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theunicefglobe UNICEF Australia Newsletter

Edition 1 2013

UNICEF disabilities chief Rosangela Berman Bieler, New York · Page 2

Promise Me campaign calls for foreign aid commitment · Page 3

Message from the CEO, Norman Gillespie · Page 4

SOUTH SUDAN: FATHER CARRIES SON TO SCHOOL FOR ‘CHANCE IN LIFE’ SOUTH Sudan’s Simon Leni is one courageous father. The 58-year-old’s only son, Dominic, 8, was born without legs. Yet rather than see it as an impediment to his son’s future, Mr Leni made sure his son had access to a good quality education by ensuring he is carried to school each and every day. “My son may not have legs but he has brains and that’s why I have chosen to invest in his education,” Mr Leni told UNICEF. Dominic is carried the 10km to and from school by his mother and father each day and despite the difficulty in doing so they are rewarded with a bright young student who is excelling in his classes. Mr Leni said his son was one of the top students in his class with an impressive record of straight As. “I know he has a bright future ahead of him,” Mr Leni said.

“This is not the time to hide these children” – Simon Leni, 58, South Sudan

UNICEF is due to report on the status of children living with a disability in its flagship report, State of the World’s Children, out later this year. The report will reflect on the fact that of the 1 billion people living with a disability, although categorical research is limited, the best estimates suggest 1 in 10 are children. About 80 per cent of people living with a disability are from a developing country. Though he lives in a developing country, where poverty is exacerbated by civil unrest and drought, Dominic is fortunate to have parents who want to see their son get the very best advantage he can through education. Many children living with a disability in South Sudan are hidden by parents for fear of discrimination and embarrassment but Mr Leni is vocal on the need to bring children with a disability into communities and give them a chance to be examples, like his son, of what’s possible. “My advice to parents with children who have a disability is for them to accept them as they are and give them a chance in life,” Mr Leni said. “This is not the time to hide these children. They deserve to go to school, to play, to be loved, to be cared for and to be protected from discrimination.” To read more stories like Dominic’s visit

© UNICEF South Sudan/2012/Mercy Kolok

Simon Leni, 58, with his son Dominic, 8, enjoying time together after a long walk home from school.

© UNICEF South Sudan/2012/Mercy Kolok

1000 WORDS: POLIO IMMUNISATION They say a picture is worth 1000 words and so it is with so many of the images taken by UNICEF’s photographers worldwide. In this edition of The Globe we take a look at some of the amazing range of endeavours taken to ensure UNICEF’s polio immunisation program reaches every child. HEAD back, cheeks pinched to open a child’s mouth and two drops of vaccine hover at the end of a vial before dropping into the child’s mouth.

To mark the two-year anniversary of India’s last case of polio and UNICEF Australia’s current focus on ending polio in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan – the last three countries where the virus is endemic – The Globe takes a closer look at the diversity of activity behind those two tiny, life-saving drops. To learn more about UNICEF’s work to end polio, visit

To paraphrase the words of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and movie star Ewan McGregor, it’s so simple and yet does so very much to protect children from the debilitating and irreversible impact of polio. The classic image described, and the successes of immunisation programs worldwide, have been proudly shared by UNICEF since 1988 when, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Rotary International and the US Centre for Disease Control, it heralded the start of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. WHO and UNICEF had already achieved gains under the Universal Childhood Immunisation Initiative but the drive to end polio renewed efforts and mobilised a concerted effort unlike any seen prior.

© UNICEF/INDA2012-00414/Sandeep Biswas

INDIA: It doesn’t matter where you are, hundreds of thousands of trained polio vaccinators travel far and wide to reach every last child to avoid an outbreak of polio. In India, transit teams wait on highways to ensure no child has been missed, even if they are travelling. These polio doses are being administered to a child under the age of five found travelling by bus.

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1000 WORDS: POLIO IMMUNISATION Continued from cover article...

FIRST PERSON: UNICEF DISABILITIES CHIEF ROSANGELA BERMAN BIELER, NEW YORK Hear from UNICEF experts and leaders in the development and child rights field on issues that impact on UNICEF’s work in the field. UNICEF disabilities chief Rosangela Berman Bieler shared with The Globe readers a firstperson account of the poverty cycle faced by children living with a disability. CHILDREN with disabilities are among the most stigmatised and excluded in the world. They are marginalised by their families, the communities in which they live, institutions like schools and the wider society.

© UNICEF/AFGA2012-00069/Aziz Froutan Afganistan

AFGANISTAN: In April of last year, a young Afghan girl receives a dose of polio vaccine from a health worker during the country’s National Immunisation Days held in Kapisa Province. More than 260 million doses of polio vaccine were disseminated to Pakistan’s children in 2012.

Where children living with a disability are marginalised, their health is affected and their education sidelined putting them at risk of being excluded from society, the workforce and at greater risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. UNICEF research shows that these risks increase if the child with a disability is a girl, indigenous or belongs to an ethnic minority.

inequalities that could further marginalise millions of children, particularly children living with disabilities. UNICEF leads the Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities. The partnership consists of 224 disability sector organisations, including civil society, United Nations agencies, governments, donors, academic bodies and the private sector worldwide. In Australia, UNICEF works in partnership with AusAID in the Rights, Education, and Protection (REAP) project to advance the fulfilment of the rights of children with disabilities through enhanced education and child protection systems. These systems are designed to be more sensitive, responsive and inclusive of children with disabilities. Through strategic partnerships, innovation and international co-operation we can turn the predicted crisis into an opportunity and ensure we plan for better and inclusive results for ALL children. To learn more about UNICEF’s work for children living with a disability visit and click on the Discover button followed by What We Do and Disabilities.

While there is no reliable data on the number of children with disabilities globally, it is estimated that about one in 10 children “The risks increase if the child with a worldwide experience some form of disability is a girl, disability. And it is an estimate. Given indigenous or belongs the fact children with disabilities are often hidden from society and underto an ethnic minority” reported the estimated number is likely – Rosangela Berman Bieler, New York to fall very short of the actual figure. © UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1311/Asad Zaidi

PAKISTAN: Health workers in Pakistan travel by boat across the swollen Indus River to a remote village in Sindh Province. They carry polio vaccines in an insulated box as vaccines are heat sensitive and need to be kept at a stable temperature to remain effective. The children they reach will be under five years of age and were isolated by monsoonal flooding in September of last year.

Contemporary challenges like climate change, food crises, the increased frequency of humanitarian crises compounded by fiscal austerity measures, threaten the wellbeing of children and expose deep

AFGANISTAN: Religious leaders gathered for a polio awareness workshop in Kabul. Ahead of the country’s National Immunisation Days, 200 religious leaders attended the two-day workshop, building knowledge and understanding crucial for the effective uptake of the vaccine.

Rosangela Berman Bieler speaks at a panel discussion on the rights of children with disabilities at the United Nations in New York.

UNICEF’S DISABILITY GOALS UNICEF works to realise the rights of all children. In March, UNICEF’s chief of disability programs Rosangela Berman Bieler travelled from New York to speak at a development forum One Just World in Melbourne, a meeting of Federal MPs in Canberra and to UNICEF staff and supporters in Sydney.


Credit: © UNICEF/NYHQ2011-0838/Susan Markisz

Ms Berman Bieler, a quadriplegic herself as a result of a car accident when she was 19, spoke on UNICEF’s three main disability goals. They are to: 1. Ensure mainstream disability across all UNICEF policies and programs, both in development and humanitarian action. 2. To develop leadership on the rights of children with disabilities and build capacity among our staff and our partners. 3. Be an inclusive organisation for ALL.

Did you know... Australia signed to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008. At the time of going to print, the latest signatory to the convention was ratified as recently as February 27 this year. Source:

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is on December 3. This year, the humanitarian day marks its 21st year in calling to attention the importance of promoting the rights of people living with a disability and mobilising support to build a more inclusive society.


© UNICEF/INDA2012-00417/Sandeep Biswas India

INDIA: School children loan their voice to let their community know the importance of the National Immunisation Days that will soon visit the lanes of Handi compound area where they live. Public education is a key part of building public understanding and support for effective polio campaigns.

Key dates in the fight against polio are more recent than most would imagine. • In 1994 North and South America were certified polio-free. • In 2003 there was a polio outbreak across Africa, caused by the suspension of immunisation programs in in Kano, Nigeria. • In 2004, 80 million children across Africa were reached by the world’s largest public health campaign. • In 2011, UNICEF procured 1.7 billion doses of Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV) to be delivered and administered as part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative that same year.

• On February 24, 2013, India celebrated two years since the last case of polio. • Polio today is endemic in just three countries: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan (from 120 countries in 1990).

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-2510/Olivier Asselin

PROMISE ME CAMPAIGN CALLS FOR FOREIGN AID COMMITMENT If we know aid works, why are our politicians wavering on a promise to fund it? That’s the question UNICEF Australia’s advocacy team is putting to voters in the lead-up to the Federal Election later this year. UNICEF Australia this month launched Promise Me; a campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of foreign aid and to call on election candidates to pledge their support to increasing Australia’s aid funding. Australia currently spends 0.35 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) on foreign aid, or 35c in every $100. Until last year there was a bipartisan agreement to expand the budget to spend 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2015. A decision by the Federal Labor Party pushed that commitment out to 2016, delaying the benefits for people living in poverty. “What we spend on foreign aid is a tiny piece of the Australian budget but that tiny amount makes such a significant difference in the lives of the world’s poorest children,” UNICEF Australia advocacy officer Tara Broughan said.

“We know from progress made in the past 20 years, we have the means to contribute to the end of poverty, in this generation,” she said. In the past decade, 43 million more children are now in school and an increasing number of which are girls; and, the number of children so malnourished their growth has been stunted has fallen from 40 per cent of all children, worldwide, to 27 per cent. Leading up to the Federal Budget, in May, and the election in September, UNICEF Australia will be seeking the support of voters in key electorates to speak up for an increase in Australia’s foreign aid commitment.

FOCUS ON CHILDREN: MALI SINCE 1991, Mali has been one of the most stable democracies in Africa. This changed in March 2012, when a month before the country was due to hold democratic elections, a military coup seized power from long-time president Amadou Toumani Toure. The coup destabilised Mali and opened the way for rebel groups to gain control of the northern Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu regions. Right now, rebels are based further north in the Mopti region. During times of conflict, children are at risk of being separated from their families, making them more vulnerable to many forms of abuse, including the recruitment into roles that support frontline fighting and both physical and sexual violence. UNICEF is working in Mali to ensure children are protected from being recruited for fighting, or to support armed groups.

“Australia is a successful, wealthy and generous country,” Ms Broughan said. “We must not balance our books on the backs of the world’s poor. “Together we need to insist our elected government lives up to a promise to increase foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2016.” To learn more about UNICEF Australia’s Promise Me campaign visit

DON’T LEAVE ME DANGLING IT’S not quite what the stork brought, but some of UNICEF’s Sydney supporters will come home to a surprise bundle at their doors this month with a reminder of the impact achieved by Australia’s foreign aid.

© UNICEF/MLIA2012-00868/Tanya Bindra

The southern reaches of Mali are part of Africa’s Sahel region, which means the country is prone to drought-related food crises. Mali has recently faced three droughts, all leading to major food shortages. Prolonged drought across the Sahel region of West Africa has affected millions. Children are highly susceptible to health complications caused by a lack of food and clean water. Malnutrition affects a child’s ability to grow, play and learn. To read more about UNICEF’s work protecting children in Mali and other countries around the world visit

UNICEF Australia’s Promise Me campaign went live in March to highlight the significant gains made in child survival. The campaign calls on voters to urge Federal MPs and election candidates to increase Australia’s foreign aid budget to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2016: up from 0.35 per cent.









Use the Promise Me postcard included with this issue of The Globe or visit

Did you know... © UNICEF/NYHQ2010-2579/Roger Lemoyne

Don’t leave me dangling. That’s the call from the world’s children to Australian voters in the lead up to this year’s federal election.

Australia Mali

Australia spends just 35c in every $100 on foreign aid. There are 22 developed countries that have pledged to give 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income (GNI) to foreign aid. Australia is ranked No.13 of those 22 countries.



Primary School Enrolment


UNICEF works to protect the rights of all children and its charter is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. There are 54 articles in the convention but UNICEF Australia youth engagement officer Mia Cox has focused on a number of key articles to build a beautiful photo story you can

How Mali compares

download to read on a tablet device, home computer or print out to flick through and share again and again. To download the UNICEF Australia Child Rights storybook visit To download more UNICEF Australia’s resources for parents and educators visit

Under 5 Mortality

22.6 million

15.8 million

4.5/1000 live births

178/1000 live births

Maternal 7/100,000 540/100,000 Mortality births births 97%

Proportion of seats held by 25% women in Parliament



Source: World Bank

© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1827/Tanya Bindra

In Mali, UNICEF’s child protection programs support the provision of child-friendly spaces like this one on the grounds of a district hospital in the western Koulikoro region.

A MESSAGE FROM THE CEO WITH every edition of The Globe our aim is to bring you, our key supporters, closer to the core of what UNICEF does.


UNICEF Australia started its year looking ahead to the release of flagship UNICEF report State of the World’s Children. This annual report documents how each nation is achieving and realising the rights of its children and this year’s report looks at the needs of children living with a disability. We already know Australia’s record in this area is not what it could be and compares poorly against other developed countries. Last year, UNICEF, with our colleagues on the Child Right’s Taskforce, put forward three recommendations to improve the lives of children with a disability. With news the Australian Government has appointed a National Children’s Commissioner we hope there will be a renewed vigour and focus on Australian children living with a disability. Through better data collection and analysis, targeted funding through a National Disability Insurance Scheme and improved respite and crisis service delivery we believe children living with a disability will realise more of their child rights. Looking globally, the disparity in opportunities for these children will be brought into sharp focus this month with a visit from UNICEF disabilities chief Rosangela Berman Bieler. A quadriplegic herself, Ms Berman Bieler fully appreciates the heighted inequalities for children living with a disability and will share her knowledge and insight over three forums in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. There is certainly anticipation among my colleagues at the UNICEF Australia office ahead of her visit. At UNICEF Australia, we’re always keen for your thoughts on what UNICEF can and should be doing to protect the rights of children and welcome feedback on the stories we share with you. Please feel free to email me at Dr Norman Gillespie Chief Executive


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© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-2457/Giacomo Pirozzi

CONGRATULATIONS to UNICEF Ambassador Shakira and her partner FC Barcelona soccer star Gerald Pique on the arrival of their new baby daughter Milan. Instead of the usual baby shower Shakira asked fans to buy a UNICEF Inspired Gift to help give underprivileged babies around the globe a health start in life. Fans of the couple donated enough polio vaccines for 80,000 children, 3.8 tonnes of nutritional supplements and 200,000 oral rehydration salts. “We are thrilled by the generosity that has been shown by the visitors to our World Baby Shower site,” Shakira said.

FOUR million people have had their lives shattered by conflict in Syria. Half of them are children. Children are innocent victims of war. Their lives are in danger and they are vulnerable. They need shelter, clean water, medicine and food. There is an urgent need to provide the children of Syria with security so they can again feel safe and begin to rebuild their lives. UNICEF Australia’s appeal to help the children of Syria is open now. To donate visit

LOVE to pound the pavement? Like putting in the miles? On May 19, do it for UNICEF and run the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon. With a UNICEF Gold Charity entry pass you can combine your passion for an exciting challenge and having fun fundraising for the world’s most vulnerable children. You will also get to enjoy our exclusive benefits including a guaranteed advanced start in the coveted Gold Charity Zone at the front of the race; access to expert fundraising tips, email updates and support from UNICEF Australia; UNICEF gear and a custom Dri-Fit shirt when you meet your fundraising target of a minimum $1,000. Places for Gold Charity Entry are strictly limited, so sprint to the queue and register today. Visit

Did you know... As a Qantas Frequent Flyer you can redeem your Frequent Flyer points for UNICEF? Buy a UNICEF gift voucher representing Hope, Life, Water or Education in the Frequent Flyer store and let your points travel the world for a worthy purpose. For more information or to buy a voucher please visit

FEEL better, sleep better and help make the world a better place for children with UNICEF’s new partnership with the Global Corporate Challenge® (GCC). GCC has this year partnered with UNICEF to improve children’s health and fund the purchase of water pumps for impoverished communities worldwide. The GCC movement is a global workplace wellbeing initiative that has supported almost a million people to get active for a healthier life. GCC hopes to raise awareness about UNICEF’s work to deliver clean, safe water to communities via its signature “virtual world tour”. The Global Corporate Challenge® starts on May 23. To get your workplace involved, visit

© UNICEF/NYHQ2000-0048/Holmes

Tony de Costa, 7, of Dili, Timor Leste, fills a metal bucket with water while Notacia Pereira, 8, works the hand pump for him.

PO Box 488, QVB NSW 1230

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The Globe, edition 1, 2013  

The Globe is an update on the latest issues, impacts and achievements in the UNICEF universe.