Ballet Manguinhos, named for its favela in Rio de Janeiro, returns to the stage after a long absence during the COVID-19 pandemic. It counts 250 children and teenagers from the favela as its performers. The ballet group provides social support in a community where poverty, hunger and teen pregnancy are constant issues.
On 17 March 1943, an 11-year-old Simon Gronowski was taken by the Gestapo in Brussels, Belgium with his mother Chana and sister Ita. The young Jewish boy was being deported to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz when, “by a miracle, I jumped from the train and escaped,” he recounts. His mother and sister died in Auschwitz and his father, Leon, left devastated by their deaths, also passed away within months of the end of the war. The young Gronowski was left alone in the world.
Brazilian activist Paloma Costa is creating a new generation of youth engaged in climate activism. At the age of 27, she led Brazil's delegation to the Youth Climate Summit in 2019, and coordinated the climate working group at Engajamundo, which invited youth to participate in "Fridays for the future" and climate strikes. The organization was born following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio + 20. During the event, which took place almost 10 years ago, many young people felt that their views had not been adequately represented by world leaders and UN agencies.
During the Covid-19 pandemic when social distancing is a key factor in limiting transmission, Palestinian refugees are able to use smartphone apps to access an online healthcare network through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The refugees receive reminders to take medicine, check blood pressure and exercise. They can check their test results and message healthcare providers.
For Sister Juliet Lithemba, the past year has been “nothing short of grace and mercy from above,” as she explains it. The 77-year-old resident of Mt Royal Convent of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, located in Lesotho’s Leribe district, didn’t know much about COVID-19 until her convent home and fellow sisters were infected by the deadly virus.
Isolated, abandoned, depressed. Those are the words used to describe how students feel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them must study online with very little social interaction. Unprecedented solitude leads to psychological suffering, in addition to growing impoverishment.
Since Argentina’s government imposed a nation-wide quarantine to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on 20 March, uncertainty and apprehension have seemed just as infectious as the virus. To counter that, UN Argentina began highlighting stories about everyday acts of kindness. From small gestures to big projects, ordinary people are making a lasting difference in the lives of those around them.
As countries around the world are grappling with COVID-19 pandemic, the role of young people becomes more important than ever in efforts to stop the spread of the virus and help mitigate its different consequences. For Egypt, a country where youth constitute about 60 percent of population, finding ways to engage young people and empower them can be decisive in the battle against the pandemic.
At the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna, amid the murmur of diplomats, UN officials and staff conversing in conference rooms, offices and hallways, you’d sometimes hear the shriek of a 1st grader excited to pose with a UN flag during a guided tour.
“The COVID-19 is a serious health crisis,” says Dr. Alex Gasasira, WHO Representative in Zimbabwe “And in a crisis, people get scared, they seek out information to stay safe. At the same time, a lot of rumours and half-truths get spread around. That is why we see false messages and videos circulating on social media, and unfounded theories about how the virus is transmitted. All of this misinformation can be deadly. We’re facing not only a health crisis, but potentially an information crisis.”
What makes France so uniquely French? Its cuisine would be at the top of any list and, with apologies to the many gifted home cooks across the land, its world-class chefs are the epitome of French cuisine.