Lagos, Nigeria, 20th October 2014 – Jovago Jovago.com and UNICEF have launched a partnership with the aim of ensuring official birth registration of every child born in Africa. The partnership includes financial support of UNICEF’S Birth Registration Programme via ICT and mobile technology.
Jovago, the leading online hotel booking company, supports UNICEF’s “Passport to Protection” initiative. This programme advances child protection by registering children with Birth Certificates using internet technology. For every booking that is made using the code “UNICEF”, Jovago.com will donate five dollars (5 USD) at no extra cost to the customer. The goal is to collect 100,000 USD during the 1st year of partnership.
50% of children are unregistered in East and South Africa, in some regions registration is as low as 1%. Leila Pakkala, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa further commented: “Registration is the ‘first right’ of any child, and I am delighted that this partnership – a partnership for children – will help provide this right to many.” Apart from bolstering birth registration, the programme is expected to launch long lasting relationship between the two parties.
This partnership will support UNICEF’s vision to register every child. Commenting on the “Passport to Protection” initiative, Jovago MD, Marek Zmyslowski said “UNICEF’s birth registration programme is remarkable, both in regards to its objective to give each child a passport and in regards to the progressive use of technology, which ensure that registration is efficient. We are very proud to be part of this initiative.”
Being a travel company, Jovago has an interest in ensuring that every African can move freely across borders and beyond the continent. Apart from the inability to process passports, the lack of a birth certificate denies a child’s right to education, government grants and inheritance. It also denies them protection against child labor, recruitment to armed forces and early marriage. In the broader spectrum, anonymous children may later in life be denied the right to vote and are also a major obstacle to government planning.
Customers will be able to use the UNICEF code for any hotel booking made in the following countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Nigeria, Mali, Ivory Coast, Congo, Cameroon, Mozambique, Senegal, and Algeria.