Kantar Health Blog

My Trip of a Lifetime: Visiting Bolivia with UNICEF

by Lynnette Cooke | May 16, 2014
Lynnette Cooke

In April I and my colleagues—Bertrand Jolibert from Lightspeed Research, Vanessa Mitchell from TNS, Shameel Sharma from Kantar, and Marianna Vargas from Kantar Worldpanel—were given the opportunity to accompany UNICEF for a field visit to Bolivia. Kantar, our parent company, participates in the Brighter Futures campaign, which raises money for children in Bolivia, Bangladesh and Malawi. Our visit gave us the privilege of meeting and speaking with the people who are benefiting from UNICEF’s help.

For example, I had the opportunity to listen as Sonia, a mother in Sucre, Bolivia, told us her story about abuse against herself and her daughter. Unfortunately, this is a story you could hear anywhere in the world. However, the manner in which victims are supported by the legal and medical systems varies greatly by country and, importantly, by cultural beliefs and norms.

Until 2010, women and children in Bolivia had very few rights that were legally enforced. Today, certain departments are committed to improving child and adolescent rights. Through the Kantar Brighter Futures campaign, we have supported UNICEF and the General Attorney’s Office to develop a Support Unit for Victims and Witnesses of Crime (UAVT in its Spanish acronym). This public institution, which belongs to the General Attorney’s Office, provides protection and respect to the victims of crimes while they are testifying and collaborating with the administration of justice so they are not revictimized or do not suffer a violation of their rights. Under the program, victims are informed of the results of investigations and treated with care, respect and consideration.

Sonia brought her daughter to a UAVT, and both have since received legal guidance, protection and support from a therapist. At the conclusion of our meeting, she said that “seeing you gives me strength because I see people who really care – otherwise, I’ll feel alone.” At Kantar Health, we have the ability to make a difference through our philanthropic activities.

We can improve the health and well-being of people all over the world through our research for new drugs and treatment AND through our financial support to Kantar Brighter Futures program and our own KHShare program.

Personally, I can’t think of another place where I would feel as proud and inspired as I do here at Kantar Health.

Next: We learn how Bolivia is taking steps to keep victims of crime safe while they testify.


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