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Category Archives: U.S. Fund People

Putting Aside Politics to Put Children First

McGovern-Rendon-UNICEF

— With the passing of former Sen. George McGovern (D-SD), the world has lost a consistent champion for global development and the elimination of hunger and disease. Although he lost his race for President in 1972, his impact has been felt across the years on a wide range of humanitarian issues. In these partisan times, it is encouraging to note how he and former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) collaborated after their Senate careers to propose the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which has provided meals to 22 million children in 41 countries. I am also privileged to share that Sen. McGovern gave me my start on Capitol Hill.

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How to Talk With Children in the Aftermath of Violence

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— When violent events occur, such as the recent shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, it’s natural to want to protect children from the terrifying details as they unfold in the media. Yet in an age of pervasive communications technology, it is impossible to shield children—especially once they reach school age—from unpleasant world events. There are ways, however, that we as educators and family members can help youth to cope with and make sense of tragedy in the world around them. Here are some suggestions.

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Running for Team UNICEF

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF's Taylor Conger and Jennifer Lee, running for Team UNICEF

— 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.

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Free2Walk: Boston UNICEF Volunteers Learn about Human Trafficking Through Guided Tour

U.S Fund for UNICEF Volunteers at Free2Walk—“End Human Trafficking Now.”  Photo by Leigh Forbush

— 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.

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A Celebration to Benefit the Children of Argentina

© UNICEF/Haar

— 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.

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Technological innovations put Uganda on track to reduce child mortality

Children line up to use the Digital Drum, a rugged solar-powered computer that features youth-friendly content free of charge. Photo courtesy of UNICEF Uganda

— 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.

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