Wednesday, 31 March 2010

UNICEF "Put It Right" Campaign - Aklima's Story

Children around the world are having their rights denied every day. UNICEF is working in 193 countries to protect these rights, making sure children's voices are heard and listened to.

Aklima's Story
Aklima, aged 12, lives in Dhaka in Bangladesh with her parents, four sisters and two brothers. Her family is very poor.
Aklima doesn’t spend her days in a classroom like other children her age.
Instead, she makes a living by scavenging for bits of plastic and scraps of paper at a rubbish dump.

Dangerous work
Every morning, Aklima makes the hour-long walk to the dump with her friends. They chat and laugh together throughout the day, but the work can be dangerous.
“Sometimes I cut my hands and legs on broken glass or tins.”
It’s wrong that Aklima has to work. Because she works, she has not been able to go to a normal primary school.

Denied an education
Around the world, approximately 100 million children - the majority of them girls - are still denied their right to go to school.
Without an education, it is almost impossible for children like Aklima to get out of the poverty that forces them to work in dangerous, unpleasant conditions.
“I don’t want to do this work.”

Poverty and other barriers
Poverty and pressure to work are not the only things keeping children out of the classroom.
Lack of facilities, war, and discrimination against girls and minority groups deny other children the chance to learn.
Yet every child, wherever they are, has the right to free primary education.

UNICEF works to put it right
A few months ago, a social worker introduced Aklima to an informal, open-air school near the rubbish dump. The school is run by a local organisation in partnership with UNICEF.
Although Aklima still has to work in the morning, she can now go to school in the afternoon.
“It’s good to go to school.”

A love of learning
Aklima is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn. She enjoys being with all the other children and her favourite subject is maths.
“We study. Everyone sits together. We draw pictures and write Bangla.”
UNICEF recognises that even basic, part-time education can make a world of difference for children like Aklima – and their children in turn.

Essential supplies
UNICEF works to ensure that all children have the chance to go to school.
We help to put essential supplies such as books in place wherever children need them. We work with families, communities and governments to tackle child labour.
We partner with local organisations to reach out to children like Aklima.

You can help
Aklima now has the chance to go to school, but millions of children around the world still can’t get any education.
UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. We need your help to ensure that every child has the chance to learn - and so develop to their full potential.
Denying a child’s right to education is wrong. Help us put it right for children like Aklima.

With grateful thanks to UNICEF for their permission to reproduce this material from their official site.
If you wish to learn more about the work carried out by UNICEF click on the following link: