“I play with her whenever I can. We play ball or sometimes just draw flowers in the dirt with a stick,” says Mohammad Jahirul Islam, 28, dressed in his fire suit, as his daughter Jisha, 3, plays in his other fire protection gear. Jahirul works long hours as a firefighter at a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, but says the highlight of his day is returning home to read stories with Jisha.
Being a parent is the most important job in the world. During the first 1,000 days, parents have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a baby’s brain and shape a child’s ability to learn and grow.
Every parent wants to give their children the best they can. Yet, many have no choice but to work long hours, often away from home, to support their families.
To help parents get the time and support they need to bring up happy and healthy children, UNICEF works with governments and businesses around the world to invest in family-friendly policies.
To capture the difference such measures can make in families’ lives, photographer Brian Sokol visited Bangladesh, Paraguay, Rwanda and South Africa.