Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Sri Lankan friends bridge ethnic divide

Sri Lankan friends bridge ethnic divide for children in need

Wellington, 21 September 2009. -- A group of young friends, made up of the two main ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, have put aside historic ethnic differences to organise a street appeal in Wellington to support UNICEF's work for children in Sri Lanka.

They expect up to 100 collectors to be on the streets of central Wellington on Thursday 24 September.

More than a quarter of a million people were displaced by the recent conflict in Sri Lanka between government forces and the Tamil Tigers. Most of the displaced people are living in government-run camps.

Women and children coming out of the conflict-affected areas endured extreme conditions, including scarcity of food, water and sanitation. Children have been traumatised and missed education for extended periods of time.

UNICEF is providing humanitarian assistance to children and families inside the camps in the areas of water, sanitation, and hygiene, along with nutrition and health, child protection, and education.

UNICEF Executive Director, Dennis McKinlay, says it is encouraging that the Wellington young people have been able to put aside Sri Lanka’s historic political and ethnic differences to focus on helping all children in need.

“We were really pleased to hear about this initiative which must be among the first of its kind in Wellington.

“We would urge people to open up their wallets and purses on 24 September and give as much as they can to help the children.”

Mr McKinlay says that children often suffer disproportionately in conflicts, whether through injury, disease, malnutrition, trauma or missing out on their education.

“UNICEF has been meeting basic needs in the camps, such as provision of water to some 180,000 children and families, construction of more than 2,000 latrines, vaccinations of 99 per cent of children under five against measles and polio, treatment of malnourished children, and supply of education materials for more than 60,000 children.

“Other essential tasks include working to reunite almost 1,800 children separated from the families; helping children who have been in armed groups return to normal childhoods; and educating children about the risk from mines and unexploded ordnance.

“UNICEF will also be working with the Sri Lankan Government in the process to resettle displaced people back to their original communities.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland