As a Global Citizenship Fellow, I am always looking for ways to connect the community with UNICEF. I’ve also learned that there’s nothing quite like art to get people’s attention. And since San Francisco is surrounded by water—and full of artists—I decided to hold a city-wide call for submissions for a water-inspired art show.
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I am so fortunate to be able to do the work I do. Inspiring others, engaging my community, empowering youth, and educating citizens about children’s issues is not just a job for me, it is my passion!
As a UNICEF Global Citizenship Fellow, I did all these things and more. I gave presentations on issues ranging from water and sanitation to the importance of girls’ education, hosted events with UNICEF Campus Initiative members, and promoted Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and TeachUNICEF. But I will never forget the day I spoke in front of an audience of 600 Rotarians at the United Nations.
Two years ago I found myself standing at an epicenter of drug trafficking — the infamous Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia — home to the hugely lucrative illicit opium trade. But I was waiting to assist the victims of a different kind of trafficking, a group of North Korean refugees. Many of the women and children I was waiting for had been trafficked into marriage or for adoption. As the refugees’ protection officer, it was my responsibility to win their trust and safely escort them to a shelter where they would await processing to go to another country. This experience had a profound effect on me and inspired me to join the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s End Trafficking campaign.
Did you know there is a World Thinking Day? Well — neither did I!
World Thinking Day is a day when Girl Scouts all around the world honor each other and give thanks for their international friendships. This year’s themes for World Thinking Day aligned perfectly with UNICEF’s mission to end preventable child deaths. I was honored to be invited to speak about UNICEF’s work at a World Thinking Day event.
Last September, I eagerly entered the hallways of Cesar Chavez Middle School on Chicago’s southwest side, ready to meet 25 new Citizen Schools students. The students I was about to meet had chosen “UNICEF: Be the Change” as their ten-week Citizen Schools apprenticeship. As a U.S. Fund for UNICEF Global Citizenship Fellow, I had volunteered to be a Citizen Teacher to teach students about UNICEF’s work and empower them to take action for children.
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.