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.
From the photos that accompany this blog post, you’ll see that I’ve been traveling with a group of really tall men. Last week, NBA greats Dikembe Mutombo, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Nick Collison were on the road with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on a field visit to UNICEF projects in northern Kenya. They visited refugee camps at Kakuma, medical facilities in Makutano, and children’s shelters in Lodwar.
But what I’ve learned about these men is that it isn’t their extraordinary height that makes them remarkable, or the fact that each can palm an infant as easily as they can palm a basketball—it’s their super-sized hearts.
It’s back-to-school time, and many parents are busy buying school supplies, backpacks and new clothes. But sadly, not all parents can afford to buy pen and paper for their children, or even send them to school. In post-quake Haiti, rebuilding education is a major priority, and UNICEF is working closely with the government to get children back to school. Supplies like school-in-a-box kits, notebooks, pens and pencils are essential tools in supporting children’s learning. Three children and their school director at a UNICEF-supported school in Port-au-Prince share their story.
It’s amazing how well young people can communicate without relying on language. Children can overcome a language barrier with a warm smile, a cool handshake or a slick dance move. At least that was the case with the kids we meet on a recent field visit we took to Tanzania with NBA and Olympic basketball star Tyson Chandler.
The very tall (7’1”) center for the New York Knicks was fresh off his gold-medal winning performance with the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball team in London. But instead of heading back to the U.S. for the many celebrations and parties set to get underway for the triumphant team, Tyson opted to travel to Africa and personally experience the work UNICEF is doing to fight for the survival and development of every child in need.
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is partnering with the Global Poverty Project to launch Global Citizen—an enduring online community and movement against extreme poverty with real-world successes. Global Citizen is a web platform that will unite and amplify the calls of the movement to end extreme poverty.
And this September, as world leaders gather in New York for the UN General Assembly, we’re hosting the Global Festival—a massive advocacy, free ticketed concert that will put the movement to end extreme poverty in the headlines. This historic event will bring Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Band of Horses, K’naan and 60,000 change makers together on the Great Lawn in Central Park, where we will raise our voices and urge our leaders and fellow citizens to do more to tackle extreme poverty.
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.