Last month, Seija Toro, the UNICEF Representative in Costa Rica, visited the U.S. Fund in New York to share with us what UNICEF is doing to narrow these incredible disparities so that all children have a fair shot at a healthy and productive life. One particular program—“Growing with Music”— literally has everyone listening. Growing with Music is a music education program supported by UNICEF that seeks to promote early childhood development and improve school readiness and life skills for children.
Every day 1,000 children are newly infected with HIV, and every year thousands of children under five die from this preventable illness. UNICEF is working to achieve an AIDS-free generation by 2015—taking one more step toward reaching our goal of zero children dying from preventable causes. It is a big task, but with the cooperation of governments, NGOs, health clinics, and supporters like you, we can help every child reach their fifth birthday. Here are some of the most effective ways that UNICEF is using to help keep children safe from HIV/AIDS.
The U.S. Government’s annual contribution to UNICEF plays a critical role in our efforts to get to zero—no child dying from a cause we can prevent. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have made their recommendations to preserve the appropriations for UNICEF for Fiscal Year 2013. The next step would be for each chamber to vote on its bill. UNICEF’s supporters need to continue to remind their Senators and Representatives that we need their help to secure this funding as it moves through the legislative process!
Tune in to World News with Diane Sawyer and Nightline tonight on ABC for an on-the-ground report on the food crisis threatening the survival of more than 1 million children across the Sahel region of west and Central Africa. ABC is reporting from Niger, one of eight countries reeling from the current crisis. UNICEF has been at the forefront of sounding the alarm for the children across the region suffering from the effects of a severe drought, rising food prices and the resulting food crisis.
We, the UNICEF Campus Initiative National Council and Alumni Council, had the privilege of attending U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Annual Meeting on May 3-4. On Thursday, we dined with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF community including major donors, staff, board members, and partners. Caryl Stern and Fareed Zakaria welcomed everyone and reviewed the importance of UNICEF in reaching zero preventable deaths amongst children. Nuttin’ But Strings, the musical performance for the evening, left us breathless; it was a powerful and entertaining way to commence a very productive meeting.
I recently traveled to Kosovo for the inaugural Kosovo Innovation Camp, a UNICEF sponsored, 48-hour intensive retreat that brought together 80 young people to develop six projects, from idea to business plan. The goal of UNICEF’s Innovations Lab Kosovo is threefold: to develop new solutions for some of Kosovo’s problems, empower young people to be a part of the solution, and connect them with community leaders. By these measures, the event was a huge success. Watching these young people in the room, it was easy to imagine the next Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin coming from Kosovo. The participants’ ideas, ability to connect different technological solutions, and energy were contagious, and I found myself wondering how many great ideas we may have missed out on just because there was no access to a mentoring, support, and peer network such as this one.