25 May 2014

Value of Ten Dollars

What is the value of your ten dollars? I suppose most people are inclined to say ten dollars is ten dollars anywhere in the world. This question makes no sense at all. Well, let’s try an exercise.

Part# 1 exercise

Convert US$ 10 to your local currency and head to the closest supermarket to see what your money can buy. With the help of my local colleague Atenia Tahu, we decided to pick some of the common staple food items in the Solomons. Here is a picture of the value of my US$ 10 in Honiara.

© UNICEF Pacific/2014/Thakkar

19 May 2014

The World's Blind Spot

© UNICEF Pacific/2014/Tahu
“Have you visited the Solomon Islands before?’ asked the flight attendant as he poured me a cup of tea. When I told him I hadn’t and, in fact, this was my very first time in the Pacific region; with a smile, he said, “It is a nice country; good people but going through a hard time”. 

I was as foreign to the region, as the region was to me. I wondered why. I am curious about the world, I read a lot about current affairs/issues, I’ve ventured quite a fair bit and am surrounded by well-travelled, interesting people who yawn at the idea of holidaying in Paris, New York. Instead they travel off-the-beaten track to places like Pyongyang, Bratislava, the South Pole and yet I didn’t know a single person who had been to Honiara. I didn’t know anyone who could give me first hand information about the capital city of the Solomon Islands, not some small little village on its many islands but the country’s capital city.

08 May 2014

Nasautoka Primary School Leads the Way in School Hygiene in Fiji

Students from Nasautoka Primary School. © UNICEF Pacific/2014/Hing
WAINIBUKA, FIJI – Tiled floors, a mirror and a washbasin with soap. These are the basic ingredients for a school bathroom. But for students of Nasautoka Primary School and many other schools in Fiji, these ingredients and facilities are not common place. 

The lack of hygiene facilities at many schools throughout Fiji account for increased rates of absenteeism and illness among students and teachers. “Most of the students used to get very sick”, says Head Teacher, Kasanita Cakacaka. Unsafe water and poor sanitation account for nutritional deficiencies, diarrhoea, worm infestations, respiratory infections, skin and eye infections. These preventable diseases lead to poor attendance or attention at school and hindering many children’s ability to learn, grow and develop.

07 May 2014

UNICEF Donates Medical Supplies to National Medical Store

Vimal Pillay UNICEF Supply Assistant off loading medical
supplies to National Medical Store workers.
© UNICEF Pacific/2014

Since the 4th of April flash flooding in Solomon Islands, Honiara has been hectic. Government ministries, United Nations, non-government organizations, private sector, schools, hospitals, clinics and communities have all switched on their emergency mode and put everything else aside to provide safe water, food, shelter, basic sanitation and hygiene facilities to thousands of flood victims. School staff and students and communities have pitched in to clean up so that children could get back to school, and families are trying to rebuild damaged businesses and homes.

06 May 2014

15 Primary Schools in Fiji Have Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Facilities

Tiled floors, a mirror and a washbasin with soap – these seem like the basic ingredients for a school bathroom. For students of Nasautoka District School and many others in Fiji, this was not always so.