What is innocence? Is it lack of experience? Freedom from guile or sin or bad behavior? Is it nearness to beauty, to God? Innocence is what we expect of a child. It’s the terrain of childhood, of the beginning. It was why they gave me the silver dollar. There was no reason not to. I [...]
I came upon this excellent article by journalist James Rupert, Afghanistan’s Miracle School for Street Kids Struggles to Survive Among the Wealthy (full disclosure: Jim is an old college friend of mine). It got me thinking about the ethical difficulties attendant upon much of humanitarian aid as currently practised by the United States. The vast [...]
An important new report on child labor and access to education by UN special envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown.
Dear Malala, By now you’ve been airlifted to a hospital in the UK, and are, I hope, on the way to recovery. It is almost inconceivable to me that hatred and fear of women can be so strong, that the mere possibility of girls competing on an equal footing with boys could impel someone to [...]
I’ve just attended the Global March Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture in Washington DC.The room was filled with people committed to ridding the world of products made by child labor labor. They have their work cut out for them.
The latest trend report from ILO/IPEC provides new global and regional estimates on child labour for the year 2008 and compares them with the previous 2004 estimates. It also explains in detail the underlying estimation methodologies and gives an overview of the datasets used. The report shows that globally child labour continues to decline, albeit at a lower rate. Key findings are presented according to: form of children’s work, age group, sex, region, sector of activity and status in employment.
The shoot in Liberia immediately presented itself to me as an opportunity to do something a little different from my usual verité-influenced documenting of a project for a client. For starters, I had two of the best project managers/partners a filmmaker could ask for in Louis Vigneault (of UNICEF) and Chernor Bah (of UNFPA). They [...]
2011 Human Rights Watch report on children involved in mining gold by hand using mercury to bind the gold in Mali.
A GIFT is a short film set to jazz pianist Geri Allen’s Christmas album, ” A Child Is Born” and was inspired by the children of Kenya we met visiting the country this past September.
Millions of children living in the slums of Delhi in India do not have access to formal education. Many families prefer their children to work and earn an income rather than attend school. “It’s bad when we are told that we are an illiterate group and that we don’t know anything,” says Nishi, one of the children enrolled in the “bus schools.” They are built from converted school buses that visit contact points in the city, teaching an estimated 300 children for two hours daily. The aim of the bus schools is to eventually enroll the children in formal education in government schools.
Every year, throughout the world, millions of young girls are forced into marriage. Child marriage is outlawed in many countries and international agreements forbid the practice yet this tradition still spans continents, language, religion and caste.
Over an eight-year period, photographer Stephanie Sinclair has investigated the phenomenon of child marriage in India, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia. Her multimedia presentation, produced in association with National Geographic, synthesizes this body of work into a call to action. See also the related article here (Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting)
In this IndiaUnheard video, Mukesh Rajak says that students in his district are often required to pay teachers bribes for everything from basic school supplies, to taking final exams to, well—teaching. Jharkhand has some of the highest rates of teacher absenteeism in the nation.
Mukesh, who comes from a poor Dalit family, says that on several occasions he was asked to pay bribes by his school teachers. The demand was particularly high before any festival. Since Mukesh’s family lived on the meagre income of his mother, it was very difficult for him to bear the extra burden of expenses. It was this bitter personal experience that made him do the video and speak up against the petty corruption that restricts poor children’s access to education.
Daraja Academy is a revolutionary idea – a secondary school where remarkable Kenyan girls, otherwise forgotten due to the lack of school fees, are given the one thing they desire most…a chance to succeed, because Daraja and its supporters believe educated girls can transcend poverty and change the world.
Annual Report 2010 highlights UNICEF’s contributions to achieving the MDGs in 2010 by providing assistance towards improving children’s health, expanding access to quality education and protecting children’s rights in more than 150 countries and territories, including in places of crisis. The report emphasizes how UNICEF is reorienting its programming to more closely target and meet the rights and needs of the most deprived and marginalized children to achieve greater progress with equity.
A report by the Jan Sahas Social Development Society on Dalits’ access to social services
Moving back and forth from state to state, from school to school and from home to home has been a disappointment and a relief. It is a disappointment because I leave numerous wonderful teachers and friends behind. After having several months of being with my friends and my teachers, I get attached to them. We [...]
This week at Media Voices, we’re considering the Third Millennium Development Goal – the one about promoting gender equality in education and empowering women. Or rather, we’re considering its opposite – several extreme examples of female powerlessness, and the ripple effect on their children’s lives and the societies they live in. We have two videos [...]
After four years of devastation in southern Lebanon, reconstruction is beginning. In the film by UN in Action, a new program supported by ILO, the International Labour Organization, is training young people at risk for long-term unemployment. One of them is a determined young woman studying to become southern Lebanon’s first woman electrician.
The Weigh Scale, produced by IRIN Films, introduces 14-year-old Sori, who never knew his father, was abandoned by his mother and left to fend for himself in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. At night he goes to a park in the center of the city with a set of scales and weighs people for money – to pay for his schooling.
Today, April 12th, is the first International Day of Street Children. This week at Media Voices, we have a wonderful film, Ukraine’s Lost Children by Antony Butts, courtesy of the Guardian, on the difficult struggle of the police in Odessa to reach children living on the street in subzero temperatures. Sullen and cynical, the children [...]
A co-production by Apnalaya and Plan International, this short film looks at the obstacles to birth registration in the slums of Mumbai. The objective of the Universal Birth Registration project is “to ensure the universal birth registration of children born in India and issuance of official birth certificates to children living in difficult circumstances”.
I recently saw a wonderful film, The First Grader, based on the true story of an 88 year-old Kenyan man, Maruge Litondo, who took advantage of the Kenyan government’s decree that “all” are entitled to a free primary school education to return to first grade as the oldest student imaginable.