Want to help rebuild Haiti?
You don’t have to move mountains or even piles of rubble to help rebuild the shattered country. You can start with some ankle weights or a spoon full of low-fat yogurt.
This week’s Thursday video is courtesy of our friends at Good Morning America who’ve joined forces with us to launch a super summer campaign.
UNICEF and ABC’s Good Morning America are determined to make this an unforgettable summer by joining efforts. You can join GMA’s Juju Chang as she embarks on 100 days of fitness training this summer, while raising funds for children of Haiti. Your commitment to make a personal impact on your health will help an entire generation of children in Haiti.
Help rebuild a new Haiti by becoming a member of Team Juju: Getting fit for a “Haiti Fit for Children.” Create your personal fundraising page, set your fitness goal and get family and friends to donate $5, $10 or any amount for every mile you run, every additional ten push-ups you do or every additional hour you work out on your fundraising page. You will have the entire Team Juju cheering you on – there will be online tips from Juju Chang’s coach Tom Holland on the Team Juju blog, Juju’s Healthy Summer tweets and access to web tools to customize your fundraising page and ready-to-use email templates.
Judith, age 15, lost her mother to the earthquake in Haiti in January. Today she and her fellow students support each other through their grief at one of hundreds of schools that have re-opened with UNICEF support. It is one a very few public schools in Haiti, where 90 percent of schools are private. 38,000 students and 1,300 teachers are estimated to have died in the earthquake.
On the day of the quake, Ms. Lambert, our School Director, sent us home early because she had heard that not far from our school a university teacher had been killed and there was fear of rioting. She insisted that we rush home and not linger on the streets. I was home in about 35 minutes flat, my blouse sticking to my back from the scorching heat.
|© UNICEF/2010/Monier and Van den Brule
|Judith at the site where her home once stood. UNICEF staff followed Judith for a day, view the whole set of photos on our flickr page.
Suddenly we were covered in dust from head to toe. I couldn’t believe what was happening. My mother, who had been home tending the house, was trapped beneath the rubble and the rocks were too heavy for my father to lift by himself. Jeffson, Chrislinde and I worked frantically to help Papa remove some of the rocks with our hands but we could not move quickly enough.
That night we buried our mother. We then wandered the streets and eventually fell asleep on a street corner to the wailing of women. They too had lost their loved ones. We fell asleep that night huddled against one another on the street.
We no longer had a home and no longer had our mother. The two places where I sought refuge were gone. My entire life had crumbled before me. I cried a lot over the next few days and weeks. Sometimes I would hear my mother’s voice or she came to me in my dreams. Although she is no longer here, she has given me the strength to move on. I keep her alive through my memories.
Martin Rendón is the Vice President for Public Policy & Advocacy at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
With schools across the country emptying out for Summer Break, our Nation’s Capital now is flooded with thousands of students who are touring the sights. Among them was an outstanding group of State College Area School District students from Pennsylvania.
The students were in LifeLink PSU, a program for 18- to 21-year-olds with special needs. In partnership with Penn State University, LifeLink helps these young people in the “Wild Dream Team” transition to adult responsibilities.
|© U.S. Fund for UNICEF
|The Wild Dream Team and Teri Lindner, LifeLink PSU Executive Director presenting a check to UNICEF USA’s Martin Rendon, Vice President, Office of Public Policy and Advocacy.
The Wild Dream Team students of LifeLink PSU had been raising funds earlier this year for a planned trip to the Bahamas. But when the earthquake struck Haiti in January, they decided to redirect the money to help the children of Haiti. Through their hard work and persistence, they raised $20,000 for Haitian relief.
We are deeply honored they chose to contribute this money to UNICEF’s efforts in Haiti. It was an uplifting example of youth in the United States sacrificing to help the youth of Haiti.
I met the students during their visit to Washington at the Lincoln Memorial for a ceremony to accept their check for Haitian relief. On behalf of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, I saluted them for their sacrifice and compassion for others – cherished characteristics of the American spirit. In the shadow of the statue of President Lincoln, I encouraged them to continue as good citizens to share their concerns for the children of the world with our country’s leaders.
May the Wild Dream Team students of LifeLink PSU inspire all of us to help children in need as they did and to work for a world where no child dies of preventable causes.
That’s the assessment of Dale Rutstein, UNICEF China Communications Chief, about the conditions in the town of Jiegu on the 4,000 meter high Tibetan plateau. Listen to his interview with UNICEF Radio about the challenges.
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