Ananda Grant is on the NGO team at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF
It has been a busy few months since I joined the U.S. Fund for UNICEF working on the NGO Team!
I recently attended the JCI Global Partnership Summit in New York. Junior Chamber International is a member-based organization with over 200,000 members. More than 350 attendees participated in the summit, which focused on ways civil society, business and government can work together to create positive change through the framework of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
|US Fund for UNICEF/Lacey Stone|
|(Left to right) Toshinari Fuji, Chairperson, 2011 Global Partnership Summit; Kentaro Harada, 2011 JCI President; Rob Jenkins, UNICEF, Associate Director of Policy and Practice; Edson A Kodama, JCI Secretary General at the JCI Global Partnership Summit.|
As someone new to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and new to JCI, it was a great opportunity to learn more about both organizations. Rob Jenkins, Associate Director of Policy and Practice at UNICEF, gave a great presentation on UNICEF’s work around the world and highlighted the importance of collaboration in achieving common goals. I also got a chance to hear firsthand about some of Rob’s experiences over the years working for UNICEF in Myanmar, Uganda and other places – including a recent trip he took to Southern Sudan.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Vice-President for Public Policy and Advocacy Martin Rendón spoke about our global responsibility to act as “catalysts for change” and weaved in inspiring quotes from a Chilean poet and Mahatma Gandhi to underscore the urgency of taking action…now.
David Donaldson, U.S. Fund for UNICEF Director of Education,spoke about our domestic initiatives. Although I have been working here for just over two months, this was my first time hearing David speak in depth, and I am eager to learn more!
During one activity, I joined a team JCI members from four countries – the Philippines, Senegal, Japan and the United States. Representing various stakeholders (NGO, Company President, Community, etc.), we role-played how we would handle a difficult situation where a company was being asked for a bribe. There was no “right answer” for this exercise but it provoked a lot of good discussion and highlighted some of the challenges in working in different country contexts while managing various stakeholder expectations.
Throughout the four-day summit, I was amazed by the unwavering enthusiasm and energy of attendees – there was a constant buzz of music, discussion and clapping. There were many memorable moments and I left feeling energized and inspired. As a new member of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF team, I am proud and excited to play my own part in being a catalyst for change and helping to improve the lives of children around the world.