UNICEF believes that every child has the right to survive, thrive, and reach his or her full potential in creating a better world. For the past seven decades UNICEF has been working in 190 countries to protect children’s rights and improve the lives of their families.
After World War II, countless refugees including women and children emerged. So in 1946 The International Children’s Emergency Fund (ICEF) was created. ICEF was mainly focused on child health aid and distributed without any discrimination.
In 1947, UNICEF received its first private contribution. Thus, the first National Committee was spearheaded in the United States. From then on, there was no turning back. Today, UNICEF is fighting for the rights of every child, every day, all over the world.
Child Safety Through Protection and Inclusion
UNICEF continuously strives in improving the services and policies protecting children. Its mission is to make the world a safe and inclusive place for every child. Every child has the right to be protected from abuse, violence, and exploitation. But everyday, millions of children across the globe from different backgrounds endure violence and exploitation. Countless more are at risk.
UNICEF understands that these problems have underlying causes. Thus, there are child protection systems that aim to address the risk factors concerning these children and their families. Together with government and non-government organizations, the private sector and civil society, UNICEF strives to promote all the components of these systems. These include human resources, laws, finance standards, monitoring and services, and governance. By mapping and assessing these child protection systems, a consensus is built among government and civil society. Then the highest priorities on which to act on are determined.
Thanks to UNICEF, child mortality has steadily decreased. UNICEF works hard to ensure child survival initiatives reach children all over the world. From early childhood development, health, nutrition, and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene),these child survival initiatives help children to not only survive but thrive.
Studies have shown that interventions used to improve human development and break the poverty cycle happen during a child’s early years. This is why there is the Millennium Development Goals that were ratified by the United Nations. This is to provide each country’s government with specific and tangible targets to fight poverty and uplift the standard of living for everyone by 2015. Early Childhood Development play a big role in achieving these goals because UNICEF believes that prevention is definitely better than cure.
A good education levels the playing field for every one. Rich or poor, anyone with a good education has a shot in this world. UNICEF is a strong believer of this especially for children in war-torn areas and the developing world.
Across the globe, some children will always be deprived of a good education. This means that the future generation will also begin at a disadvantage. In order to destroy the obstacles getting in the way of children’s school and learning, UNICEF works closely with children who always end up excluded.
Getting kids to school is simply not enough. There has to be child-friendly approaches like providing safe and healthy environments, learning and teaching processes that addresses each child’s unique needs for them to be equipped with the adequate knowledge and skills and be globally competitive. Not only is this an investment in these children’s future, but a chance at peace and prosperity in their society.
UNICEF in Emergencies
Wherever, whenever, UNICEF strives to reach children and their families in crisis by utilizing lifesaving resources. In the Middle East and North Africa region alone, violence, displacement, natural calamities, economic and gender inequality, unemployment and poverty left over 72 million people, 28 million of which are children, are in need of humanitarian assistance. There is an urgent need for safe water and sanitation, healthcare, education, and protection services. Lack of access to the most basic needs force children into child labor, early marriage and even recruitment to the armed forces. The situation is made even worse by donor fatigue and financially strained institutions.
Right now, UNICEF is requesting US$2,000,000 for the coordination and technical support for emergency preparedness and response in North Africa and the Middle East in 2018. This will ensure that the most vulnerable countries are prepared to respond to these emergencies.
Research and Analysis
Research is essential in achieving UNICEF’s mission. Its continuous efforts to protect the rights of all children will only succeed if it is backed up with solid evidence and the latest knowledge. Thus, Innocenti, UNICEF’ research center is fully dedicated in achieving this. It is mandated to undergo cutting-edge, policy-relevant research needed to equip UNICEF and the global community to deliver the desired results for these children. UNICEF Innocenti is fully engaged with the top universities and institutions in the world in order to promote dynamic and real-time discourse on knowledge generation concerning children.
How YOU Can Help
There are several ways you can help and join UNICEF in fighting for children’s lives all over the world. First, you can become a donor and rest assured your donation will have a strong impact on these children needing safety, healthcare, proper nutrition and education.You can also become a volunteer and help give a fair chance for success and survival- one child at a time. Or, choose to go social. By sharing a UNICEF story on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channel and sharing it with your friends, great things can happen. Finally, you can explore career opportunities posted on their page. It doesn’t matter which of these you choose. What’s more important is that you choose to make a difference.