26 October 2014

A better chance, a better future

Joslyn and Carol with their grandmother and aunt.
© UNICEF Pacific./2014/Thakkar
Port Vila is the lovely little capital of Vanuatu. Remarkably beautiful but also, compared to the hustle and bustle of foreign cities, remarkably quiet. Shops shut by 5pm on weekdays, midday on Saturdays and almost everything is closed all day Sunday, for religious observance and gatherings at homes. Two main roads, running parallel, each going one way.

28 September 2014

Oceania Football Commission Mascot Handover Ceremony, Ba, Fiji



Congratulations to the students of D.A.V Primary in Ba, Fiji.
As winners of the OFC Mascot competition, which was run through the OFC Just Play Programme, in conjunction with partners UNICEF and the Australian Sports Commission - students of D.A.V Primary in Ba were handed a desk top computer last Friday by UNICEF Pacific Representative, Dr. Karen Allen.

08 September 2014

Measles cases pass 800 in Solomon Islands, Number could be much higher

A 3 month old boy at the National Referral Hospital (NRH), Measles Ward.
© UNICEF Pacific./2014/Tahu

It is hard to know the pain and discomfort three month-old Peter* (real name not given to respect privacy) is going through. But just looking at the rash all over his body gives you an idea. 

02 September 2014

Little beginnings

Linline with her father and daughter.
 © UNICEF Pacific./2014/Thakkar
Imagine being a little girl in a village of less than 500 people on an island in a country that most people don’t know exists. You live in a simple home – dirt floor with a tin roof. No modern gadgets like washing machines, vacuum cleaners or television. In fact, not even electricity. If you are lucky, there is a generator and enough fuel for it to provide some light after sunset. You are likely to drop out after primary school because your parents cannot afford secondary school fees. As a young woman, you will have your first child before the age of 21. Considering two out of three women in your country are victims of violent and sexual abuse, you are likely to experience that as well. Your daily routine involves waking up between 6-7 am, cleaning your home, doing the laundry, washing utensils, subsistence farming, cooking and caring for the family – every single day. This is your life.  

12 August 2014

When giving up is not an option

Villagers helping Susan with weighing the babies before 
vaccination. © UNICEF Pacific./2014/Thakkar
Susan Wokeke is a 30-year old nurse in the village health center of Big Bay Bush on Santo Island (one of Vanuatu’s 83 islands). Fresh out of nursing college, she was posted here at the tender age of 20. With a heart full of aspirations, she wanted to make a difference in the lives of the people here, reach out to them and help them with their health concerns. She soon realised that it was not going to be easy at all.