The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is a group that is committed to improving the lives of children all around the world. UNICEF is a charity group that is a part of the United Nations.
UNICEF is part of The United Nations, which works for world peace. The main purpose of UNICEF is to make sure that children around the entire world get the care and education they need to grow up to be happy and healthy adults. UNICEF believes that children require special kinds of care and affection. If children don't receive good care, it can harm them forever.
The UNICEF emblem is similar to the United Nations' emblem. The UN emblem has a globe surrounded by olive branches that stand for world peace. The UNICEF emblem uses the same globe and olive branches, but there is a picture of a grown-up holding a baby inside the globe as well.
The History of UNICEF
When World War II ended, the United Nations was started to help promote world peace. Many UN leaders from around the world were concerned about the children in Europe. In 1946, the delegates to the UN set up a temporary fund called The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). It was established to help children of all nations, not just the nations who won World War II.
At first, the leaders of UNICEF thought it was most important to improve children's health and nutrition. UNICEF worked with leaders, farmers, and charity groups to help dairy farms produce more milk in Europe because many farms were destroyed in the war. In 1950, UNICEF was going to close down because the conditions in Europe were much better. However, some UN leaders protested because they felt the work of UNICEF was not done because many children around the world were dying. In 1953, the UN decided to make UNICEF a permanent part of the United Nations. They also officially changed the name to United Nations Children's Fund.
How Does UNICEF Work?
UNICEF is a charity group that is a part of the United Nations. It is the only UN agency that is completely devoted to children and women. The person in charge of UNICEF is called the executive director. The executive director is appointed by the General Assembly of the UN. It is the job of the executive director to inform the world leaders and other important people about the work that UNICEF is doing and ask them to help. Ann M. Veneman is the current executive director for UNICEF (January, 2008). She began her position on May 1st, 2005.
The executive director works at the UNICEF headquarters in New York City. There are eight regional offices around the world as well as 125 country offices. Most of UNICEF's employees work in the country offices. They talk to government leaders and train local people to help children. UNICEF provides the money, training, and technology for each of its projects and then local people from the area are in charge of running the project.
UNICEF treats all children equally. It doesn't matter what religion, nationality, race, or gender a child is. UNICEF talks to different countries' government leaders and asks them to support the children in their country and to value their rights. UNICEF believes that their must be hope for a country's children in order for there to be hope for that country in the future. UNICEF helped design a special treaty called the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This lists the basic human rights of children. In 1989, it was formally accepted by the General Assembly of the UN. The Convention includes children's rights to:
- health care
- a fair standard of living
- leisure and play
- protection from being exploited and abuse
- express their opinions
What Does UNCIEF Do?
UNICEF works on projects that help children in over 150 countries around the world. Most of these projects help to keep children alive and healthy. One main goal of UNICEF is to continue to help children in countries that have dealt with wars and natural disasters. However, today UNICEF is dealing more with poverty and illnesses in the poorest countries of the world. Hunger can be helped by providing better foods and vitamins. Illnesses can be prevented by giving vaccinations, and having good clean drinking water and toilet facilities.
UNICEF studies which countries in the world have the most children dying at young ages. These countries are the places that are in urgent need of good health care for their children. UNICEF programs help countries drill new wells for clean drinking water. Some UNCIEF programs teach people about good hygiene and how to take care of the water supply in their communities.
UNICEF programs also teach mothers in poor countries to read, so they can take care of their children's health care needs by reading posters in health clinics, on medicine bottles and in books. UNICEF programs also help mothers improve their education so they can get a job to help their families.
UNICEF also has some programs to help give vitamins and vaccinations to children in poor countries to help them stay healthy. UNICEF also helps to break the cycle of poverty by helping to provide a good education. UNICEF talks to some nations' leaders to create laws that would make it illegal to have children work.
UNICEF also has programs to help children who are homeless. They have reading classes, health check-ups, and sport activities for kids who are homeless.
UNICEF works to make sure children get the love and support they need from their families, schools, and neighborhoods.
Support for UNICEF
Money to support UNICEF projects comes from many different sources. Many nations around the world voluntarily give money to UNICEF. Private companies, charity groups, and ordinary citizens donate money too. Some famous people are asked to be Goodwill Ambassadors or Special Representatives for UNICEF. They help to raise money by visiting some of the poor countries around the world, and they learn about UNICEF programs that are being offered.
UNICEF also sells greeting cards to help fund its programs. This tradition started in 1947 when a Czech little girl named Jitka Samkova painted a picture to say 'Thank you' to UNICEF for helping her village after World War II. UNICEF printed her picture on greeting cards to raise money. Today, many artists let UNICEF use their pictures to illustrate these greeting cards. UNICEF helps children get the best care from birth, because it can make a huge difference in their health and well-being.