The auditorium of the high school in the heart of Quito, Ecuador, was sparse. Beyond a regal painting of Simon Bolivar displayed prominently on stage and a few posters, the room was unadorned, belying the incredible scene we were about to witness. We were there on a visit to learn more about UNICEF-supported programs in Ecuador. The eight of us sat in a row at the front of the room, facing dozens of students—mostly 18 years and older—who had previously dropped out of school and were now returning to finish their education. They were participating in a UNICEF-supported Fast Track Initiative, where they were able to complete three years of school in only one rigorous year, helping them catch up to their peers.
Category Archives for "U.S. Fund People"
Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone and the author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, has a remarkable story to tell. With incredible honesty and authenticity, he reveals the details of his experience as a child soldier during the civil unrest in Sierra Leone. As a child he was vulnerable to the persuasiveness of the armies, but re-entering civil society was a challenge. I invite you to hear Ishmael Beah’s powerful message on May 10 at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco.
In December, I had one of most rewarding experiences of my tenure at the U.S. Fund when a friend invited me to speak to her daughter Riley’s third grade class at Pine Bush Elementary School in Guilderland, NY. Riley’s teacher, Ms. Germano, and her fellow third grade teachers have been raising funds for Trick or Treat for UNICEF for the past 8 years. This year the classes raised $1,700 to support UNICEF’s work.
Extreme hunger is a horrific feeling. Millions are facing this predicament due to the current food crisis and severe droughts in the Sahel. As a current member of the UNICEF Campus Initiative Alumni Association, I am excited to support UNICEF and the children of Sahel through the Live Below the Line campaign. I invite you to join me on this campaign to live on a $1.50/day for food from May 7-11 and raise funds for UNICEF’s lifesaving work in the Sahel.
Recently, we at the U.S. Fund were visited by colleagues who are from a region that’s perhaps less commonly associated with UNICEF: Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS). I was excited to learn what UNICEF does in the region.
The CEE/CIS is one of the newer—and lesser known—regions where UNICEF does its work. Comprised of 22 countries, this area of the world is incredibly diverse, with varying levels of development. But these days, life for children in thisregion is difficult.
Sharon Leite, Pier 1 Imports’ Executive Vice President of Stores, presented Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U. S. Fund for UNICEF, with a check for $1,607,976. The donation reflects the amount that Pier 1 Imports raised during the 2011 holiday season from the sale of UNICEF greeting cards in their stores across the United States. Understanding how much even $1 can do to help a child, I know that Pier 1’s efforts will make a huge impact on saving and improving children’s lives around the world.