AAII’s demonstrated commitment to the protection and well being of children is evident in all of its programs and projects, whether in the area of education, health care, poverty alleviation or human rights. AAII’s work with UNICEF is a testimony to its on-going contribution of human and other resources to further collaborative efforts to protect children from hunger and thirst, sickness and neglect, physical and sexual violence, abuses of child labor and the violence of using children as soldiers. Following are examples of AAII’s work for the protection of children:
FATIMATA ZAHRA ORPHAN CARE PROGRAM
This program cares for children whose parents have died or have left them due to extreme poverty that has rendered them unable to feed and care for them. AAII provides orphaned children with food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education. Most of the children have gone without proper nutrition or medical care in the past and require special nutritional and medical support.
UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S ASSEMBLY
AAII delegates, including youth, participated in the UN Special Session on Children to represent the needs and concerns of children living in sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, adequate food and water, access to health care and immunizations, the impact of AIDS on the African child, the need for universal education and the role of child labor in the economy.
UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL’S STUDY ON VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN, REGIONAL CONSULTATION, WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA
AAII’s Founder and Chairman participated as a featured speaker in the U.N. Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children, Regional Constultation, West and Central Africa held in Bamako, Mali in 2005. In his remarks at the conclusion of this gathering, the Secretary General quoted Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse’s speech, which examined Islamic, Christian and traditional African religious principles regarding children. Significantly, the recommendation of AAII’s Founder and Chairman that the United Nations Food Programme (UNFP) expand its Canteen program for school children to include children in Qur’anic schools was included in the final document that was generated for distribution.
In recognition of AAII’s work on behalf of children, AAII’s Founder and Chairman has been nominated for the 2009 World Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child, and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Senegal has appointed him Ambassador of Good Will for the Promotion of Child Survival and Maternal Breastfeeding.
In 2008, as part of its commitment to children, AAII entered into a strategic partnership with Children’s Chance, Inc., a U.S. based organization that brings children with special medical needs from other parts of the world to the United States for pro bono medical care. In response to the many requests for medical intervention for African children, AAII is expanding its roster of physicians, medical institutions and hosting organizations, as well as developing resources to bring African children and their accompanying parent to the U.S. for specialty care not available in their home countries.