24 July 2014

Did you PLAY today?

Rorona Kalsakau, Just Play Project Manager leading a
Just Play session at the at the Vanuatu Society for
Persons with Disabilities in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
©UNICEF/Pacific/2014/Alcock
Everyday around the Pacific region, children gather in open spaces, at community schools and on empty pitches to take part in Just Play sessions. Equipment bags come out, cones and balls line the field. 

Children gather around their coach and wait in anticipation as the Challenge of the Week from the last session is reviewed. Hands fly into the air in response to their coach’s question: “Who worked hard to make health lifestyle choices, eating 2 fruits and 3 vegetables today?” Smiles can be seen, and applause heard coming from the group acknowledging their accomplishment. 

22 July 2014

The moral of the story is in the data

Participants:  Data for Development: Workshop to Build Capacity in
Statistical Literacy and Data Use to Support Child-Relevant Planning,
Decision-Making and Advocacy. © UNICEF Pacific./2014/Thakkar
Last week my colleague Rebecca (Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for UNICEF Vanuatu) asked me if I could join her and our colleagues Bjorn and Asenaca from the Suva office for a workshop organised by UNICEF and Vanuatu National Statistics Office (VNSO). She said it would be handy if I could write up a press release for the local media. Seemed like a simple task so why not. Then she told me the subject of the workshop, which was “Data for Development: Workshop to Build Capacity in Statistical Literacy and Data Use to Support Child-Relevant Planning, Decision-Making and Advocacy”. 

13 July 2014

For the love of Tennis

Daisy/Naomi on the tennis court. 
© UNICEF Pacific/2014/Alcock
Daisy is 13 years old. Her tennis coach Francis Bryard describes her as an exceptionally polite girl who is a fighter at heart. She lost her father when she was four years old. As a little child, extremely attached to her father, she had a hard time getting over his death. Her mother pulled her through the most difficult period of both their lives. Daisy says getting over that tough phase made her the fighter that she is today. She is a girl of many words - eloquent in speaking and loves reading. She says she has little interest in sport with the exception of tennis.

06 July 2014

What is happiness?

A proud happy country. UNICEF Pacific./2014/Thakkar
Pharrell Williams took the world by storm with his ‘Happy’ song. It went viral within days with people around the world making their own video, dancing and clapping along with the tune.

02 July 2014

World Cup Fever in the Pacific and Just Play

Football World Cup 2014 has managed to mesmerise the world in unprecedented ways. Even countries like the USA and India who weren’t typically known as “football countries” have not been able to escape the charm of the game and the contagious enthusiasm of its fans. Vanuatu is no exception to that phenomenon. Yes, World Cup fever has gripped even the countries of the Pacific!