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The State of the World's Children

Real lives stories archive

Each year, UNICEF’s flagship publication, The State of the World's Children, closely examines key issues affecting children.

A new approach to Egypt’s street children
CAIRO, Egypt - Among the swirling crowds of Cairo, one hardly notices the small figures of children who call the streets their home. Adel is one of them. He left home at nine to escape a life of misery and violence.

Childhood interrupted in Darfur’s refugee camps
KALMA CAMP, South Darfur, Sudan – Kalma Camp, the largest camp for people who have fled their home villages in Darfur, is an endless sea of tents and mud huts stretching from one horizon to the other. Over 70,000 people have flocked to Kalma in the last two years, fleeing a conflict described by the United Nations as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

India: Education offers a second chance
GAYA, India, December 2005 – Instructing from the front of the karate class, Guriya Khatun’s performance is commanding. She strikes a posture, then with a shout goes through a series of punches and kicks which her students follow. Her authority, combined with her deadly serious demeanour, make it easy to forget that Guriya is only 14 years old.

The long road toward juvenile justice in Papua New Guinea
WEWAK, Papua New Guinea – Fifteen-year-old Michael*, an orphan who has never had the chance to go to school, is serving a two-year custodial sentence in Wewak Boys Town, a juvenile detention centre in Papua New Guinea run by the Sacred Hearts Brothers.

For Somali children, every minute in school counts
BOSSASO, Somalia – On a hot, dusty morning in Askar Internally Displaced Persons camp, one of many settlements made of cartons and boxes in Somalia, a little girl flips a pancake on a traditional stove.

Opening up education to girls in Iran’s poorest province
SÍSTÁN VA BALÚCHESTÁN, Iran - Seven years of drought have left most of the rivers in Sístán va Balúchestán empty. Where water once flowed, dry ridges and crumbling banks carve their way through the parched earth.

Spreading education and hope in Moldova.
NAPADOVA, Moldova  - Until a year ago Marina, age 15, thought she would always feel alone. “I thought that if I fell, nobody would stretch out a hand. If I should disappear, nobody would miss me….”

A Ugandan village rallies around children orphaned by AIDS
MASAKA DISTRICT, Uganda  - Smoke from the cooking fire brings tears to the girl’s eyes, but she continues – barehanded – to adjust the steaming cassavas neatly wrapped in banana leaves. Sixteen-year-old Agnes Nabukalu, orphaned by AIDS, is preparing lunch for her family in the Masaka district of Uganda.




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