Category Archives: Poverty

IKEA Foundation Grants $53 Million to Support Children’s Right to Play

War and conflict. Poverty. Gender discrimination. Growing up too fast. These are just some of the reasons children in some of the poorest countries around the world are not allowed to play. Play makes children healthier and more resilient. It heals some of their greatest wounds and helps them remain kids without growing up too soon. Additionally, play is every child’s fundamental right according to Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Unfortunately, millions of children around the world aren’t allowed to play.

IKEA is a global leader in the power of play not only in their stores but also in countries where children are routinely denied the right to play. That’s why the IKEA Foundation has granted $53 million to six leading global organizations that work with children and promote play including Handicap International, Save the Children, Special Olympics, Room to Read, UNICEF and War Child for its good cause campaign, Let’s Play for Change.

These six organizations will focus their efforts on helping children in Asia and Africa in countries such as Kenya, Bangladesh, Jordan, and Ethiopia. “Every child has the right to play. Stimulation through play is a critical part of a young child’s brain development and emotional well-being,” said Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation.

“Sadly, there are too many places around the world where devastating circumstances prevent children from simply being ‘kids’. Through the Let’s Play for Change campaign, we want to alleviate challenges to play and development in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

Learn more at ikeafoundation.org.

One World Play Project

Haiti.Jacmel.GoalsBeyondtheNet-667x500Another business that promotes play is the One World Play Project, a mission-driven company based in Berkeley, CA that makes resilient toys designed for rough terrain—fields scattered with rocks, thorns, and broken glass—where most of the world plays.

When you buy a One World Futbol ($39.50-$44.50 depending on the color), One World Play Project gives a Futbol to a community in need. The One World Futbol never needs a pump and never goes flat. If you just want to give a Futbol, the price is $25.

After seeing impoverished communities around the world where kids have made balls out of anything they can find, I know how important a simple ball can be for kids and their overall mental and physical health.

Learn more at oneworldplayproject.com.

Finnish Fashion Designer Creates Maternity Wear for 12-Year-Olds to Highlight Worldwide Child Pregnancy

Child pregnancy is a worldwide blight. Seven million girls in developing countries under the age of 18 become pregnant every year meaning that they have to grow up too soon, put an end to their education, look for adequate healthcare that they can afford, earn money somehow, possibly marry a much older suitor, and figure out a life for her and her child. 11 percent of all worldwide births are by girls between the ages of 15 – 19 according to the World Health Organization. These pregnancies cause far too many maternal and newborn deaths across the globe.

To bring awareness to the number of girls who become pregnant each year in lower-and-middle-income countries, Finnish fashion designer Paola Suhonen created a collection of six, brightly-hued maternity dresses with childhood motifs for 12-year-olds. If this sounds a bit sensational, you’re correct. Suhonen’s maternity collection is solely designed to show the world that too many young girls become pregnant each year because they often don’t have other life options but to become pregnant and are often not taught proper sexual and reproductive health education. It’s a sad state of affairs to be sure, but it happens every day. In fact, 5,500 girls under the age of 15 become pregnant daily.

Working in collaboration with Plan Finland as an issue raising endeavor, Suhonen traveled to Zambia with renown photographer Meeri Koutaniemi to recreate what would be a regular fashion shoot, but instead featured an expectant child mother, Fridah, as her primary model.

“I designed a collection that I wish is not needed and that I don’t want to sell,” said Suhonen. ” This campaign brings together two very important issues – children’s and women’s rights. I hope that people will wake up to the circumstances in which millions of girls live in developing countries.”

Plan Finland has created a thorough FAQ page to answer any questions about the ethics of this campaign. You can donate here.

Ensuring Safer Pregnancies for Kenyan Women in Urban Slums

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Antenatal care is important during pregnancy.
Reuters

Blessing Mberu, African Population and Health Research Center; Kanyiva Muindi, African Population and Health Research Center, and Patricia Elungata, McGill University

Globally, there’s a general decline in the number of women who die from pregnancy or childbirth complications. However in Kenya, it remains high at 488
deaths per 100,000 live births. Maternal mortality is a health indicator of the wide gaps
between rich and poor, urban and rural areas within countries.

The lack of appropriate maternal health services and an almost near absence of public health facilities within the slums has led to the reliance on for profit health facilities.

Most of the health facilities available in the slums face challenges like the lack of skilled personnel and necessary equipment to deal with maternal and child health emergencies.

Transport costs and poverty are barriers to proper utilisation of maternal health care services in the slums leading to deaths of mothers during this critical period.

Continue reading Ensuring Safer Pregnancies for Kenyan Women in Urban Slums

WATCH: Ed Sheeran Visits Liberia for Red Nose Day

The Red Nose Day campaign to end child poverty returns in the U.S. on Thursday, May 25, in conjunction with a night of special programming and the third annual “Red Nose Day Special” on NBC.

One of the best ways to help vulnerable children in low-and-middle-income countries is by telling their authentic stories to those who can help make their lives a little better.

Along with Comic Relief, Ed Sheeran recently traveled to West Point, one of west Africa’s largest and most dangerous slums, in Liberia’s capital Monrovia. There he saw children whose lives have been routinely ravaged by poverty, the Ebola crisis, and an economy that was devastated by the notorious disease that killed thousands. Today, an estimated 14,000 children (some as young as seven) are living and working on Monrovia’s streets.

In Liberia, Sheeran shot a video set to “What Do I Know,” a track from Ed’s latest album Divide to bring awareness to street kids who live in Monrovia.

Continue reading WATCH: Ed Sheeran Visits Liberia for Red Nose Day