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|作者：佚名 文章来源：China Daily 点击数：53 更新时间：2017/5/10|
I must say that up until a year ago, before I was given the great privilege of becoming a volunteer for UNICEF, I used to be overwhelmed by a sense of desperation and helplessness when watching television and reading about the misery of the developing world’s children and their mothers. If I feel less helpless today, it is because I have seen what is being done by UNICEF and many other marvelous organizations and agencies, by the churches, by governments and most of all, with very little help, by people themselves.
The effects of the monstrous burden of debt have made the poor even poorer and have fallen most heavily on the neediest, and those whom it has damaged the most have been women and children. We must do more about the alarming state in which the children in the developing world are only just surviving, especially when we know that the finances needed are minimal compared to the global expenditure of this world; when we know that less than half of one percent of today’s world economy would be the total required to eradicate the worst aspects of poverty and would meet their basic human needs over the next 10 years. In other words, there is no deficit in human resources. The deficit is in human will.
The question I am most frequently asked is: “what do you really do for UNIGEF?” Clearly, my task is to inform, to create awareness of the needs of children. To fully understand the problems of the state of the world’s children, it would be nice to be an expert on education, economies, ...politics, religions, traditions and culture. I am none of these things, but I am a mother.
There is, unhappily, a need for great advocacy for children~children haunted by undernourishment, disease and death, and you don’t have to be a financial whiz to look into so many little faces with diseases, glazed eyes to know that this is the result of critical malnutrition. One of the worst symptoms of which is Vitamin A deficiency that causes comeal lesions resulting in partial or total blindness followed within a few weeks by death. Every year there are as many as 500,000 such cases in countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, and Ethiopia. Today there are in fact millions of children at risk of going blind. Little wonder that I and many other UNICEF volunteers travel the world to raise funds before it is too late, but also to raise awareness and to combat a different kind of darkness-a darkness people find themselves in through lack of information on how easy it is to reach out and help these children.
I have known UNICEF a long time. For almost 45 years ago, I was one of the tens of thousands of starving children in war-ravaged Europe to receive aid from UNICEF immediately after our liberation that freed us from hunger, repression and constant violence, when we were reduced to near total poverty as is the developing world today. For it is poverty that is at the root of all their suffering—the not having- not having the means to help themselves. That is what UNICEF is all about, helping people to help themselves. Giving them the aid to develop. Thereby allowing them to become self-reliant and live in dignity.
Unlike droughts or floods or earthquakes, the tragedy of poverty cannot easily be captured by the media and brought to the attention of the world-wide public. It is happening not in any one particular place, but in slums and shanties and neglected rural communities across two continents. It is happening not at any one particular time, but over long years of increasing poverty which have not been featured in the nightly news but which have changed the lives of many millions of people.
UNICEF’s business is children, not the workings of the international economy. In its every-day work in over 100 developing nations UNICEF is brought up against a face of today’s international economic problems which is not seen in the corridors of financial power, not reflected in the statistics of debt service ratios, not seated at the conference tables of debt negotiations. It is in the face of a child. It is the young child whose growing mind and body is susceptible to permanent damage from even temporary deprivation. The human brain and body are formed within the first five years of life and there is no second chance. It is the young child whose individual development today and whose social contribution tomorrow are being shaped by the economics of now. It is the young child who is paying the highest of all prices.
There is so much we cannot do. We cannot give the children back their parents, but we can return them the most basic of human rights, the right to health, to tenderness, to life. Thank you.
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