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BABIZA'S STORY: Launch of a New Book Series by the MOST Programme of UNESCO
Detail: Babiza’s Story, by Siphelele Ndlovu:

The human race is in the midst of a momentous movement into urban settlements. The United Nations Population Fund predicts that during the next 25 years, almost 95% of the world’s population growth will be in Asian and African cities, and that by 2025, half of Asia and Africa and more than 80% of North America, Latin America, Europe and Australia will live in urban areas. To understand how urbanization is affecting nations’ youngest citizens, UNESCO initiated the Growing Up in Cities project, which engages children and adolescents in cities around the world in documenting and evaluating their living conditions.

The project has just launched a new book series, By Children For Children Through Books, so that young people can share their stories directly with others their age. The first publication, Babiza’s Story, shows children contending with the epidemic of AIDS that is sweeping communities in Africa. Babiza (a nick-name), is a nine-year-old boy in a peri-urban area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, whose mother is HIV positive. He tells his family’s story forthrightly, sharing his hopes and fears and the strength that he has gained by reaching out to his family, friends and a support group organised by the local hospital. The text is in English and Zulu, with photographs of Babiza and his community and full-colored drawings by the young author himself. Other children have praised the story’s authenticity, but older readers as well can learn from Babiza’s courage and wise counsel. Jill Kruger, Director of the UNESCO-MOST Growing up in Cities project in South Africa and Deputy Director of Social and Behavioural Sciences at HIVAN (Centre for HIV and AIDS Networking) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, captured and edited Babiza’s narrative.

Notice by Louise Chawla, International Co-ordinator: "Growing up in Cities". For more information about the book series and the Growing Up in Cities project, see www.unesco.org/most/growing.htm.
Source: Jill Kruger: jillk@hivan.org.za
Date: November 5 2004