UNICEF: Children First

UNICEF1

“There was a time when I, like may, had been inclined to feel pity and see myself as a great savior swooping in. Now I know better. I sing it from the mountaintops, over and over again, as loud as I can: when you see people in the wake of a disaster, do not only count what has been taken from them; count what they have left. They may have been traumatized by the disaster, but they are not merely its victims. They are also its survivors”

  • Caryl Stern, CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF

This is the most inspired space I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Each person in this office knows that their work is meaningful, important and leading to tangible successes for children everywhere. Every phone call with a donor, ever successful lunch meeting, every school visit has the very real potential to save the life of a child. Like Caryl Stern, I know that many of us get wrapped up in the idea that we as Americans, as the privileged, are the world’s saviors but if I have learned anything from working at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF is that without global support no long term impacts can be made. UNICEF as a whole and the women I worked with this summer truly embrace this idea. They are collaborative, supportive  and communicative. They have taught me that to be a global force you must have the determination and support of thousands of people. Working with this mindset made me value the time I had here and the work I was doing. It was amazing to know that even the menial tasks, like researching donors and sitting through meetings were some of the moving parts in effecting this global change.

I really love the UNICEF definition of Global Citizen. They say a global citizen is someone who understands interconnectedness, respects and values diversity, has the ability to challenge injustice, and takes action in a personally meaningful way. They encourage all of their employees to be global citizens and to encourage those around them to act as global citizens as well. My favorite piece of the definition is; to take action in a personally meaningful way, it inspires something greater. It felt incredibly pertinent to me as I read Cheryl Stern, CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s book. I felt overwhelmed by the stories she told. Saddened and discouraged by the fate of children. I was overcome by a feeling of inadequacy, feeling as though I could do nothing to help. Then I thought of the definition above, and how the action I was taking was personally meaningful. Maybe I am not at a place in my life where I can be donating thousands of dollars to this cause or traveling to world vaccinating children, but my work here at UNICEF made a difference, I contributed to an organization that is working to provide healthy and hopeful lives to children. I can not imagine working for a more wonderful organization.

My time here at the U.S. Fund has only strengthened my desire to work for UNICEF. I am more inspired each time I learn about their efforts. I hope to continue to pursue a career within the organization, hopefully shifting from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, to UNICEF Global. This would allow me to move away from the fundraising side of things and be more hands on in program organization and implementation. I know that whatever I choose to do I will have this wonderful team of women here at the U.S. Fund to support me. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to work at this organization and energized by knowing that this is what I some day hope to do.
Thank you so much for allowing me to have this opportunity, I can not imagine the summer without it.

Written by Molly Davis, BC Class of 2018

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