The month of May marks mental health awareness month or mental health awareness week in several countries around the world. Many people will be reading posts and blogs about the importance of getting more sunshine and exercise to avoid the blues, about ways to deal with the stress of the pandemic, about dealing with everyday challenges that disrupt our striving for happiness.
We met 22-year old Ali B. in a park in Rome’s city center on a rather cold and windy April evening. We could not share a meal, or even a coffee, as all restaurants were shut due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions. He had travelled down from Cerveteri (a small town about 50km north of Rome) where he works for an old couple. They provide boarding and lodging as well as a decent salary and social security benefits. In return, he has to cook for them and look after the kitchen.
Melissa Fleming is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Global Communications
– taking up her functions as of 1 September 2019 – and oversees operations in 60 countries and platforms that reach millions of people in multiple languages.
We are living through a decisive moment. The COVID-19 pandemic’s devasting impact is reaching every corner of the world. As we look back at this period, we will see history divided into a pre-COVID and a post-COVID world.
In rebuilding after COVID-19, policymakers must invest in innovative technology to leapfrog obstacles to inclusive development. Africa has enjoyed strong economic growth for most of the 21st century, mainly because of robust global demand for primary commodities.
When Dr Aqsa Sheikh Tweeted and asked if she was the only transgender person to head a vaccination centre, it seemed extraordinary that in a country with 1.3 billion people, that this could be true.
Approximately 100 million children
are out of school in the Middle East and North Africa as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflicts and protracted crises. To provide these girls and boys with the mental health and psychosocial support they need to deal with the trauma and stress of these multiplying crises, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today US$250,000 in new funding to support the Norwegian Refugee Council’s
Better Learning Programme in the Middle East.
Children all over the world are having tough times while coping with the consequences of the pandemic but the circumstances affecting them in the Philippines are even more daunting.
Eighteen-year-old Chuol Nyakoach lives in the Nguenyyiel Refugee Camp in Gambella, Ethiopia. Chuol is grateful that despite the trauma she has already experienced in her young life, she is able to continue her education in the refugee camp. Learning has given her a reason to wake up every day.
The lockdowns and illnesses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically increased the need to care for children, the elderly and the sick. And in societies where gender inequality and biased norms persist, most of this burden has fallen on women, many of whom have had to leave their regular jobs with no idea of when they can return.
is all that you can't say.
Years gone by and still
words don't come easily,
like forgive me, forgive me.
The World Press Freedom Day
on the 3rd of May is an occasion for celebrating humanity. Language enables us to transmit our thoughts in sound – a means of communication developed through our unique brain, combined with our capacity to control lips, tongue and other components of the vocal apparatus. Over time, humans have also acquired skills to commit our language to writing.
Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), has sounded the alarm on the need for Central African Republic refugee children and youth to access quality education during her visit to a refugee site in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from Apr. 20-23.
Conventional wisdom is that the health of young children is not at great risk from COVID-19, but, in the Global South, the space constraints imposed on young children by the pandemic pose a significant risk to the stimulation on which brain development thrives. Early childhood development is further jeopardized by the pandemic’s impact on caregivers.
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Director Yasmine Sherif today called on world leaders to urgently support the children and youth in desperate need of education support in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), affected by new emergencies and multiple protracted crisis.
India’s evolving Technical and Vocational Education and Training ecosystem (TVET) faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the national lockdown, organisations had to remain shut for 7-8 months, until September 2020.
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity,” Nelson Mandela once said. Today, the humanity of 128 million children and adolescents living in countries is impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement and climate-induced disasters, where virtually every single one of their human rights are being challenged. The most central one, and in all too many cases, their only hope - their inherent right to an inclusive quality education, as enshrined in international human rights conventions - is brutally challenged, if not also willfully ignored or denied.
H.E. Rangina Hamidi is the first female Minister of Education of Afghanistan in the last 30 years
. Minister Hamidi was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan, fled with her family to Pakistan in 1981 during the Soviet Occupation and eventually immigrated to the United States. She attended high school in the United States and received her B.A. degree with a double major in Religion and Gender Studies at the University of Virginia.
Although learning centres in Cox’s Bazar Kutupalong Refugee Camp are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mariom Akhter, a Rohingya mother of four, is grateful not only for the schooling her children have had but the training sessions she as a parent was able to attend. The skills she learnt has helped her assist her children with their education at home in a crisis.
It’s something she’s likely needed to help her children with over the last few weeks after a Mar. 22 fire spread through the camp, destroying the shelters of at least 45,000 people as well as important infrastructure, including hospitals, learning centres, aid distribution points and a registration centre. At least 15 people were reported dead and 400 missing.
Leaders at this year’s World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings (April 5-11) will determine how best to recover from one of the biggest crises the institutions have faced since their founding in 1944—COVID-19’s impact and its economic aftermath.
From small towns to big cities, sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest urban growth rate in the world. The continent’s population is expected to double by 2050 with the youth representing 60% of the overall population.
The UN Department of Global Communication, for example, projects that for the next 15 years urban growth is set to double for several African cities: Dar es Salaam will reach over 13 million inhabitants and Kampala will exceed seven million.
This World Health Day, G20 finance ministers will meet in Rome, Italy, to discuss how they will build back from the pandemic. The global economy is and concerted effort, coordination and imagination is needed to enable not only a worldwide recovery but also to ensure that the world’s poorest people are not left behind.