Legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar, who with friend and fellow musician George Harrison created the remarkable Concert for Bangladesh to support UNICEF relief efforts in that country, passed away yesterday at age 92. “The world has lost a hero,” said Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Michael Sandler, UNICEF USA
At the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, Syria’s exiled children and their families are bracing themselves for the onset of winter. In Jordan’s northern and central regions, temperatures can easily drop below freezing during the winter months, and snowfall is not uncommon. Some of the displaced came prepared when they crossed Syria’s border to reach the camp, while other families came to Jordan with nothing. UNICEF is accelerating plans to winterize the camp and is scaling up assistance to Za’atari’s residents. Still, more help is needed as the temperatures continue to drop.
On November 18, a magnificent crystal ornament began to illuminate the heart of Manhattan from high overhead at 5th Avenue and 57th Street. Enormous and delicate, the 3,300 pound UNICEF Snowflake is 28 feet tall and 23 feet wide and contains 16,000 individual crystal prisms. This glittering emblem and its crystals represent an inspired and committed community who have pledged to safeguard the world’s children. Like many events in New York during this holiday season, the raising of the UNICEF Snowflake inspires both celebration and contemplation. And while the appearance of the Snowflake symbolizes the commencement of the holiday season and serves as a tribute to UNICEF’s lifesaving work, it is also an acknowledgement of how far we still have to go.