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Improving the Lives of Children in Jamaica

Boy at UNCEF-supported Denham Town school in Jamaica

— Many of us see Jamaica as an island paradise, the birthplace of Reggae music, and home to world class athletes. But Jamaica is not perfect: The country is home to one of the world’s greatest wealth disparities and has one of the highest homicide rates. These harsh realities create a difficult environment for children. I recently had the privilege of hearing UNICEF Jamaica Representative Robert Fuderich speak about UNICEF’s programs in Jamaica, and attending this event further deepened my appreciation for UNICEF’s work.

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Hangout with the End Trafficking Project

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— The film Not My Life forces us to face the reality of human trafficking by documenting the lives of victims from across the globe.
This Wednesday, February 6, from 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM ET, join a Google+ Hangout with Not My Life’s Director Bob Bilheimer, UNICEF’s Chief of Child Protection Susan Bissell and UNICEF USA’s End Trafficking project. We’ll discuss what human trafficking looks like around the world and how the work of UNICEF and the film Not My Life are making a difference.

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Report from Za’atari Refugee Camp

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— For most families, choosing to leave Syria is not a difficult decision. I spoke to several men and women at Za’atari refugee camp whose houses were destroyed by shells or bombs in the conflict. None of these people wanted to move to a refugee camp, but to escape the violence, they literally had nowhere else to go. Most families cross into Jordan illegally. They are picked up on the other side of the border and are taken to Za’atari.

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Anti-Trafficking Screening and Panel in NY

UNCEF and NYU host anti-trafficking screening and panel

— On Tuesday, January 29, with the help and support of New York University student groups and the NYU UNICEF Club, I hosted a screening of the documentary film Not My Life at NYU’s historic Tishman Auditorium. The goal of the event was to raise awareness about human trafficking, offer opportunities for attendees to take meaningful action to fight the issue, and to promote the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s End Trafficking project. The screening was followed by a lively panel discussion, featuring prominent leaders of the anti-trafficking movement.

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Bill Gates’ Annual Letter and UNICEF

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— Bill Gates released his “annual letter” today, presenting a candid take on the work and learnings of his foundation. His 2013 focus? Measurement. Gates cites UNICEF and its beloved former Executive Director James Grant as “the best example of picking an important goal and using measurement to achieve it.” Though Grant is not a household name, Gates maintains that “(his) impact on the world is as significant as any profit-driven leader like Henry Ford or Thomas Watson.”

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Disney and UNICEF launch P.L.A.Y.

Disney and UNICEF launch P.L.A.Y. Initiative in Bangladesh

— In 1960 Walt Disney had a visionary idea: to create a tribute to the children of the world. That idea came to fruition in 1964 at the World’s Fair as the “It’s a Small World” ride. Proceeds from the ride helped UNICEF save and improve children’s lives. Building upon this legacy, today UNICEF and Disney are bringing the power of play to the world’s most vulnerable children.

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