When the people of Atosale, Ghana were told that a second borehole would be built in their community, they screamed and clapped, smiled and bounced their children up and down on their laps. I recently witnessed this joy when I accompanied a delegation from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to Ghana, where they met with UNICEF staff and saw firsthand the impact that the Foundation’s support for UNICEF’s water programming has had on children’s lives.
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As an educator, a proud uncle of six nieces and nephews, and as a JFK-based International Purser-Champion for Children, I was honored to represent the 2,700 registered volunteers at American Airlines during my first UNICEF field visit. For years, I have been collecting donations from American Airlines customers through Change for Good, a global UNICEF program that converts travelers’ contributions of foreign currency into lifesaving services for the world’s children.
Let’s hear it for the Champions! For the fourth year in a row, American Airlines flight attendant volunteers and Admirals Club staff — known as “Champions for Children” — collected donations from generous American Airlines customers that totaled more than $1 million.
In all, $1,185,739.82 was raised in 2012 through UNICEF’s Change for Good program on American Airlines. A global campaign launched by UNICEF in 1987, Change for Good converts airline travelers’ donations of currency — dollars, Euros, pesos, reais — into lifesaving services for vulnerable children. American Airlines customers have donated nearly $9 million through Change for Good since 1994.
I am proud to report that the lives of women and children are improving in Rwanda.
Recently I took part in a panel discussion at an event held parallel to the 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The talk highlighted the tremendous work that has been done to protect women and children from HIV and gender-based violence in Rwanda. What was truly amazing was the audience turnout, which left some without seats. Attendees had come from many different nations and organizations to gain more insight into what Zonta and UNICEF are doing in Rwanda to achieve an HIV-free generation by 2015.
Giorgio Armani Fragrances has returned to help children around the world get clean, safe water, as the National Sponsor of the UNICEF Tap Project. On March 1, for the fourth consecutive year, Giorgio Armani Fragrances launches its month-long “Acqua for Life” campaign. The campaign provides a number of ways for people across the country to join the company in raising funds to support UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene programs for children.
On February 23, Montblanc launched its global “Signature for Good” initiative in Los Angeles. This marks the fourth global collaboration between Montblanc and UNICEF, which has raised more than $5 million since 2004 through various initiatives to support UNICEF’s education programs for children. In this new collaboration, Montblanc will donate 10% of the retail sales price for each item purchased in the “Signature for Good” collection. It is part of a yearlong charity initiative to support UNICEF’s education programs in the company’s efforts to ensure that children have access to a quality education.