On July 6, 2008, CNN focused a lens on the children of the world who are in harm’s way and examined child survival issues in-depth during a global broadcast called “The Survival Project: One Child at a Time.”
Hosted by CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the special focused on healthcare, education, water sanitation and protection from violence for children. UNICEF ambassador Lucy Liu and Good Charlotte musician Joel Madden joined Gupta as panelists for the program and spoke about their experiences with UNICEF.
Also featured on the program were Clay Aiken, Dayle Haddon, Ne-Yo, Nicole Ritchie, Al Roker, Marcus Samuelsson and Amare Stoudemire who all appeared in special video diaries of their volunteer experiences and encouraged viewers to help children around the world.
The CNN program highlighted four areas where UNICEF demonstrates its remarkable on-the-ground expertise in doing whatever it takes to save a child:
- Child protection in Iraq
- Water and sanitation in Laos
- HIV/AIDS in Peru
- Child survival interventions in Ethiopia
In 2007, over 2 million children, worldwide, were dead due to conflict in the last decade and over 1 million children have been orphaned. In 2007, 1.2 million children in Iraq were forced from their homes; there are 70,000 new widows and 14 million children in need in Iraq. At the time of the program, UNICEF was vaccinating children in Iraq against polio and measles.
Luciano Calistini is an emergency specialist and was a panelist on the show. He reported that Iraq is one of the most difficult countries to assure safety for UNICEF staff.
The program highlighted the clean water projects in Laos. It showed a family who had lost their 2 year old to illness because of contaminated water. Their village now has a simple $5000 clean water tap, built by UNICEF.
According to the World Health Organization, the lack of clean water and sanitation contributes to the leading causes of death to children under 5.
Another segment of the program focused on HIV/AIDS prevention in children. The program highlighted the country of Peru where there is a high rate of maternal to child transmission of the disease. UNICEF is active in educating the mothers so that the infection will not be passed on.
The last part of the program was about Ethiopia which has one of the highest child mortality rates due to malnutrition. At that time, UNICEF was training 30,000 young women to go out to the villages. They have a device which helps them determine who has malnutrition and they can tag those who need immediate help.
Because of the drought, over 6 million children are at risk. Prices are rising and food is difficult to buy. UNICEF is trying to help by providing a nutritional high energy peanut paste that is used as a supplement for the children.
Fans of Clay Aiken were proud that Clay was a part of this informative program. Clay was articulate and knowledgeable about the plight of children throughout the world and helped the audience understand the role UNICEF plays in helping them.
“The Survival Project: One Child at a Time” was a chance to get a first-hand look at the plight of millions of children around the world, struggling each and every day for survival. The program urged people to find ways to help and listed many organizations that are actively working to help the children of the world. Have you donated to UNICEF recently?
I hope you will watch the following video. Using Clay’s song, Grace of God, as the background music, the video shows what UNICEF faces everyday and the amazing job they do for children of the entire world.