Upon our arrival in New York, we immediately began the final stages of prepping for the 3rd annual Campus Summit. After an evening of delving into our roles and responsibilities for the Summit, we felt extremely confident that we would be able to execute an inspiring event. We couldn’t have been more excited to meet the campus leaders and volunteers from our specific zones the next morning.
Judith Diers, UNICEF’s Adolescent Development and Participation director, opened the Summit with an inspiring speech about UNICEF’s work in ensuring that the rights of children, adolescents and young people are protected across the globe.
“The more time you spend exploring and engaging the world, the more you feel at home wherever you go,” she told us.
Later that evening, participants from over 80 campuses created posters sharing each campuses successes, best practices and challenges. This was one of the best parts of the weekend for the National Council, as this knowledge will certainly enable us to better connect and assist clubs in the coming academic year.
Caryl Stern, President and CEO of U.S. Fund for UNICEF, got the next morning off to a great start. Caryl’s reflections from the field outlined the importance of our missio –, “What you do is not raise money or awareness. What you do is save lives.”
Later, participants had the opportunity to experience a day in the life of UNICEF field staff with an Emergency Simulation. As co-facilitators during the simulation, we assisted participants in maneuvering through how they might respond as staff on the ground within one of the following areas of UNICEF expertise: Child Protection, Education, Nutrition, Health, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, Communications, and Supply and logistics.
On Sunday evening, we ventured out into the streets of New York City to participate in the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Extravaganza! We spread the word of this national campaign in the most vibrant, colorful and touristy location in the world – Times Square! In our signature black and orange Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF shirts, we took over Times Square collecting Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF stories and passing out orange boxes to share this campaign.
The Summit ended on a very special note with our closing speaker Hugh Evans, CEO and co-founder of the Global Poverty Project.
His moving presentation reminded participants of their collective strength to not only end polio forever, but also to eradicate extreme poverty. The standing ovation following his presentation highlighted the central theme of the Summit as a whole – by harnessing our collective passion and drive as agents of change, we can continue to make a difference and help save lives.