Saturday, 29 March 2014

Sharing Web Resources

The website that I have been using over the past few weeks is UNICEF. I have specifically used UNICEF Canada, Haiti and Australia when considering different topics for many different reasons and assignments. I love the website because you can access information for almost any country around the world and because UNICEF is a prominent and well regarded organization they are able to offer pertinent information on a wide range of topics across the globe.

Among all the valuable information available on this website one story that stood out with regards to my current professional development had to do with the current situation in Syria. As we just finished discussing poverty this article spoke to me right away. I knew the situation was bleak but when reading the statistics I was overwhelmed. The article headline states: “Children of Syria-A Generation is about to be lost. We can stop this”. I had to read on. The article stated that 5.5 children are currently at risk because of the three year conflict that has devastated the country. 1.2 million Syrian children have been evacuated and are now in refugee camps in the surrounding countries. Before reading this article I hadn’t thought about the way in which for many children this life is all that they have ever known. They were born into this conflict, strife and poverty and will not know anything else if we do not help them. In order to support these children, UNICEF has helped support a humanitarian operation supplying food, water, education, clothing and critical immunizations to Syria and its neighboring countries. 9 million children have been vaccinated against polio. More than 10 million people have received clean, safe water and 480,000 children who couldn’t go to school are learning again through UNICEF child friendly centres.

UNICEF explains that their work supports children’s rights for survival, helps to stop child exploitation, acts as an emergency humanitarian aid, helps support child development and education, protects children from AIDS and HIV and works as an advocate for all children in over 192 countries throughout the world. UNICEF is “the world’s leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency” (UNICEF Canada, 2014). As the world’s advocate for children’s rights, they influence perspectives, policies and decisions to advance the rights of children in all countries. (UNICEF Canada, 2014). In terms of advocating for children across the globe UNICEF works with governments, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to produce leading research and put it into action for children and their communities.

UNICEF Canada, 2014. Retrieved from

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Getting to Know Your International Contacts: Part 1

For this week’s blog I did my best to communicate with the professionals I originally reached out to with a limited response. Stephanie Olmore, the Director of Quality Enhancement Initiatives at the NAEYC sent me several links to articles discussing international efforts related to poverty. I also decided to use the website to research poverty across the globe because I could not gain access to the website I messaged several professionals from the NAEYC global alliance partners list but several have not replied and several of the emails bounced back as unknown recipients. Someone that I am really eager to get in touch with from the Global Alliance from NAEYC is Dominique Hudicourt from the Step by Step Program in Haiti. A friend of mine recently adopted a little girl from Haiti who was orphaned in the earthquake that devastated the lives of so many people. Meeting this strong, brave and beautiful little girl has really affected me and has made me want to look into the conditions of poverty that affect this country.

First, the website offers statistics and facts about poverty issues in the U.S and across the globe. The first fact that I read truly shocked me. The website states that: “Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day” (Shah, 2013). Furthermore, the article explains that the two regions that account for the greatest part of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Shah explains that, “the poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income” (Shah, 2013). How corrupt is this! This statistic wasn’t all that surprising but it was still infuriating. The statement that really resonated with me is a quote that Shah referenced from UNICEF. It explains, “According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death” (Shah, 2013). The main issues discussed in the article that continue to cause poverty or affect the poor are that the poorest children (especially girls) are unable to attend schools. “Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen” (Shah, 2013). Diseases such as HIV and malaria cause the most deaths in children worldwide. The article also references safe water and shelter to be life threatening causes affecting the poor across the globe.

Statistics about poverty in Haiti:
1) As a result of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 approximately 230,000 people were killed in a matter of moments and 2 million others were displaced. 
2) Over 70,000 homes, businesses and public buildings were destroyed and nearly 5000 of these include schools.
     3) 500,000 children in Haiti are living in camps and many others living in slums. These children lack the protection of social and police services, and are under continued threat of exploitation and abuse.


The website offers pertinent information about their cause and many programs that they offer in response to the need in Haiti. The website also offers many opportunities to get involved, volunteer or help out financially by making a donation to an intended cause.


Save the Children Federation, Inc. (2014). Save the Children-Haiti. Retrieved from:

Shah, A. (2013).  Poverty Facts and Stats. Global Issues- Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All. Retrieved from:

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Sharing Web Resources

I subscribed to three newsletters as part of last week’s blog task but out of the three the one that I am most interested in looking into further is the UNICEF organization. There are many focuses in this month’s newsletter and the main stories include: Community Health Workers (life- saving services for children and families around the world), UNICEF's flagship report (children living with a disability in 2013), Help health workers reach mums in the crucial first 28 days, Kilimanjaro Climb for kids in 2014 and Child Rights Animation Released. I chose UNICEF and took a closer look at Australia as I explained in last week’s blog. I like that UNICEF is an international website and that information from other countries in readily available and easy to access through their website. A specific issue that is addressed that stands out to me because it offers a different perspective from that of us here in North America is the salute to Community Health Care Workers. The newsletter explains that in the most remote parts of the world, community health workers are often the only support a new mother has in the lead-up to the birth of her baby, and in the challenging weeks after the birth. It is often these health workers that aid a mother in learning to breastfeed and in monitoring a baby's health. The article explains that volunteer nurses, community outreach workers, and mobile health workers are often unsung heroes who volunteer their time to teach breastfeeding practices, provide immunizations, make home visits to remote area and teach best nutrition practices to new mothers and their children (UNICEF, 2014).

Here is a link to this week’s newsletter and this story in particular:

UNICEF explains that “their vision is a world where the basic rights of every child will be met. UNICEF works to support child health and nutrition, clean water and sanitation, quality education for all boys and girls and the protection of children from violence, exploitation and HIV” (UNICEF, 2014).

In this month’s newsletter there is a link for a very informative media presentation called “Rights with Ruby and Jack”. I think that this is a great tool for children and early childhood workers alike to spread awareness and understanding about the rights of every child and the responsibilities we have so that all children around the world can live happy and healthy lives.

Finally, this week’s newsletter had an article called “Mass polio vaccinations begin amid instability of Syrian conflict”. I didn’t even realize that polio had again become an issue not only in Syria but in countries all over the Middle East. The article explains that have begun a multi-country vaccination campaign in seven countries across the Middle East in the hope of reaching more than 22 million children multiple times over six months (UNICEF, 2014).  

UNICEF Australia, 2014. Retrieved from

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Establishing Professional Contacts

Part 1: Establishing Professional Contacts

In preparation for this task I sent emails the contacts listed in the blog resources section. The first organization that I contacted via email is UNICEF Australia. I lived and worked in Australia for a year and have seen ways in which this organization has a positive effect on early childhood learners. While living in Brisbane, I saw an issue common to one we have in Canada. Often the First Nations Peoples of the country, end up thrown into classrooms without the language, culture or the means to afford the requirements they need for their children. In Canada, our first nation’s peoples are often moved from Northern Reservations into larger city centers and are expected to “fit in” or “assimilate” into a world they do not know or understand. This is very much the same for Australian Aboriginals sent from small Northern communities. The website states: “UNICEF research shows that 10.9 per cent of children in Australia live in relative poverty. The most at-risk groups are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children in out-of-home care and children of asylum seekers” ( UNICEF advocates for these and ALL children and provides funding for children in need. I heard back from this organization and they also made me aware of their blog and told to me to sign up for their newsletter, which I did. There is a section for “can’t find what you are looking for?” questions, which I think will really help with this endeavor. The organization will direct you to an article to help answer questions or will email you back with a response.

The second organization I reached out to is the NAYEC- Global Alliance for the Education of Young Children. I emailed the NAYEC to explain the blog task requirements and also signed up for the Newsletter. To be honest, coming from Canada before my courses at Walden I was not at all familiar with the NAYEC we have the Canadian Association for Young Children instead. I took time to explore several articles and the blog but still have not heard back from them. I think that I will be able to continue with this task and will not need to do the alternate task. I started making contact on Thursday so it has only been three days, I believe that I will hear back before the next blog task.

Part 2: Expanding Resources
For Part 2, I am very interested in looking at two websites. I signed up for the newsletter for “The Global Fund for Children” and read some of the recent blog posts and watched some of the recent videos. I live in my own little bubble and cannot imagine the torment that some of the children in the world face. How ignorant and sheltered I am to the real perils that still exist for children all over the globe. I watched the Valentine’s Video on the website and it brought me to tears. It showcases children who were once child soldiers and are now students, girls who were once not allowed an education enrolled in school. The video showed children who overcame slavery as well as children who have overcome natural disasters and are now safe. The other night my boyfriend and I watched the movie, “12 years a slave”, I cried and thought about how awful those times were- its unimaginable that children are still facing these living conditions every day! The second website I want to look into further is “Because I am a Girl”.  Here are some statistics highlighted on the website:

70% of the one billion people living in extreme poverty are women and girls.
Girls are 3x more likely to be malnourished than boys.
Globally, 65 million* girls do not attend primary or secondary school.

There is an urgent need to stand up for the rights of millions of girls. In the poorest regions of the world, girls face double discrimination and unique barriers to survival and development, simply because they are young and female.
But when girls attain their basic human rights, they will:
Be 6x less likely to be married as children
Have 2.2 fewer yet healthier children
Increase their contributions to household income by 18%
I truly believe that this website is catering to a much needed cause, one that I want to be a part of. 

NAYEC. Global Alliance for the Education of Young Children. Retrieved from:

Plan International Canada Inc. 2014.  “The Plan, Because I am a Girl”. Retrieved from:

The Global Fund for Children. Retrieved from: . (Newsletter:

UNICEF Australia. Retrieved from: