This time last week, we brought you the inspiring news that the fundraising effort for the Marathon of Marathons – organised by Campbell Lutyens, PEI Media and UNICEF – had raised more than €1 million on its way to a €2.5 million target. It is the largest single charity fundraising initiative ever undertaken by the private equity and infrastructure investment communities.
The Pakistan flooding is one of the largest humanitarian crises in decades, described as a “slow motion tsunami“. The number of people affected has crossed the 20 million mark, of which approximately half are children, making this truly a children’s emergency.
Children who were saved from drowning are now at risk of dying from disease. This is wrong and UNICEF is putting it right by making sure these children are fed and given water, vaccinated and protected from diseases, clothed and given shelter.
Children suffer the most in any emergency and restoring a sense of normalcy often helps them to cope and build resilience in any crisis. Temporary Learning Centres provide opportunities for traumatized children to process what they have experienced in a safe and protective environment. With the support of trained teachers, they experience a sense of normalcy in what are usually abnormal circumstances.
UNICEF has collaborated with the local government to establish 197 Temporary Learning Centres. Another 328 are being set up. They have mobilised trained teachers and provided children with School-in-a-box kits, containing basic learning materials – mainly note books, colour pencils, school bags and a blackboard.
Eight-year-old student Abdul Qadir Ali is from Jafarabad, Balochistan. In the confusion and chaos that ensued when he ran with his sisters and brothers to escape the floods, he stumbled and grasped a live electrical wire, which caused him to suffer an electric shock and burn his right hand.
For seven days his wound remained untreated and infected, causing a very intense pain. Fortunately, the Balochistan Boy Scouts Association arranged for first-aid services to treat Abdul and now the throbbing pain that kept him awake at night has calmed down. With a little smile he holds up his UNICEF school bag, filled with pencils, notebooks, erasers and a ruler. “I am going to have to learn to write with my left hand now” he says. “I am going to be a doctor one day, so if this happens to another boy, I can fix him quickly,” Abdul adds.
Help UNICEF to help Abdul and others like him. Please visit www.marathonofmarathons.org to find out more about the Supporters Club and various sponsorship packages available. We only have six weeks to reach our target!