Mark Your Calendar: Oct 11 is now International Day of the Girl

It’s Official: October 11th will now be known as International Day of the Girl

As a much needed holiday gift, U.N. policy makers recognized October 11th as a day to realize the difference girls make in their families, communities, and countries. Accord to Nigel Chapmen, CEO of Plan International, girls are at a huge disadvantage simply because of their gender. The creation of a day that recognizes the importance of respecting, educating, and empowering girls will help put a focus on girls’ rights to equality.

We at CKi look forward to celebrating this day to recognize and benefit the most vulnerable citizens of the world: girls.

To read more: http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2011/12/25/International-Day-of-the-Girl-Child-agreed/UPI-68491324869817/?spt=hs&or=hn

~~Stay tuned for updates about the wonderful things happening around the world~~

Advertisements

Equal Rights for Disabled People in Developing Countries to Safe Water& Accessible Toilets

Using a dirty washroom can be a real challenge. This is the kind of defy I face when I travel and work overseas. Each time, I think I am a lucky girl, imaging what it would be like if I were disabled!

Disabled people represent the largest socially excluded group across the world. In many cases, they live without access to basic toilets, thus exacerbating poverty and lack of dignity. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the world’s first report on disability, showing that over a billion people—15% of the world’s population—are disabled, a large majority of whom living in developing countries.

Interestingly, disabled people have historically been excluded from development work and research. One of the best examples is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/). How can we impact significantly the different facets of global poverty, if there is not a specific focus on the poorest of the poor—i.e. the disabled.

Disability is less about health and far more about social and economic barriers to inclusion. Poor sanitation, unsafe water, a lack of access to healthcare, and malnutrition can all lead to disabling conditions. For this reason, the WHO report puts safe water and sanitation at the centre of helping to prevent disability and poverty.

Accessible toilets enable disabled people to be independent and lead healthier, more dignified lives. Simple adaptations can make a world of difference, allowing a disabled person to use a latrine rather than needing to defecate in the open. This would help to put an end to poor health and debilitating diarrhea.

WaterAid (http://www.wateraid.org/) is committed to ensuring access for all and breaking down the barriers that face disabled people.

To read more about the different initiatives undertaken by WaterAid and how simple ideas and technology can change lives and re-establish a person in society, go to:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/barbara-frost/un-persons-with-disabilities-_b_1125699.html

~~Stay tuned for updates about the wonderful things happening around the world~~

‘International Girls’ Day’ Gets A Final Push

We are almost there! The resolution was adopted by consensus at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly and will go to the full Assembly for adoption the week of December 19th.

Leymah Gbowee, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been a long standing supporter of an international day dedicated to girls. She said it would help bring to light the issues of girls before governments, media, and educational institutions. “Girls are the future of the world and we definitely need a day dedicated to their issues.”

Research has shown that simply being born a girl can leave a child at a huge disadvantage in life. In the poorest societies, a girl faces greater risk of malnutrition, hunger, and disease compared to her brothers. She will have fewer opportunities for an education and career. In many developing countries 1 out of 7 girls marries before age 15, resulting in them having to drop out of school before they have a chance to receive the education they deserve.

Girls themselves first raised the crucial issue of the need to recognize their rights at a UN gender summit in 2009. Since then girls have lobbied for this day, with the support and guidance of Plan. This idea was reinforced through the amazing ‘Because I am a Girl’ Plan campaign (http://becauseiamagirl.ca/).

Focusing on women and girls can have the greatest impact in alleviating poverty impact on the most vulnerable. This is well established in the Plan report “State of the World’s Girls 2009: Girls in the global economy’”
(http://plan-international.org/girls/resources/girls-in-the-global-economy-2009.php) as well as through the work done by OXFAM for whom ending global poverty begins with women’s rights (http://www.oxfam.ca/).

To read more about this great news, go to:

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/international-day-of-the-girl-child-gets-a-final-push

The tranquil revolution is underway!

~~Stay tuned for updates about the wonderful things happening around the world~~

A Sweet and Orange Solution for Vitamin Deficiency – Developing Countries Take Action Against Lifestyle Diseases

As announced this year by the UN, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension are largely “forgotten” issue in developing countries. These countries show a higher prevalence of such ailments when compared to developed countries (80% of cases are in the developing world). Experts say that this will be the epidemic facing developing nations in the 21st century, greater than HIV in the 20th century, if trends are not combated in the near future.

In their feature, the BBC World Service program talks about the Botswana initiative to show the reality of NCDs in the developing world and the proactive action plan being put in place by schools to reverse the current trends. The aim is to increase awareness in children and youth about the importance of healthy eating, active lifestyle, and health benefit of specific foods. Scientists have discovered that upon introducing African families to the orange sweet potatoes, as an alternative to the white or pale yellow sweet potato typically grown in Africa, Vitamin A intake in women and children doubled. Vitamin A is essential in preventing blindness and supporting the immune system. A deficiency of this essential nutrient is very prevalent in Africa, causing many children to go blind prior to starting school, as well as increasing their susceptibility to diarrhea and respiratory illnesses. These are just some of the key points highlighted in this short presentation.

To learn more about this terrific proactive initiative, go to:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00lrkcb/Health_Check_30_11_2011/

Our organization, Cki is taking part in the youth awareness movement with its project in Ghana where we have set up a school garden club. The children are already growing a large variety of vegetable and we will soon start an education program on the importance of food diversity, good nutrition, and healthy lifestyle.

~~Stay tuned for updates about the wonderful things happening around the world~~

The orange sweet potato is common in North America and is much higher in Vitamin D than it's white or pale yellow cousin that is normally grown in Africa. However, families in Africa who were given this orange sweet potato to grow were able to significantly increase their Vitamin D intake, protecting themselves from blindness and strengthening their immune system