UNICEF Launches ’Facts for Life’ in Lebanon
BEIRUT, - In the presence of Dr. Salim Sayegh, Minister of Social Affairs, Mrs. Shahida Azfar, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa and Mrs. Annamaria Laurini, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon, the first edition of Facts for Life by UNICEF had been launched on Wednesday 15th of June 2011 in the Bristol Hotel, Beirut. On this occasion, Ms. Nancy Ajram, UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador, had also specifically attended the event.
What makes Facts for Life distinctive is that it is the first edition in Lebanon of this program adopted by UNICEF worldwide. In order to produce a reference guidebook adapted to the Lebanese social structure, Lebanon Country Office involved 58 Lebanese experts from different specializations and scope of competence to verify the validity and credibility of the information presented in this book. The guidebook was written in a simple and deep language to reflect clear messages and present accessible scientific material that is easy to comprehend and act accordingly. This book will be available at no cost in all the Lebanese territories.
Facts for Life aims at providing valid health information and basic facts to the readers about methods of protection from essential and common health diseases and illnesses in Lebanon and to the youth, builders of the future and potential fathers and mothers, to help them acquire some essential life skills in addition to develop positive trends in terms of public, personal health and all related matters.
His Excellency, Dr. Sayegh highlighted the importance of this publication “involving newborns, methods of care giving to newborns before pregnancy until their early age and teenagers who face challenges and pressure due to community transformations. This publication will enrich the Arabic library that is in need of such educational methods, and if used in the community action, would make change possible towards safer, securer and well-being behaviours and knowledge for the best of children and their families”. Complimenting the UNICEF for this publication, he “declared that the Ministry of Social Affairs, with well-matched objectives, is ready, for the sake of an integrated initiative, to open our countrywide centers that are in direct contact with the children, their mothers and their families in order to translate the messages of this guidebook into educational and awareness programs”.
The UNICEF Regional Director appreciated the positive action of Lebanon Country Office and acknowledged the significance of this guidebook in her professional and personal life. She confirmed that Facts for Life is one of the best UNICEF reference books globally with 15 million copies being produced worldwide in 215 different languages. Mrs. Azfar declared that every single person has a role to play in conveying the messages of Facts for Life because the society has the right to be informed and protected from avoidable illnesses.
In turn, Mrs. Annamaria Laurini, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon, expressed her thanks to the prestigious audience and especially the UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Nancy Ajram, for joining, in the role of the mother of two young girls, having experienced motherhood and being protective to her children since they were born. What makes this action particularly important, in her opinion, is empowering mothers, children, teenagers and caregivers by all means to save what is most precious in life… the child.
Mrs. Laurini drew attention to equity in all the programs of UNICEF in Lebanon and all over the world. “Facts for Life” gives a free chance to everyone to learn about and maintain basics of protection and health. Laurini confirmed that the Lebanese version of Facts for Life adopted a participatory methodology with contributions from 58 subject matters experts in order to produce a reference book that truly reflects the social and health realities in Lebanon.
Nancy Ajram spoke up about her experience as a mother of two young girls and confirmed that she learned a lot by reading Facts for Life. She talked about the benefits of natural breastfeeding that she practices with her two little daughters and the importance of healthy nutrition in the development of the child. Furthermore, she outlined essential family care and love that constitute the foundations of child development in all different stages of life.
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