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.
Category Archives for "U.S. Fund People"
This past weekend, I, along with 17 U.S. Fund for UNICEF volunteers, learned more about human trafficking at Free2Walk Boston. An annual event sponsored by the anti-trafficking group Not For Sale, Free2Walk proclaims no human being should be for sale. The event comprised a two hour guided tour of sites of the abolitionist movement in Boston.
In Argentina, the annual event “Un Sol Para los Chicos” is a highly recognized telethon benefiting UNICEF programs in the country. Held every August during “El Dia de los Niños,” the national day dedicated to children, the event is broadcast nationally in conjunction with the El Trece network. The recent record-breaking event raised an astounding AR$14,309,929. The festivities included performances and appearances by well-known celebrities and special guests, in addition to live games and raffles.
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a discussion with UNICEF Uganda Deputy Representative, May Anyabolu. Anyabolu gave a passionate presentation about Uganda’s history of conflict, the realities of everyday life, and UNICEF’s various programs and initiatives.
Among many other initiatives, UNICEF and partners have created programs to reduce school drop-out rates, reach children in Uganda’s most isolated areas, and establish youth networking organizations. In addition, the installation of ‘Digital Drums’—rugged computers made from locally available oil drums—have served as a way to promote sustainability and make youth friendly content, along with games and reading materials, accessible to young people. Through mTrac, a nationwide SMS-based disease and medicine tracking system, community health workers as well as everyday citizens can text to a hotline to report theft, corruption and shortages.
Warmly hosted by the UNICEF Malawi staff, recently a group of U.S. Fund for UNICEF staff and supporters visited the country to see the great breadth of UNICEF’s work and meet the children who are benefitting.
One of the most striking moments was when we visited the schools that UNICEF has helped to develop. By establishing child-friendly schools in the most rural areas of the country, UNICEF is able to demonstrate a commitment to have all kids attend school. The K.I.N.D. Project—Kids In Need of Desks—that was initiated by Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC has proven to be extremely successful.
Anyone who thinks back to their favorite childhood programs understands the importance of positive childhood entertainment role models that inform and educate communities. As a child, two of my favorite programs were Sesame Street and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Now in my twenties, on early Saturday mornings I often find myself in front of the television watching Mr. Roger or humming the theme song as I put on my favorite sweater. The social and psychological impact of early childhood education programs last a lifetime.
One of UNICEF’s Communication for Development programs is the popular and extremely successful Meena Initiative, which aims to empower the most marginalized, and to prompt debate within homes, schools and community centers.