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The UNICEF Atlanta Speaker Series

Speaker Series on children with disabilities

— Last week, the Southeast Regional Office of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF hosted their final UNICEF Speaker Series of 2012. The program, entitled Access and Opportunity for All: A Conversation about Children and Disability, took place at the world-renowned Shepherd Center and gave experts and concerned Atlantans an opportunity to openly discuss the topic of disability and how it affects young people around the world.

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Help Support Children with Disabilities

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— According to the World Health Organization, a staggering 10% of world’s children are disabled. These children are often targets of exclusion, stigmatization, neglect, violence and abuse. UNESCO estimates that in developing countries, up to 90% of these children do not attend school. UNICEF strongly supports the ratification of the world’s newest human rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We need your help to make sure the Senate approves the CRPD before the end of the year, and we urge you to add your voice!

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Children in Gaza and Israel

— UNICEF is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Gaza and Israel. As a result of ongoing conflict, innocent children are being killed, injured and traumatized.

UNICEF calls on all parties to do everything to exercise the utmost restraint and protect the rights and well-being of all children.

If you would like to support relief efforts for affected children, please consider making an online donation.

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The UNICEF Snowflake: A Symbol of Hope

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— On November 18, a magnificent crystal ornament began to illuminate the heart of Manhattan from high overhead at 5th Avenue and 57th Street. Enormous and delicate, the 3,300 pound UNICEF Snowflake is 28 feet tall and 23 feet wide and contains 16,000 individual crystal prisms. This glittering emblem and its crystals represent an inspired and committed community who have pledged to safeguard the world’s children. Like many events in New York during this holiday season, the raising of the UNICEF Snowflake inspires both celebration and contemplation. And while the appearance of the Snowflake symbolizes the commencement of the holiday season and serves as a tribute to UNICEF’s lifesaving work, it is also an acknowledgement of how far we still have to go.

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Raising Awareness about Proper Sanitation

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— It’s hard to imagine not having a toilet. But about 2.5 billion people around the world do not even have a basic pit latrine. And not having a toilet is a much bigger problem than just the lack of comfort and convenience. UNICEF estimates that 2 million children die every year from pneumonia and diarrhea—and these two illnesses can be largely prevented with safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene. Without proper toilets, water and the environment become contaminated, and diseases like diarrhea spread more rapidly. Having a toilet, along with improving sanitation practices such as handwashing, can keep children alive.

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The 2012 UNICEF Student Summits

U.S. Fund for UNICEF 2012 Student Summit in Houston

— Last month, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF hosted four regional student summits in different locations across the country. U.S. Fund for UNICEF student leaders came together to share challenges, successes and best practices for effectively educating, advocating and fundraising for UNICEF in their local communities. The summits took place in Houston, Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago. Over 400 UNICEF High School and Campus Initiative students participated in the summits, doubling the attendance of last year’s New York summit.

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