Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
While Georgia's pre-kindergarten program is universally available to all 4-year-olds, waiting lists persist and in many cases recently arrived immigrants and refugees, lacking knowledge about how to navigate the enrollment process or arriving late in the registration period, are effectively shut out of programs. Every year, Refugee Family Services assists and registers refugee children in Georgia Pre-K—but they are able to serve only a fraction of the families that need support.
In their interviews, RFS found that refugee families had different needs from other immigrant families, and that few programs had the information and resources to meet these needs. To fill this need, RFS applied to the state to become a provider of the pre-kindergarten program, and this August, Refugee Family Services will inaugurate the first pre-kindergarten program in Georgia intended for use principally by refugee children. This program will allow these children access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten program that is prepared to competently meet their cultural and linguistic needs and is situated in an organization that is experienced in meeting the family support needs of diverse refugee communities.
The pre-kindergarten class will be filled by children from Somalia, Sudan, Honduras, Congo, Burundi, Iraq, Burma, and Vietnam. Most of the children were born in refugee camps. For the first time, they will have the opportunity to participate in a pre-kindergarten program that is designed with them and their families in mind.
In the two months since the government of Lesotho launched the county's first national child helpline, almost 500 orphans and vulnerable children have picked up the phone to demand assistance and an ear. The government of Lesotho, with support from UNICEF, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Lesotho Telecommunication authorities, opened the lines to the service on April 30, 2008. The toll-free number - 800 22 345 - opens a channel of communication between children and service providers, offering 24-hour counselling, support and protection services
467 calls had already been dealt with. In 160 cases the caller hung up immediately, and in 279 cases children were seeking information and general counselling.
NBC First Read:
Who knew Nelson Mandela was on the US terror watch list? Well as of today, he’s not anymore.
President Bush signed into law a bill granting Secretary Rice the authority to waive travel restrictions on President Mandela and other members of the African National Congress (ANC). The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sens. John Kerry and Sheldon Whitehouse, along with Republican Sen. Bob Corker.
The senators say Mandela and ANC members remained on the list “for activities they conducted against South Africa’s apartheid regime decades ago.” They also said in their written statement that the removal “end[s] an embarrassing impediment to improving U.S.-South Africa relations.”
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
They are among a group of more than 750 Palestinian refugees who have been stuck for up to two years in Al Tanf, unable to enter Syria and unable to go back to Baghdad. They live in a tiny strip of no man's land where they must be on the alert for snakes and scorpions and endure the terrible heat, hoping that some country will come forward and offer them resettlement.
"The sudden freedom of movement, the cool sea breezes, the abundant food and drink and the other laughing kids showed these nine children what they were missing and what they would miss once again when they returned to Al Tanf at the end of their week's holiday."