This Saturday is World AIDS Day, and UNICEF and its partners have set an ambitious goal: eliminate new infections among children by 2015. This may seem like a tall order, but it can be done. Women and children will be key partners in this effort. Nearly half of all pregnant women living with HIV in the developing world still do not get the medicines they need to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus. This has to change—and fast.
Annette Apitz, UNICEF USA
Global Handwashing Day is a day started five years ago to promote and raise awareness about one of the easiest, yet most important, hygiene practices. Handwashing is a simple thing most of us do every day, but washing hands actually saves lives. Each year, diarrheal diseases and pneumonia kill almost 3.5 million children under five in developing countries. Our hands are the principal carriers of disease-causing germs, and if widely practiced, it is estimated that handwashing with soap could avert 1 million of those deaths.
That’s why the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, founded by UNICEF and other partners, is encouraging the world to help promote handwashing with soap.
Every year, my family and I stand on the sidelines of the NYC Marathon and cheer on the runners from all over the world who have taken on this enormous challenge. This year, we’ll be cheering for two U.S. Fund for UNICEF staff members who are running in the marathon for Team UNICEF. Jennifer Lee and Taylor Conger are both training right now to finish the 26.2-mile marathon and raise money to help children all around the world. These two dedicated athletes have already reached their initial fundraising goal of $3,500 each, and have now upped their goal to a combined total of $10,000—all of it for UNICEF.
Child trafficking. It’s a horror that no child should ever have to experience. But around the world, some 5.5 million children are trafficked for forced labor or sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is a $32 billion a year industry, one of the world’s most profitable criminal activities. Children are especially vulnerable, and UNICEF is working across the globe to keep children safe from exploitation.
We recently had a visit here at the U.S. Fund offices from two UNICEF representatives,who described a successful UNICEF campaign to prevent child trafficking in Latin America.
Today is the International Day of Peace, established by the United Nations to help strengthen the ideals of peace around the world. But did you know that UNICEF actually considers children “zones of peace”? This idea of putting children above the political fray led to UNICEF’s groundbreaking work negotiating ceasefires for humanitarian work. The first of these took place in El Salvador in 1985, when then-UNICEF Executive Director James Grant negotiated three “days of tranquility.”
Fall is here—which means it’s finally time for Halloween! For as long as I can remember, I have seen UNICEF’s orange Trick-or-Treat boxes make the rounds in neighborhood, often carrying one myself. This year, kids can get even more involved by designing their own Trick-or-Treat collection boxes, which they can then enter into our Create-a-Character Contest. We’ve also revamped the boxes’ original look and designed new boxes with six brand-new characters.
Every four months the U.S. Fund for UNICEF puts out a terrific magazine, called Every Child. The magazine features stories on issues affecting children around the world, gives updates on UNICEF’s work, and highlights the efforts of UNICEF partners and supporters.
This issue’s cover story, “UNICEF in the Urban World,” takes place in Thailand—but it reflects the plight of many poor children in cities everywhere.
This Sunday is a very special day for us here at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. It’s World Humanitarian Day–a day that honors humanitarian workers around the world, created in memory of the 22 UN staff members who died in the 2003 bombing of UN headquarters in Iraq. But WHD is also a day to honor all people who help others. And that’s where everyone can get involved. In the spirit of this special day, the UN and Beyoncé (yes, that Beyoncé), along with other global organizations, are asking everyone to do two things: Do something good for someone somewhere, and inspire the world to do the same.
Inspired Gifts have hit the big time! We are very happy to share with you that UNICEF Inspired Gifts are included in an exhibition about design for children that is currently on view at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The MoMA show, called “Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000,” looks at how modernist thinking has influenced designing for children in the 20th Century, and it features three Inspired Gifts
In this second week of the Olymic Games, we wanted to let you know about a global sports program for children that has been taking place in conjunction with the Olympics. It’s called International Inspiration and is the result of a pledge that Seb Coe, who led London’s bid for the Olympics, made when London was chosen to host the 2012 Games: to connect children to the transformative power that the Games have and inspire them to play sports and improve their lives as a result. The program’s mission is simple: Bring sports to 12 million children in 20 countries. And that’s not the only way that UNICEF is connected to the Olympics. The NBA, a long-time supporter of UNICEF’s work, is well represented at this year’s Games.