Friday, August 28, 2015

Protecting Viet Nam’s Invisible Children

Mai* is 12 years old and lives in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam’s largest and most prosperous city.  Her house consists of a 10m2 slab of concrete with aluminum sheeting for walls and roof. Mai lives there with her parents and four siblings, who up until recently had never gone to school, nor had regular health checkup, vaccinations or access to social assistance programmes that are normally available the poor in Viet Nam.

While 96 per cent of Vietnamese children are registered at birth, Mai and her siblings are part of the four percent who fall through the cracks. Unregistered children in Viet Nam are almost always from poor, ethnic minority or migrant families.  Mai’s parents cannot read or write and did not understand the benefits that birth registration would confer on their children.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Volunteering in Vietnam: Aisling Daly (from Ireland) – her story

I started in my position as a United Nations Youth Volunteer in Nutrition working with UNICEF Viet Nam in May 2015. I was really excited about the prospect of living and working in this amazing country whilst also working within the UN system for the first time. 

Breastfeeding at work (animation)

The theme of this year's World Breastfeeding Week is "Let’s make it work!” which focuses on supporting women to combine work and breastfeeding. Alive & Thrive and UNICEF created this animated video to show the benefits of creating a dedicated lactation space for moms in the workplace!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Escaping violence & moving forward

“Hung” in his home in Dong Thap Province, Viet Nam
© UNICEF Viet Nam \2015\Truong Viet Hung
Hung*, now 16, had a hard start in life. Hung’s mother left the family years ago, never to return, while his father struggled to make ends meet to feed his new wife and baby girl. Too poor and too busy trying to survive, Hung’s father could not provide a nurturing, safe environment for his son. Hung’s grandmother became his primary caregiver but she passed away when he was only 12.

That is when life became more difficult for Hung.  He struggled to do well at school and eventually dropped out in the 4th grade.  With no schooling and no one at home to watch over him, Hung spent more time with friends in internet gaming cafes.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nepal earthquake: a sleepless night in the aftermath

Displaced families gather in an open field following the earthquake in Nepal. (C)UNICEF Nepal/2015/Rupa Joshi
Last night was a sleepless one for most people in Kathmandu. It was for me. Sleep does not come easily when the earth shakes violently every now and then. Sometimes it starts with a gentle rocking, followed by the strange noises that homes make when an earthquake rolls in.