Leigh Forbush is aÂ Global Citizenship Fellow in Boston.
On Thursday, MayÂ 17, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF New England Regional Office hosted a community event focused on fostering global citizenship. The event, â€śEngaging Kids, Schools and Communities: Re-introducing Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and TeachUNICEF to Bostonâ€ť concentrated on two specific U.S. Fund for UNICEF programs: our educator resources known as TeachUNICEF and our annual Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign. As the Boston Global Citizenship Fellow, I was excited to plan an event focused on global education and the engagement of young people through service opportunities.Â The event met and exceeded my expectations as it was truly a community event, with representation from Boston-area parents, teachers, non-profit organizations, students, and religious leaders, all of whom were excited to learn how different community groups were active in educating, advocating and fundraising on behalf of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
The gathering focused on the local communityâ€™s inspiring efforts around Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and TeachUNICEF. The eveningâ€™s program included presentations by local 5th grade students about their experience with Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, as well as a presentation from a school director about the importance of UNICEFâ€™s service-learning emphasis. One student spoke about how her Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF involvement led to her fundraising for UNICEF on her birthday. We also heard about upcoming summer and fall plans, which include TeachUNICEF being integrated into the curriculum of a local United Methodist summer camp and becoming a resource for Tufts University students who tutor elementary school students. The presentations soon became larger conversations, allowing community members to voice their ideas and collaborate with one another. These conservations brought a huge smile to my face because community collaboration was the ultimate goal of the evening: seeing how children, adults, and communities can become engaged with each other by learning aboutâ€”and taking action forâ€”the children of the world.
â€śEngaging Kids, Schools and Communitiesâ€ť demonstrated to me the contribution that each community group makes to the larger UNICEF community and the incredible impact that we can have by working together! Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and TeachUNICEF empower adults and youth to understand interconnectedness, value diversity, and advocate for children worldwide. I am proud of the global citizenship that was embodied at our event, and I know that this coming fall we will be more active than ever to achieve a world in which we can challenge injustice, take action in personally meaningful ways, and achieve zero.