Alisa Aydin is part of the interactive team at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Last week I was in Chicago for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Annual Meeting. I’ve been hard-pressed since then to write a “wrap-up” post (we promised one in our Twitter coverage) that would capture the learning and the comaraderie that was shared.
I’ll start by recalling the intense emotion that bookended the event. First, there was the joy sparked by The Brown Sisters gospel performance — a rousing kick-off for all of us. But we left the meeting on a more somber note — reminded by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and UNICEF’s Susan Bissell that among the hundreds of thousands of children affected by the Haiti earthquake are some 300,000 orphans who had already been abandoned or sold by their parents before the quake struck.
So we’re offering a double feature for this week’s Thursday video. Here’s a clip from the CNN documentary “Rescued.”
Now that you’ve raised your awareness, how about raising your spirits?
We also heard from UNICEF’s Representatives in Ethiopia, Swaziland and Ghana, who shared startling statistics and the tailored, country-specific approach that UNICEF takes to address the causes of preventable deaths in each unique environment.
On the eve of its 60th anniversary, we learned the true origins of the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign that has been and still is so often the first volunteer experience for children in the United States.
There were also sessions on HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health. A session on U.S. initiatives addressed the range of domestic programs through which our education, advocacy and fundraising is effected.
It was a busy, eventful, and too-short gathering. It was also a great way to show our partners and supporters the strides we are making together to improve child survival and to motivate us all to keep up the pace to improve the lives we have worked to save.