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“I’m just trying to see what life deals me…”

Meet Marcell Jenkins, a 12-year-old boy living in America. His story reminds us that inequality is a reality even in the richest, most developed counties. Just last month, the Census Bureau reported that more than 15 million children are living in poverty in the U.S

As a reader of FieldNotes, you are well aware of the disadvantages that confront millions of children around the world every day. Poor health care, food insecurity, lack of education–these are conditions that UNICEF works to overcome in more than 150 countries.

From Pakistan to Haiti and in forgotten communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia, UNICEF works with governments to create rights-based guarantees for children and social services that put young people at the heart of public policy.

This week’s video shines a spotlight closer to home.

Meet Marcell Jenkins, a 12-year-old boy living in America. His story reminds us that inequality is a reality even in the richest, most developed counties. The Census Bureau recently reported that more than 15 million American children, or 1 in 5, are living in poverty in the U.S.

Other factors — nutrition, education and health — are often just as damaging as poverty and can stack the deck against kids like Marcel, who is being raised by his grandmother. As he tells it, he could grow up to be “a very smart young man” or, with one mistake “I could be a homeless man. I’m just trying to see what life deals me.”

Listen to Marcell’s story and learn more about how the U.S. has fared in the latest “report card” from UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre. The U.S. Fund works to save and protect children everywhere. But watching out for children falling behind begins at home.

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