Tuesday, December 16, 2014

5 Questions to Daniel Toole, UNICEF Regional Director, following recent visit to Rakhine and the review of the “Rakhine State Plan for Children”

©UNICEF Myanmar/2014
By Mariana Palavra on 16 December 2014
“All children, all rights, everywhere, at all times”, that’s how Daniel Toole, Regional Director for UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Region, sums up his five-day visit to Myanmar.
In his third official visit to Myanmar, the Regional Director went to Rakhine State for the first time, where he had the chance to visit both the humanitarian and development assistance provided by UNICEF in cooperation with the Rakhine State Government.

Monday, December 15, 2014

UNICEF Trains Teachers in Conflict-Affected Areas of Kayin State, Myanmar

Children at a school in Kyar Inn Seik
By Aung Kyaw Soe, Education Officer for Peacebuilding, UNICEF Myanmar

On 25 November, 2014 I participated in a 3 day training of community-based teachers in Kyar Inn Seik Gyi Township, Kayin State. The teachers showed a lot of enthusiasm for learning about the principles of Child Friendly Schools and Peacebuilding Education. At first participants seemed nervous about how they would be perceived by their peers and whether they would have the capacity to absorb all of the information the training module provided. The UNICEF staff reassured them that the training was going to build on the capacity and knowledge they already had in order to help them improve their teaching skills and by the end of the training the teachers were much more open to sharing their experiences and the challenges they had been facing in their classrooms.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Photos: We all have dreams

This photo story illustrates the impact of family separation on children in Myanmar. Children living with parents are usually happier than those separated from them.

Education in Action!

By Eunwoo Kim, Knowledge Management Specialist, UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific.

03 December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The day reminds us that children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized groups in society, facing daily discrimination in the form of negative attitudes and barriers to accessing services and opportunities. Our vision is to build a world where every child can grow up healthy, protected from harm and educated, so they can reach their full potential.

Aung Thu Phyo came to School #19 in Hlaingtaryar Township, which is supported by the Quality Basic Education Programme, after being rejected from a different school because of his disability.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Preparing citizens for tomorrow’s Myanmar

By Anne-Cecile Vialle, Chief of the UNICEF Field Office for the South-East of Myanmar.

After thirty six years of service within the Ministry of Education, begun at the age of 18 in her native region Tanintharyi Division, Ms. Daw Myint Than still diffuses a vital energy and passion to her colleagues and students. For the past three years, working first as a head-teacher and now as the Township Education Officer, she has helped Thayetchaung township achieve the highest results in the Matriculation Exams at the regional level. Daw Myint Than is proud to add that her township scores first place in sport competitions, and that several students have obtained national prizes in academic and artistic competitions.

Daw Myint Than, Township Education Officer

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Myanmar Armed Forces release a further 80 children

Transit Centre No. 1, Yangon: 24 November:

Wearing traditional Myanmar checkered lungyis and starched white shirts with rounded collars, the young people sit down in rows of chairs and wait for further instruction. Most of them sit quietly but some fidget nervously and shift in their seats, craning their necks forward to see how the ceremony is progressing. 

They are 80 children and young people, all once recruited and used in the Tatmadaw. It is their final roll call as they prepare to leave the armed forces, discharged on the grounds that they should never have been enlisted in the first place.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Australia, European Union, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom and UNICEF Celebrate Children’s Right to Education

© UNICEF Myanmar 2012
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. 25 years ago today, the world made a promise to children: we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential. These rights apply equally to every child, regardless of who they are or where they come from.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Choose handwashing, choose health

October 15, 2014

The annual Global Handwashing Day (October 15) celebrations are occasions to emphasise the role of handwashing with soap in the prevention of common but potentially lethal diseases such as diarrhoea, and many countries around the world are holding activities to promote the practice.  Here we take a look at one initiative which is already proving successful in Myanmar:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Language and Education: A Force for Peace

"Education can be a force for preventing conflict, reconstructing countries after conflict, and building peace". Jose Ramos-Horta (Timor Leste), Nobel Peace Prize, 1996.
©UNICEF Myanmar/2013/ Jim Holmes
For children who speak minority languages, mother-tongue based education, particularly in the early grades, is critical for improving attendance in school as well as learning outcomes. Whether or not children are taught in their mother-tongue is closely linked with opportunities for social, citizenship and economic advancement.

Monday, August 18, 2014

International Youth Day – Myitkyina, 12th August 2014

Thirteen year old Mai Zinbu from Kachin, won first prize in the essay competition during the celebrations for International Youth Day in Myitkyina Township in Kachin State. ©UNICEF Myanmar/2014
“The world changes with your example, not with your opinions”: that’s what I found written on a wall somewhere during a trip in Central America. I was still a student, my last year of University. And that sentence contributed to inspiring all the following steps I’ve taken. That’s why probably it came back to my mind today, entering the compound of Myitkyina University.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mine Action in Kachin State

Children helping to prepare a display at Mine Action Day
©UNICEF Myanmar/2014/Phyusin Ngwethaw
Kachin State, 4 April 2014 - Landmines and explosive remnants of war injure and kill people every day around the world. Harmful devices left behind from times of conflict or placed intentionally continue to cause harm to vulnerable populations, including women and children. They also deny access to land that could be used for agriculture and livelihoods, inhibit the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and endanger refugees and internally displaced persons. Unfortunately this is also the case in Myanmar.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Voices of Children

“Voices of Children” highlights the key child rights issues affecting Myanmar’s children today. This in-house UNICEF Myanmar production seeks to spotlight commitments made by the Myanmar Government when signing up to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The theme of the video is what Myanmar’s current reform process means to Myanmar’s children themselves. The only words spoken throughout the video are those of children and adolescents. The video thus reinforces the importance of listening to and learning from children and adolescents in a new Myanmar. The video brings together inclusive, diverse footage from across Myanmar in an attempt to highlight the need for equity and ‘strength in diversity’ going forward.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Universal Children’s Day 2013 – children call for peace across Myanmar


Anna Richardson works on advocacy, communication and partnerships at UNICEF Myanmar. She was Campaign Coordinator for the launch of ‘Peace not Violence: Joining Hands Across Myanmar’ under the leadership of Campaign Director Kirsten Sjolander with the support of members of the UNICEF Myanmar advocacy and communication and child protection teams including Media Coordinator Pa Pa Khin and Child Protection Officer Khin Thiri Win.

On Saturday 23 November 2013, I was lucky enough to be a part of a show of hands against violence in Myanmar. What made this experience unique was that these were children’s hands with children’s words of peace - words like “love”, “kindness”, “understanding”. Some messages even tapped into societal issues related to violence like inter-communal relations and alcohol abuse. The words – and the children themselves – sent a strong message of non-violence, the sea of hands a striking display.