Igniting positive change for children – UNICEF

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From knowledge to practice

But sometimes even when information and services are available, children and their families may not benefit from services meant to help them because of hidden barriers to access.

For instance, parents may decide against immunizing their child, force their daughter into early marriage or keep her out of school despite knowing the consequences of these actions. Parents do so, not out of ill will or lack of information, but because their decision is influenced by deeply rooted power imbalances and ideologies that fuel harmful practices.

“Changing knowledge is not enough to change behaviours. We partner with families and community leaders to understand their needs and motivations, identify their strengths, and remove barriers to positive change,” says Ibrahim Elsheikh who heads UNICEF’s Social and Behaviour Change Programme in Afghanistan.

Across Afghanistan, UNICEF works with community leaders, faith-based organisations, youth networks and grandmother groups to change attitudes and behaviours that affect children’s wellbeing. With support from the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, Japan, Republic of Korea, EU, GAVI, Global Nutrition and Global Thematic Fund and other partners, UNICEF trains these groups and provides resources to facilitate dissemination of life-saving messages and feedback collection.

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