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Shocking State Of World’s Children 

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Every child has the right to health, education and protection, and every society has a stake in expanding children’s opportunities in life. Yet, around the world, millions of children are denied a fair chance for no reason other than the country, gender or circumstances into which they are born.
Poverty affects children disproportionately. Around the world, one out of five children lives in extreme poverty, living on less than US$1.90 a day. Their families struggle to afford the basic health care and nutrition needed to provide them a strong start. These deprivations leave a lasting imprint; in 2019, 149 million children under the age of five were stunted.
Despite great progress in school enrolment in many parts of the world, more than 175 million children are not enrolled in pre-primary education, missing a critical investment opportunity and suffering deep inequalities from the start. Six out of ten leave primary school without achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, according to a 2017 UNESCO report. This challenge is compounded by the increasingly protracted nature of armed conflict.
More than twenty years ago, the world united to condemn and mobilize against the use of children in armed conflict. Since then, thousands of children have been released as a result of Action Plans mandated by the UN Security Council and other actions aimed at ending and preventing recruitment and use of children by armed forces and groups. However, serious challenges for the protection of children affected by armed conflict remain.
In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the UN and began a successful global campaign against yaws, a disfiguring disease affecting millions of children, and one that can be cured with penicillin.
Millions of children, many of whom are unaccompanied or separated from their families are being displaced by armed conflict. These children are at a high risk of grave violations in and around camps, and other areas of refuge. Action is urgently required to alleviate the plight of children displaced by armed conflict and the Secretary-General encourages Member States to respect the rights of displaced and refugee children and to provide them with necessary support services. 
The right of children to protection from violence is enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and yet still one billion children experience some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence every year; and one child dies from violence every five minutes.
Violence against children knows no boundaries of culture, class or education. It takes place against children in institutions, in schools, and at home. Peer violence is also a concern, as is the growth in cyberbullying. Children exposed to violence live in isolation, loneliness and fear, not knowing where to turn for help, especially when the perpetrator is someone close. Children’s gender, disability, poverty, nationality or religious origin may all increase the risk of violence with the youngest being especially vulnerable as they are less able to speak up and seek support.
However, in 2006, the UN Study provided a set of recommendations on how to end violence against children; and the Secretary-General appointed a Special Representative to ensure their effective follow-up and to monitor implementation.
There has been some real progress: many states now have legislation to prohibit physical, mental and sexual violence and support victims; campaigns are raising awareness of the negative impact of violence; and bullying, sexual violence and harmful practices against children are being tackled. We also have more data on the scale and nature of violence against children.
These are significant developments but much more needs to be done. The inclusion of a specific target (16.2) in the 2030 Agenda has shown the world’s commitment to end  all forms of violence against children. We must work urgently to ensure that noble vision becomes a reality for every child.
For 15 years, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were a guiding force on many issues affecting the lives of children, young people and their families. Over this time, tremendous progress was made in reducing preventable child deaths, getting more children into schools, reducing extreme poverty and ensuring more people have access to safe water and nutritious food.
However, progress has been uneven and many of the most pressing issues for the world – including addressing inequalities, promoting inclusive economic growth, protecting children from violence and combating climate change – were not adequately covered in the MDGs.
Subsequently,with the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September of 2015, world leaders have committed to ending poverty by 2030. But unless accelerated efforts are made:
Almost 52 million children may die before reaching their fifth birthday between 2019 and 2030. 
Children in sub-Saharan Africa will be 16 times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than children in high-income countries.
Nine out of 10 children living in extreme poverty will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
More than 60 million primary school-aged children will be out of school – roughly the same number as are out of school today. More than half will be from sub-Saharan Africa.
More than 150 million additional girls will marry before their 18th birthday by 2030.
These vast inequities and dangers do more than violate the rights and imperil the futures of individual children. They perpetuate intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and inequality that undermine the stability of societies and even the security of nations everywhere.
It would be recalled that in the aftermath of World War II, the plight of Europe’s children was grave, and a new agency created by the United Nations stepped in to provide food and clothing and health care to these children.
In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the UN and began a successful global campaign against yaws, a disfiguring disease affecting millions of children, and one that can be cured with penicillin.
In 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which defines children’s rights to protection, education, health care, shelter, and good nutrition.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo 

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Who Should Name A Child?

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Naturally, when a child is born, it is the role of the father and mother to decide a suitable name for the child. The husband and wife normally discuss and suggest the English or vernacular name of the baby.
But sometimes, when a baby comes into a family, grandparents hearts are usually filled with joy to the extent that they want to answer present, by giving their own names not minding the fact that the biological parents have given theirs.
This happens mostly when the marriage is an inter-tribal one. It also happens even in intra-tribal marriage. Grandparents want equal representation as far as naming a child is concerned. They also have special names as a result of circumstances surrounding the birth of the child.
This is still happening till date.
A lot of people have viewed this in different ways but there is nothing wrong about it. The most important thing is that the child bears as many names as he or she can. But one thing is certain, the child must bear one name in school.
Should circumstance determine a child’s name?
Women who are more emotional are always eager to name their children considering the circumstances surrounding the child’s conception and arrival.
The issue of grandparents naming a child comes up mostly when it is the first of the family.
In naming children by some parents in the olden days, they named their children according to the days in the week in which they were born, like Sunday, Monday, Friday and so on.
You may be shocked to hear that whether a child is given 10 names by parents or grandparents, when he or she grows up, will decide to change. There are several cases where some persons decided to change especially when they feel that the names given by their parents and grandparents do not give them joy. If they are not doing well in life, they may claim that their misfortune is caused by the name their parents.

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Children’s Performance Can Make Or Mar Them

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Competition among children in schools be it primary, (kindergarten) and secondary come in different forms. It can be Mathematics , debate, quiz, spelling bee,competition, from organisations like Cowbell, multi-national companies, faith-based organisations among others.
They are organised mostly for selected intelligent ones, the best among their peers to represent a class, school or group. Prizes are normally set aside for the best as well as consolation prizes for runners-up at the end of each session.
The question is, are children willing to accept defeat when they fail? As parents, guardians, can you encourage your children or wards to accept defeat instead of shouting and comparing them with others who may be performing better either in schools or outside.
Some parents may be blaming their children for not doing well in competitions. They will like to tell their children if others who may perform better have ten heads. Those group of parents blame their children for every failure.
For your children to do better in competition, the parents too must have emotional intelligence. When you continue to blame your children for failure, how intelligent are you?
Some parents always want their children to be in the 1st position and unhappy whenever they secure 2nd position. There were instances where children smashed their trophies because they never got the position they wanted to get and their parents supported them.
Children should be able to accept it whether they win or not. They should be encouraged for every performance. Discourage the issue of “shame, shame, shame, shame”.
A parent says she always tells her children to win even if they will fail. Always give them the mentality that they can win. Children should be given the impression that they can win prizes and laurels in every competition.
Parents should not isolate their children from others in the neighbourhood. Allow them to play with others. Don’t threaten your children that you may not pay their schools fees if they fail. Comparing them with others may encourage or discourage them.
Coming first or getting award as a first class student from the university sometimes does not mean that the person is the best. And if the child does not merit any award in the lower classes, does not mean that he can not merit first class also.
It should be noted that coming first in academic competition may not really mean that the competitor will be the best at work place or business.
Accepting defeat is a way to move higher. Even if a child who competed with others did not come first, there are consolation prizes for runners-up. When you advise the child to accept defeat, you are encouraging her to win in next competition.
Remember all children cannot be on the same knowledge level Their learning abilities defer.

Eunice Choko-Kayode

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Raising Children In Today’s World

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There is great anxiety in raising children in today’s world because things are changing. But the anxiety we think children are giving their parents these today’s may not be different from the one they gave their own parents.
Although every generation comes with peculiar issues. Nowadays, you have laptop, Ipad, Iphone, and other devices which have influenced their lives positively or negatively.
These days, distractions are high. When growing up, there was no Yahoo. There is the social media – facebook, whatsapp, twitter among others in vogue. They have both negative and positive impacts on the child.
Parenting means that what you desire from God about the children come to pass. Having faith in God while raising children is key. Trusting God on their behalf is important.
Children of these days can use what they have learnt to advance their lives. They are technically fit with modern technology. A lot of children help their parents and others around them to solve problems with the use of the numerous gadgets in their possession. Be it phones and laptops, even through the YouTube and software engineering in general.
The technics may differ from yesteryears to today. Their engagement in ICT may be keeping the children off from evil. The principles in technology can take them to places. Many of them have succeeded in earning jobs through ICT.
In parenting, keep the children off from evil. When a husband is beating his wife, perhaps the mother of the children, they are watching.
The children must be your friend. Cheer them up always. Build their confidence. Don’t kill yourself in raising children that are difficult.

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