiyan: Hope and smiles on the faces of children
TANAUAN, PHILIPPINES, 19 November 2013 - Today, I drove with a UNICEF team out of Tacloban, which I'm sure you've heard of. It's the city of +200,000 people that was leveled by super typhoon Haiyan and from where most of the world's media have been report

Typhoon Haiyan diary: “There is nowhere to go”
MANILA, Philippines, 11 November 2013 – I just got off the phone with Nonoy, a UNICEF colleague in Tacloban City, in the Philippine province of Leyte. He is a thorough professional, an old hand who has seen disasters and devastation before.

Students promote learning in Za'atari Camp, Jordan
ZA'ATARI CAMP, Jordan, 12 September 2013 – A group of young girls are striding out of the school gates with a purpose. The new school year is starting, and they're on a mission to get their peers back to school.

Building a foundation for learning
KAPAR, Malaysia, 8 September 2013 – Lata Rajoo's passion is education. And her mission is to provide it for disadvantaged children. Lata spends the better part of her day using much of her own money to run Tadika Senyuman Manja.

Going door to door to get children back to school
TIMBUKTU, Mali, 3 September 2013 – Early on a Monday morning, a man wearing a turban and draped in a large robe runs a sharp eye over the classroom in the Accelerated Learning Gateway strategy centre in the district of Hamabangou,

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Danny Glover and Edin Dzeko play ball for children with disabilities
SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 23 August 2013 – It's all about ability this summer, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through a series of sporting events involving children living with and without disabilities,

Aya – one child, one of one million Syrian refugee children
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 22 August 2013 – Her smile is contagious. She's energetic, she's playful and she's talented. Eight-year-old Aya hasn't been to school in two years, and she is eager to learn. Every day, she takes lessons in reading and writing

A social worker in Sierra Leone takes on child exploitation
MAKENI, Sierra Leone, 14 August 2013 – Aminata*, a 16-year-old schoolgirl, lives with her four younger brothers and her grandmother in Makeni, the main city of Sierra Leone's Northern Province. "We don't have a mother," she explains.

In Somalia, a major campaign to stop the spread of polio
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 14 August 2013 – The mother of 3-year-old Mohamed Seef Naasir never realized the importance of vaccinating her children against polio until it was too late. The family lives hand-to -mouth in a makeshift shelter in a camp

Syrian children in Turkey build bridges to the future
OSMANIYE AND SARIÇAM CAMPS, Turkey, 2 August 2013 – "Expressing my opinions without pressure; living in freedom and safety." This is how one Syrian child, displaced by war and living in a camp in Turkey,

In Viet Nam, mothers are finding layers of support to breastfeed
AN GIANG PROVINCE, Viet Nam, 2 August 2013 – Nguyen Anh Dao breastfeeds 4-month-old Minh Anh at their home in Binh Thanh Dong commune, An Giang province.

"Everything can change from an active mind"
PODGORICA, Montenegro, 9 July 2013 - British Paralympic gold-medalist Peter Norfolk paid a two-day visit to Montenegro in June to talk to children about his life and his sports career. His appearance was part of the national 'It's About Ability' campaign

In Lebanon, an emergency within an emergency
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 2 July 2013 - In a remote settlement in northern Lebanon, just a few kilometres from the Syrian border, the cries of infants fill the air.

A girl accused of witchcraft finds support, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 26 June 2013 – Children who are accused of sorcery often live a lonely life. Such is the case for 16-year old Josiane*. "I told myself I should avoid contact with other people's children as to avoid being accused of

In Haiti, portable playgrounds lay a new foundation for learning
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 13 June 2013 – Across Haiti, students at 10 select schools are getting a chance to test an unusual kind of playground that encourages them to build forts, cars, towers and anything else that stimulates their young minds.

American singer/songwriter Katy Perry witnesses UNICEF’s work to fight chronic malnutrition in Madagascar
ANDRORANGA VOLA, Madagascar, 11 June 2013 – "So, if we have rice, what can we add to it?" asks Angeline Volefero, a heath worker in the village of Androranga Vola, just a few km in Madagascar's east coast. "How about meat? And then some zucchini?"

School of Hope brings education to Malian children with hearing impairments
BAMAKO, Mali, 5 June 2013 – Discrimination against hearing-impaired children is declining in Mali, says Moussa Sanogo, headmaster of the School of Hope in the capital, Bamako.

With a rising refugee population, a camp at risk of disease
DOMIZ, Iraq, 22 May 2013 – The Domiz refugee camp, which sits about 60 kilometres from the Syrian border amidst an imposing mountain landscape, was originally built to accommodate 22,000 people. Today it is home to around 40,000 Syrian refugees.

For Yemeni children, stopping the cycle of malnutrition
SANA'A, Yemen, 21 May 2013 - Born just over a year apart, sisters Onood and Ohood Nassar Al Hajria may face very different futures. Ohood's eyes shine and sparkle as she plays with her younger sibling.

Tackling malnutrition in Uganda with homegrown solutions
KICUZI, Uganda, 17 May 2013 – Peter, Erik and Dalton Butetera are huddled in a corner of their hut while health worker Beatrice Asaba prepares millet porridge at their home in Ibanda District in southwestern Uganda.

Finding local solutions in a regional food crisis
DORI, Burkina Faso, 16 May 2013 - After 35 days at Dori Hospital, 15 of them in a coma, 2-year-old Mariama now weighs 6.5 kilograms and is on the road to recovery.

At a camp on the Syrian–Turkish border, talk of the past and present - and the future
BAB AL SALAMA, Syrian Arab Republic, 23 April 2013 – Last November, Bassam Guan, a 35-year-old father of four, left for work at a freezer plant in his hometown of Marea in the northern part of the Syrian Arab Republic. His family never saw him again.

UNICEF Executive Director inspired by efforts to end malnutrition and stunting in Guatemala
TOTONICAPAN, Guatemala, 21 March 2013 – Amid the soaring mountains and natural beauty of Guatemala's western highlands, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said he feels inspired by recent efforts to improve the country's problem

Grassroots programme targets stunting in rural Indonesia
NUSA TENGGARA BARAT PROVINCE, Indonesia, 20 March 2013 – A grassroots programme in Indonesia is making inroads into one of the world's silent crises – stunting. One third of Indonesian children are stunted.

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



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