Children’s status unpacked in Child Equity Report

khanyi---textNdalo Media CEO, Khanyi Dlhomo believes there needs to be radical social change which ensures that fewer children live in poverty and that more have a fair chance in using their wings to achieve greatness and to soar. (Images: Play Your Part Reporter)

A new partnership has been formed between Unicef and Ndalo Media to help to give every child a fair chance in life.

The announcement of the venture was made at Capital Moloko in Sandton on 21 November, as part of the release of the 2015 Child Equity Report. Called For Every Child a Fair Chance, the report was released by the Unicef representative in South Africa, Hervé Ludovic de Lys. Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is a UN programme that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.

Ndalo Media chief executive Khanyi Dlhomo, along with Unicef celebrity advocates Zakes Bantwini and singer Tshedi Mholo of Malaika were at the event.

“Unicef, as an organisation working towards a more equitable world by advocating for and promoting the rights of children has partnered with Ndalo Media in order to positively impact the lives of children in South Africa and globally,” said Ludovic de Lys.

“Unicef continues to witness how collective action is powerful enough to influence leaders and decision makers to effectively address the challenges faces by those who will be expected to create a prosperous future.”

Herve---TextUnicef representative in South Africa, Hervé Ludovic de Lys, presented the report.

Dlhomo quoted a Sudanese proverb that parents wanted to bequeath two things to their children: the first was roots, the second wings. “As a mother, I share this view. Roots ensure that our children understand the context of where they come from, while wings ensure that they are able to activate it.

“And there’s no organisation which understands this better than Unicef. As a global organisation it ensures, through the 192 countries it operates in, that even the most marginalised of children are given a fair chance to activate their wings.”

KEY CHALLENGES

There has been progress in addressing child equity in South Africa, according to the report but there are key challenges:

  • Nearly one in four children under the age of five still suffer from stunted growth.
  • Globally, fewer than two out of five children under six months of age are breastfed exclusively, a critical practice for child survival and wellbeing.
  • Progress on birth registration has been uneven, but least developed countries, as a whole, have recorded the sharpest gains in recent years.
  • There is a high degree of variation in rates of child marriage from region to region, with the highest prevalence in South-Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Africa’s increasing share of the world’s child population makes investing in children, particularly the poorest, more imperative than ever. Africa lies at the crossroads of two major trends: rising populations and accelerated urbanisation. The intersection of these trends can create a negatively reinforced cycle of deprivation.

“Unicef’s 2015 Child Equity Report, entitled For Every Child a Fair Chance, shows that today 721 million fewer people live in poverty than did 30 years ago,” Dlhomo said. “It’s a definite progression – but, of those people still living in poverty, 47% of these are children.

“This statistic poignantly highlights the need for equity and that there needs to be radical social change which ensures that fewer children live in poverty and that more have a fair chance in using their wings to achieve greatness and to soar.”

PROJECTIONS FOR PROGRESS BY 2030

Unaddressed, inequalities in childhood and adolescence will continue to generate problematic outcomes for families around the world, reads the report. Current rates of progress are insufficient to close gaps in equity by 2030.

Without accelerated progress, for example:

  • Population growth in lower-performing regions will leave the same number of children out of school in 2030 as there are today.
  • Almost 120 million children will suffer from stunted growth by 2030, denying them a fair chance at growth and development.
  • The world will be able to eliminate open defecation over the next 15 years only if it doubles the current rate of reduction.

“We’re proud to be in partnership with Unicef, an organisation whose programmes focus on improving the standards of living of the world’s most disadvantaged children,” Dlhomo said. “The launch of the equity report comes ahead of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, which commences on 25 November 2015. This is also the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

“The need for these significant days and periods are also a reflection of the broken society within which we live and within which we expect a positive future from our children and youth. Ndalo Media recognises that in order to see our children and the youth experience a positive future, we need to give them the adequate support that will prevent them from having clipped wings.”