I met Suniya and her two-year-old daughter Sefina. They are among the lucky ones having received Optimus-funded support. With her home destroyed and husband overseas earning money for the family, Suniya lives with her five children in a temporary shelter. She said that it's been extremely hard to care for her children, but that the help she has received made her, and many others, feel like there's someone who cares.
And like many others, Suniya and her family have been provided with access to a temporary shelter, hygiene equipment and advice, and the basics for a healthy and dignified life like clean drinking water and private toilet facilities. With most schools damaged or destroyed, her children have been able to return to school at one of the new temporary learning centers that provide safe spaces for children to play and learn.
The situation on the ground has improved, mainly in urban areas. But children like Sefina have had their worlds turned upside down and remain vulnerable to disease and abuse; and they know it. Children interviewed in a recent large-scale study said they were afraid about living in overcrowded unsanitary shelters with strangers, scared of falling ill because of a lack of medical facilities, and anxious about missing school and what the future holds for them.
I was extremely heartened by the improvements I saw as a result of our funding, but many are still in desperate need of help, particularly in remote areas. A swift response to a crisis saves lives, but the stamina to stay the course is also important. And these are the hallmarks of the UBS Optimus Foundation. The TV cameras have moved on but we, together with our partners Save the Children, Room to Read, Possible Health, and We Care Solar, will continue to deliver for children like Sefina, laying the foundations for a healthy and happy future. Thank you for your support.