Sharon Siwale-Fumbeshi

Sharon Siwale-Fumbeshi
Me, Myself and I

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Zambian Divas talk HIV/AIDS

More than 34 million people in the world have HIV; over 22 million live in Africa. The disease is the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa with approximately 3,600 people dying every day from AIDS. It costs around 40 cents a day for the 2 antiretroviral pills needed to help keep someone living with HIV alive and healthy. This is according to the UNAIDS 2010 Global report.
Held every year on 1st December, World AIDS Day is a date for people to think about and act upon the global HIV epidemic. HIV continues to have a devastating impact on millions of people around the world. Whilst this infection can be prevented, HIV transmission continues to occur. Although HIV can be treated, many people infected with HIV do not have access to life-saving drugs.
Three months ago at the start of this blog, I promised to feature Zambia’s celebrated women.
In commemorating World AIDS day, I thought of interviewing women who changed the entertainment industry, to a whole new level.
 Daputsa Nkata A.K.A ‘’Sister D’’,  is one of Zambia’s celebrated musicians, who needs no introduction. And who can forget, Lindiwe Bungane,2004 Pan-African Project Fame winner, who recently played a major role in the SA Dream Girls musical. And Song-bird Saboi Imboela one half of the celebrated female music group  Shatel.
 These women brought excitement to the music industry, they were fearless, they exiled in an industry that was dominated by men.
But what exactly are their views on HIV/AIDS and what are they doing as role models in helping combat the scourge?? Let’s find out.

This year’s theme is ‘’getting to Zero.”
 ‘’ Zero new infections.”
  ‘’Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS related deaths.’’
 How do you interpret the theme?
The theme gives renewed hope in the fight in that it provides a visionary direction and focus towards Zero new infections and related deaths. It is also a huge challenge to health providers, care givers and advocates who are faced with the huge question of “HOW’ to attain the goals set in the theme.
Daputsa Nkata a.ka. Sister D
  What is your stance so far on the efforts, been made in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS?
The current efforts are appreciated very much. However, more needs to be done especially at the very grass-root level where the approach should be simple and basic yet effective with emphasis on prevention of mother to child and multiple concurrent sexual partnerships. Strong negative cultural beliefs will have to be nipped in the bud which is going to prove to be a difficult task as culture is embedded in every African setting.
 Are you involved in any projects to combat HIV/AIDS?
I have been involved in several projects but I believe the power of advocacy lies in an individual. which I have done and still do in my years as an artiste and activist.
As a musician young women look up to you, what message do you have for them with regards to HIV/AIDS (As singing is not an easy career)?
First focus on what you want to achieve in life and career. When one is focused everything comes second. Like you say singing is not an easy career but it takes determination and self control.
 What’s your message to those who are already infected?
It’s not the end of the world and they could be a blessing in disguise because from their experiences, we are able to learn how to live positively or how not to be infected. I believe they are the best teachers and advocates in this fight. 
 They say” if you are not infected then you are affected.” What have been the effects of HIV/AIDS on your personal life?
I have lost a sister and a brother to HIV, my mother’s house was full of orphans and now that my mother is dead, we are the ones to take care of these children left behind by our relatives and it’s not only in our families. HIV has affected us in all sectors of life as the saying goes “if you are not infected you are affected.”
 Any message to the readers of the blog, to Zambia and your fans?
To the parents let us take care of ourselves so that we see our children grow in a way that we want them too. To my fans I always value your support no award in my collection can surpass the award which the people have awarded to me which is the acceptance of my work and my music.  One Love!


This year’s theme is ‘’getting to Zero.’’
 ‘’ Zero new infections.’’
  ‘’Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS related deaths.’’
How do you interpret the theme?

I interpret it as it is possible to have no new infections, no discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths if we all took the information available to us about the disease seriously.
Lindiwe Bungane
What is your take so far on the efforts, been made in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS?
I think a lot has been said and done but unfortunately maybe too much and the seriousness of the disease has now become old news and in a way the fight has taken a few steps back because we now have to find new ways to reinvent that awareness previously created.
 Are you involved in any projects to combat HIV/AIDS?
Not with an AIDS organisation but I am working with a community school back in Ndola.I hope to build a bigger school for them and offer free education, skills development and meals to the kids. I believe a lot of infections result from poverty and ignorance and if these kids can have a better education, freedom from desperation and a little hope they might carry their flames into the larger community.
As a musician young women look up to you, what message do you have for them with regards to HIV/AIDS (As singing is not an easy career)?
Like any career, there are temptations but I’ve always prided myself in working my way up. It might take longer and it will definitely be harder but at the end of the day, you can always hold your head up high and walk with dignity knowing you did it the right way, and let’s face it, a woman’s dignity is a fragile thing. There is always a deep satisfaction when you make the right choice despite the hardships and temptations to cheat your way to the top.
What’s your message to those who are already infected?
It’s happened and there’s no going back so you just make the best of what life has handed to you. Find a good support system with people who understand what you’re going through because I believe in any had situation the biggest battle is in the mind and once you have the right outlook on your circumstances everything else will begin to play out positively for you.
They say “if you are not infected then you are affected.” What have been the effects of HIV/AIDS on your personal life?
I have had friends and family die from it and it’s just given me more insight on how a positive mind can get you through the toughest situations.
 Any message to the readers of the blog? to Zambia and your fans?
Learn to fall in love with yourself and never let anyone tell you, you don’t deserve the best life has to offer. To my fans anyone in the Johannesburg area should follow me on facebook to know where I’m next performing and I thank everyone for the continuous love I get from them.


This year’s theme is ‘’getting to Zero.’’
 ‘’ Zero new infections.’’
  ‘’Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS related deaths.’’
How do you interpret the theme?

The theme talks of an ideal world where there would be no more new infections and where discrimination would be a thing of the past. It also means that a lot of opportunistic infections that have come up and are killing our people will be controlled and will no longer kill people as it is happening today.
Saboi Imboela
What is your stance so far on the efforts, been made in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS?
The efforts have been tremendous and it is no wonder we are hearing that there is now a reduction in the HIV infection rates in the country. People are more aware but of course a lot needs to be done to make sure that the rate keeps going down until we have zero new infections. When people learn more about AIDS it will also decrease the levels of discrimination and the people that are infected will be able to live normal, happy lives and not hide or fear to take medicine.
  Are you involved in any projects to combat HIV/AIDS?
I’m involved with charities that seek to better the lives of women and children and some of these concentrate on women or children that are HIV positive. For me I want to see a better future for these disadvantaged groups whether they are HIV positive or not and we talk to young girls to stay away from premarital sex and concentrate on school. Once we teach our young girls and women of their rights such as the sexual reproductive rights and the need for them to be in control of their sexuality, the abuse from men is minimised as they put a high value on themselves and their bodies. 
 As a musician young women look up to you, what message do you have for them with regards to HIV/AIDS (As singing is not an easy career)?
My advice to young girls and women is always to put high value on themselves. The Bible puts it best when it says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and so we should treat them as such. The Bible also says unlike other sins sexual immorality is one sin that you commit against your own body so young girls should treasure, respect and highly value their own bodies because no one else will do it for them.
What’s your message to those who are already infected?
To the people that are infected, it is not the end of the world, you can live a long and healthy life for a very long time. I personally know a number of people that have been infected for a long time but are living positively and are very healthy. Sometimes what kills people is denial and so they do not get the proper medication, but once you test positive and accept that you can live a healthy, productive life even when you are HIV positive, you find that you really live a happy, prosperous and long life like everybody else.
They say “if you are not infected then you are affected.” What have been the effects of HIV/AIDS on your personal life?    
I have lost friends and relatives from the disease so we are all affected by HIV AIDS. I don’t think there is a single person in the country today who can say they have not lost a relative, friend or even church mate from AIDS- it has really hit Sub Saharan countries like Zambia badly and we need to work together to mitigate the scourge. 
Any message to the readers of the blog? to Zambia and your fans?
My message to Zambia and readers of the blog is what Nelson Mandela said “It always seems impossible until it is done”.  So looking at the HIV/AIDS rates today and this year’s theme some people might look at it as an impossible task. I personally believe it can be done and we can reach zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths if we all put our efforts together to eliminate HIV/AIDS from our societies. The only thing that is needed is you and me to work together to achieve it- NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

UNICEF study provides new insight into how poverty affects children

 Children in East Asia & Pacific region face multiple deprivations

BANGKOK, 22 November – A new UNICEF study analysing child poverty in East Asia and the Pacific emphasizes that poverty affects children in vastly different ways than adults. As a result, policy makers need to look beyond family income indicators to gain a more complete picture of poverty and the deprivations children face.

The study entitled “Child Poverty in East Asia and the Pacific: Deprivations and Disparities” noted that family poverty often affects children most directly through their access to shelter, food, water, sanitation, education, health and information. When a child is deprived of one or more of these essential services, their experience of poverty deepens.

Analysing the situation of children living in seven East Asia and Pacific countries with a child population over 93 million, the report found over 30 million suffered from at least one form of severe deprivation, such as the inability to go to school, or access basic health care, safe drinking water, a sanitary toilet or adequate nutrition – and more than 13 million suffered from two or more forms of severe deprivation.

“The study demonstrates that income gains, including in middle income countries in the region, have not necessarily translated into gains for all children,” said Mahesh Patel, UNICEF Regional Advisor for Social Policy. “Any national equity and disparity reduction policy must start with child poverty reduction at its centre.”

The report reviews child poverty studies carried out in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vanuatu and Viet Nam from 2007 to 2010.

“The thorough analysis presented in these national studies will help countries target programmes and policies to better reach the most vulnerable in society and to use resources most efficiently,” said Anupama Rao Singh, UNICEF Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific.

The seven Asia-Pacific countries were among 53 worldwide that participated in UNICEF’s Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparity, which draws attention to the daily deprivations suffered by children and their negative impact on national development.

In Lao PDR, for example, while 38 per cent of children are assessed as income poor, as many as 75 per cent are assessed as living in poverty based on this broader – and increasingly recognized – measure of child poverty.

In Viet Nam, children from ethnic minority groups are 11 times more likely to suffer from multiple severe deprivations than children from ethnic majority groups - a pattern found in many other countries.

In Vanuatu, nearly one in five children suffers from severe health deprivation.

The report also underlines that much more needs to be done to reduce the disparities that impede the development of large numbers of children in East Asia and the Pacific. Inequity is rampant, with income inequality either remaining stagnant or increasing in all seven countries despite significant GDP growth over much of the last decade. Deprivations and disparities faced by children must feature prominently in national development and poverty alleviation plans in the region and inform how resources are allocated. Child-sensitive social protection policies that address the needs of the most vulnerable children will also be essential to reducing the deprivations children face in the region.

Gaps between rural and urban areas, different ethnic groups, geographic areas, and households headed by well-educated versus poorly educated adults were among the most notable disparities across the seven countries.

“Clearly the challenge now facing us in East Asia and the Pacific is to address the additional dimensions of child poverty revealed in this study, building on, but going beyond the foundation of economic growth in the region,” Rao Singh said.

The report also revealed the following trends:

Rural versus urban - child poverty was 30 per cent higher in rural Cambodia than in urban areas, 60 per cent higher in rural Thailand, 130 per cent higher in rural Philippines and 180 per cent higher in rural Viet Nam;

Geographic disparities – sub-national disparities within countries are, in some instances, more pronounced than the disparities between lower- and middle-income countries in the region– for example, the number of children suffering from severe deprivation in Viet Nam was over 6 times higher in the north-west region than the Red River Delta; and 50 per cent higher in southern Thailand than the North;

Disparities among ethnic minorities - disproportionately high levels of poverty and deprivation are evident among some ethnic minority children. This is an issue in almost all seven countries surveyed in the region. For example, the number of severely deprived ethnic minority children was about 60 per cent higher than the number of severely deprived children from dominant ethnic groups in both Lao PDR and Mongolia, 9 times as large in the Philippines and nearly 15 times larger in Thailand;

Education of household head- severe deprivation more than doubled in households where the household head had only a primary-school education or less, compared to households where the household head had secondary or higher education;

Family size - the incidence of severe deprivation in Mongolia and Viet Nam almost doubled in households with more than seven members, compared to those with four or fewer. In Thailand, the incidence more than tripled under these conditions

Sunday, 20 November 2011

UNICEF and World Day of Prayer and Action for Children to protect children against violence

NEW YORK, 20 November 2011 – On the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF today joined with World Day of Prayer and Action for Children in launching a new three-year initiative in more than 30 countries to protect children against violence.
World Day of Prayer and Action for Children is a movement that harnesses the powerful role of religious communities can play in keeping children safer by promoting affirmative measures such as birth registration and positive parenting, and discouraging potentially harmful actions such as child marriage. 
While significant progress has been made in reducing child mortality and increasing child health, around the world, millions of children are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse.
“Violence does not discriminate,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “It cuts across race, religion, class, and culture.”
One of the most important ways parents can help their children is by practicing positive parenting.  Parental influence and protection pay a critical role in determining a child’s well-being and can be done without resorting to violent discipline, which harms the child and is not effective.
Another key step to protect children is birth registration.  This simple document establishes the existence of the child under law and provides the foundation for safeguarding many of the child's civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.  Unregistered children may face challenges in accessing health care, education and social assistance. They are the first to fall through the cracks in protection systems and there is a risk that violations of their rights will go unnoticed.
An important focus of the World Day is child marriage, which affects girls disproportionately.  Child brides are at greater risk of violence, abuse and exploitation, and also more vulnerable to catching sexually transmitted diseases than more mature women.
“To end such violence, we need to work together – across religious faiths, across political parties, across all boundaries – to raise awareness, to reach out in our communities, and to strengthen systems that protect children, said Mr. Lake. “Let it begin with a prayer and end in action.”
UNICEF has a long history of working with religious leaders from all faiths on issues that affect children:  from partnering with imams in Mauritania to eliminate corporal punishment, to joining forces with Buddhist monks in Bhutan to support children affected by HIV and AIDS, and working with churches in Ecuador to address child and maternal health.
Activities that will take place around the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children with UNICEF support in coming weeks include:
In Nigeria, a national workshop with key religious leaders is planned around the Day of Prayer and Action for Children to engage them as advocates for universal birth registration. The effectiveness of interventions by religious leaders will be assessed through regular on-site reporting using RapidSMS technology.
In Panama, a bulletin on the Day of Prayer and Action for Children will appear in the Roman Catholic Church’s newspaper during November, a letter from the Catholic Archbishop will be read in all services on 20 November and the Archbishop himself will celebrate mass during a live broadcast and talk about an end to violence against children. Various other religious communities will also celebrate the Day of Prayer and Action for Children during different religious ceremonies.
In Afghanistan, UNICEF and the Ministry of Religious Affairs plan radio and television interviews with mullahs during the week prior to the Day of Prayer and Action for Children and other broadcasters will provide child friendly information about children’s rights. Mullahs affiliated with the Ministry will use Friday prayers on 25 November to highlight messages on violence against children.

The World Day of Prayer and Action was launched in 2008 to improve the lives of children everywhere.  In 2010, the World Day was celebrated in 46 countries around the world.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Operation Save Iris....

Yes Iris made a mistake, A mistake that will probably, forever haunt her. But the way the girl is been portrayed is not good, being labelled all sorts of names is uncalled for..The girl has a bright future ahead of her..let's not add salt to injury..The girls didn't commit the act alone, yet the boy walks freely with no flogging..Is this the society that we want for our young girls and women??? Let's discuss, let's save Iris

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

WISE prize for education goes to Bangladeshi Sir Fazle Hasan Abed

NEW YORK, 16 November 2011 - UNICEF congratulates Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairman of BRAC (formerly known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), on receiving the first WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) prize for his 40-year career dedicated to alleviating poverty through education.

Sir Abed received an award of $500,000 and a specially designed gold medal bearing the word “education” in over 50 languages. In his citation of the award, WISE Chairman H.E. Abdulla bin Ali-Thani  highlighted the achievement of Abed’s vision, that of “millions of people around the world leading healthier, happier and more productive lives.”

Abed founded BRAC in 1972 and over the next four decades has built one of the world’s largest and most efficient NGO’s with 120,000 workers dedicated to learning and teaching activities which now reach almost 140 million people in 10 Asian, African and Central American countries.

Under Abed’s leadership, BRAC has grown to become the largest provider of private, secular education in the world, contributing to the pre-primary, primary and secondary education of millions of students.

UNICEF extremely concerned about the impact of escalating conflict in Somalia on children

UNICEF extremely concerned about the impact of escalating conflict in Somalia on children
NAIROBI, Kenya, 15 November 2011 – UNICEF is extremely concerned about the impact on children of the escalating conflict in Somalia.

“Increasing numbers of children and civilians are being caught in attacks and cross-fire across the south and centre of Somalia” said UNICEF’s Representative to Somalia, Sikander Khan.  “Over the last several weeks, we have seen a very worrying rise in killings and serious injuries of children."

According to the UN’s monitoring and reporting mechanism for grave violations of children’s rights, 24 children have been killed in the conflict in October; nearly double the number of child killings confirmed in every month this year.  In addition, 58 children have been confirmed to have sustained serious injuries in October; the largest number of children injured as a result of the armed conflict in Somalia in any month this year.  To date in 2011, the monitoring and reporting mechanism has confirmed nearly 300 children to be seriously injured and over 100 children killed in the on-going conflict.

“While we have confirmed these numbers of children to have already been killed and seriously injured it is likely that the scale is much greater with many more killings and injuries of children either unconfirmed or unreported,” Khan noted.  

Also of concern are the recruitment and use of children for armed services and sexual violence of children and women.  This year, the UN’s monitoring and reporting mechanism has confirmed over 600 children to be recruited and used for armed service with over 200 more, mostly girls, confirmed to have been raped. 

“Somali children’s lives are being put more and more in grave danger with the increasing conflict.  In accordance with international law, we call on all parties to the conflict in Somalia to stop all killing, maiming, recruitment for armed services and rape of children.  All children must immediately be assured of safety and protection from hostile acts”, stated Khan.

Escalating violence also threatens the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.  

“Many of the hundreds of thousands of children already facing a situation of life and death due to famine and disease are now facing the risk of having life-saving assistance cut off to them.  We call on all actors to enable us to respond fully and rapidly to children and women in urgent need.  Thousands of children’s lives are at stake and on our watch”, Khan declared.

The UN system has been monitoring grave violations of children’s rights by parties to the conflict in Somalia since late 2005, in compliance with Security Council Resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009) and 1998 (2011). Over the last several years, information has been collected about grave child rights violations, including: killing and maiming, recruitment and use of children by armed forces and armed groups, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction of children, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Man rapes mother-in-law, kills her

Police in Samfya district have arrested a 27 year old man of Mungulube village in chief Kalasamukoso’s area for killing his mother-in- law.
The man is alleged to have raped his mother-in-law before killing her.
Sources told ZANIS in Samfya today that the man committed the offence at the deceased’s farm last weekend.
They said the man killed his mother-in-law after a confrontation ensued over the alleged rape.
Luapula province deputy police commissioner, Aaron Mushanga, confirmed the incident to ZANIS in Mansa yesterday.
Mr. Mushanga said the police were holding a 27 year man identified as Friday Mpundu in connection with the death of a 52 year old Judith Nsakanya, who was his mother-in-law.
“We have the report of a young man killing his mother in law,” he said.

Courtesy of LusakaTimes

Monday, 14 November 2011

UNICEF commends Rwanda for focusing on adolescents at 7th Annual Paediatric Conference on Children and HIV

Adolescents should not be the missing face of AIDS

KIGALI, Rwanda,  9 November 2011 - At the nation’s seventh annual conference on Children and HIV, UNICEF emphasized the importance of investing in adolescent-appropriate prevention and care programmes to ensure that young people, who make up almost half of new infections both globally and in Rwanda, do not become the missing face of AIDS.

The conference, organised by Rwanda’s Biomedical Centre in partnership with UNICEF, will span three days and bring together over 200 experts from Rwanda and neighbouring East African countries to discuss issues facing adolescents in the national HIV response. Adolescents, including those who live with HIV, will also attend sessions to share their ideas about how to improve prevention, care and treatment programmes adapted to their needs.

The conference’s opening ceremony was attended by Rwanda’s Minister of Health, UNICEF’s Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Ms. Elke Wisch, Rwanda’s UNICEF Representative, Ms. Noala Skinner and other top officials.

Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, who was also the Guest of Honour for the opening ceremony, spoke to youth, during her address, asking them to speak out and make their views heard. She also promised them that she would do her best to implement all the recommendations that they put forward at the end of the conference. “No country can build its future if we do not invest in our children,” she emphasized.

Ms. Wisch, who also spoke at the opening ceremony, commended Rwanda’s for addressing the concerns of adolescents. “We hardly hear about the challenges facing adolescents affected by HIV on the global stage,” said Ms. Wisch. “We rarely see them targeted in prevention efforts and, of increasing concern, we find few treatment programmes adapted to their special needs.”

According to UNICEF, two million adolescents aged 10-19 already live with HIV, many of who do not know their HIV status. In addition, 2,500 young people are infected with HIV around the world every day. And young people aged 15-24 account for 41% of new infections globally and 40% in Rwanda.

Rwandan adolescents face three main challenges. One, they lack information and knowledge about how to protect themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Two, many of them do not know their status and are at an age when they are sexually active and engage in unprotected sex. And three, those who live with HIV have often lost one or both parents to AIDS, face stigma and discrimination and sometimes live in child headed households.

According to UNICEF the time to act for adolescents is now. To reduce new infections, mortality and morbidity in adolescents, actions that result in increased access to information, adolescent-friendly HIV testing and counseling, treatment and prevention services including condoms and medical male circumcision, and strengthened social protection for these young people are key.

Kuwait funds UNICEF for drought affected areas in Somalia

NEW YORK, 10 November 2011 - The State of Kuwait has contributed 250 thousand US dollars to UNICEF in Somalia for humanitarian response to the continuing food crisis. The support was announced by His Excellency Mr. Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi, Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations.

Somalia sits at the centre of a region suffering from a deadly combination of the worst drought in six decades, soaring food prices and now escalating conflict in southern Somalia. Thousands have already died and more than 13 million people still need humanitarian assistance across the region.

UNICEF and its partners over the past several months have saved the lives of thousands of children in the Horn of Africa, Some 110,000 severely malnourished children were treated at UNICEF-supported centres across the Horn. So far, UNICEF has vaccinated 1.2 million children against measles, including 1 million in South and Central Somalia. More than 2.6 million people were provided with access to safe water across the Horn and over 1.5 million were reached with hygiene awareness and supplies.

Since the beginning of July, UNICEF has transported more than 24,000 metric tons of life-saving supplies to Somalia, with 140 chartered flights, on 106 vessels and 90 trucks – ready to use therapeutic foods for 350,000 children and supplementary food for 350,000 families.

UNICEF is one of just a few organizations still operating in South and Central Somalia, working with more than 120 partners to reach hundreds of thousands of children and their families. Between July and the end of October, a total of 85,300 families, or 512,000 people, received blanket supplementary feeding in southern Somalia. Another 236,000 people including 47,000 children received prepared meals in Somalia between July and October.

However, despite increased humanitarian operations and som

Sunday, 6 November 2011

UNICEF urges media to hear the voices of children on climate change

As South Africa prepares for the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban from 28 November to 9 December 2011, UNICEF is urging media to consult with children on what they believe to be the key issues surrounding climate change, its impact on the children of South Africa, and what role children can play to address climate change.
A new study commissioned by UNICEF in partnership with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, to be launched in mid-November 2011, highlights the importance of child participation in designing effective responses to climate change.
The study ‘The Impact of Climate Change on Children in South Africa’ highlights the expected impact of climate change on children’s health, education, nutrition, safety and access to adequate housing and sanitation in South Africa – both directly and indirectly. However, in spite of their increased vulnerability, children cannot be viewed simply as victims of climate change. Children need to be – and have a right to be – actively involved in the discussions and planning of mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as policies and plans by various levels of government.
The study also reveals that there are a number of existing initiatives in South Africa through which children are participating in the climate change agenda. These could be strengthened to create a solid foundation for effective participation by children on climate change issues that can feed into, and strengthen policy and national response. Currently, most climate change-related policies do not adequately examine the specific impact of changing climatic conditions on children.
In preparation for the launch of the study in November, shortly before COP 17, UNICEF and partners have been engaging with children from school-based clubs across the country, to better understand their concerns and ideas for addressing climate change.
UNICEF is able to facilitate a limited number of interviews with children from the clubs, as well as experts on the impact of climate change on children, for interested media. An invitation to attend the official launch of the study will be shared with all media in the first week of November.
About UNICEFUNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: