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UNICEF's Simon Ingram reports on the Executive Board's visit to programs for children in Lao PDR.
Tags:UNICEF Field Visit to Lao PDR,child friendly schools,Lao PDR school programs,Mihnea Ioan Motoc,unicef,UNICEF child friendly schools,united nations childrens fund
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UNICEF Field Visit to Lao PDR
Male: You're watching UNICEF television.
A cheerful welcome from members of UNICEFs executive board visiting a primary school in Northern Laos as part of its latest mission to UNICEF operations in the field. This is one of more than 400 schools in Laos to have adapted the child friendly school concept designed to give children a quality education in a protective environment.
Good hygiene practice is an integral part of the learning experience here but just as important as the positive atmosphere such schools encourage.
Mihnea Ioan Motoc: It’s a very interesting concept, very based on a very comprehensive approach with the help of UNICEF and world food program. I saw kids that are happy and that’s great. And what impressed me a lot in addition to that was the sense of community participation.
Male: The week long visit took the delegation to some of the remoter parts of the country. In communities of such ethnic diversity, meeting the health needs of young children becomes a particular challenge.
Learning at the province, the delegation watched health outreach workers explain the benefits of immunization, breastfeeding and good nutrition. Executive Board President and Anders Liden helps dispense vitamin A drops to one infant before reflecting on his experiences with reporters from a UNICEF supported youth radio project.
Anders Liden: But this is country where the UNICEF can help very much. You have many, many children and the children are the best investment for the future. And by investing in the children, the UNICEF and the government together can help give you the development you will have very soon.
Male: The importance of investing in children was a theme that figured strongly during the executive boards meetings with senior government officials. Here the deputy prime ministers, Somsanith Vongkotrattana.
And nowhere did the message seem more relevant than at the drop- in center for street children that the delegation visited in the capital Vientiane. They are energy apart. It was perhaps the views of these youngsters that left the most indelible impression on the visitors as they prepare to depart the land where 35 years after opening its first project, UNICEF’s commitment to children remain as strong as ever.
This is Simon Ingram in Laos reporting for UNICEF. Unite the children.