first_imgUnited Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on January 10 launched #EarlyMomentsMatter, a new campaign supported by the LEGO Foundation to drive increased awareness about the importance of the first 1,000 days of a child’s life and the impact of early experiences on the developing brain. During this critical window of opportunity, brain cells can make up to 1,000 new connections every second –a once-in-a-lifetime speed. According UNICEF release, these connections contribute to children’s brain function and learning, and lay the foundation for their future health and happiness. A lack of nurturing care – which includes adequate nutrition, stimulation, love and protection from stress and violence – can impede the development of these critical connections. The campaign kicks off with #EatPlayLove – a digital and print initiative aimed at parents and caregivers that shares the neuroscience on how babies’ brains develop. #EatPlayLove assets explain the science in a straightforward, visually interesting way to encourage parents and caregivers to continue to make the most of this unrivaled opportunity to provide their children with the best possible start in life. By engaging with families, the initiative also aims to drive demand for quality, affordable early childhood development services and to urge governments to invest in programs targeting the most vulnerable children. According to a recent series in The Lancet nearly 250 million children in developing countries are at risk of poor development due to stunting and poverty. But the need for greater investment and action in early childhood development is not limited to low-income countries. Disadvantaged children living in middle- and high-income countries are also at risk. UNICEF estimates that millions more children are spending their formative years growing up in unstimulating and unsafe environments, putting their cognitive, social and emotional development at risk. Investment in early childhood is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing the ability of all children to reach their full potential – increasing their ability to learn in school and, later, their earning capacity as adults. This is especially significant for children growing up in poverty. One 20-year study showed that disadvantaged children who participated in quality early childhood development programs as toddlers went on to earn up to 25 percent more as adults than their peers who did not receive the same support.Early childhood development interventions, such as the Care for Child Development package that includes training community health workers to teach families about the importance of playing with their children in a way that stimulates healthy development can cost as little as 50 cents (USD) per capita per year, when combined with existing health services.UNICEF is therefore, calling for governments to increase investments in early childhood, expand health and social services offered to young children, and strengthen support services for parents and caregivers. This campaign is part of UNICEF’s broader program on early childhood development, supported by H&M Foundation, The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, ALEX AND ANI, and IKEA Foundation.About UNICEFUNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgA man has pleaded not guilty at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin to the murder of another man at a church car park in Co Donegal in February, 2008.The court heard that Martin Kelly was part of a joint enterprise to lure Mr Andrew Burns, who lived in Strabane, Co Tyrone, to the car park at Donnyloop, Castlefin.The shooting was heard by a group of five young people from Clady, Co Tyrone who were walking in the area, he added. Martin Kelly (aged 36), a bus driver, of Barrack St, Strabane, Co Tyrone pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Andrew Burns (aged 27) at Donnyloop, Castlefin, Co Donegal on February 12, 2008.Opening the prosecution case, Mr O’Connell said that on the day of the murder, Mr Burns spent the day at the home of his elderly parents, three miles outside Strabane, and they dropped him back to the town around 6.45pm.A group of five young people from Clady in Co Tyrone, which is 1.4 kilometres from Donnyloop, were walking along the road just after 7pm.Two of them would give evidence that they heard two shots about 7.10pm.

They also saw a silver car drive in the direction of the car park then drive past them at high speed.Later they saw the body of Mr Burns on the road.

Some of the young people saw Mr Burns stumble on to the roadway, an ambulance was called and arrived at 7.35pm.Mr Burns was pronounced dead by a doctor at 7.58pm.A post mortem carried out by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy established that Mr Burns was shot twice in the back, one shot hitting him in the left shoulder and the other in the middle of the right back.This second shot penetrated the aorta and Mr Burns lost a substantial amount of blood. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the trunk.Mr O’Connell told the court that Kelly was arrested in Milford, Co Donegal in February, 2010 and he was taken to Letterkenny Garda Station where he underwent 17 hours and 22 minutes of interviews by gardaí.Counsel said that Kelly made a number of statements to gardai and the court was told that the defence are challenging the admissibility of the alleged statements on the grounds that they were not made voluntarily.The trial is expected to last three weeks.EndsMAN DENIES KILLING ANOTHER MAN AT CO DONEGAL CHURCH CAR PARK was last modified: October 4th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:castlefinDonnyloopmurderlast_img read more