Elise Jordan is a member of UNICEF’s Next Generation Steering Committee. On May 31, a crowd of 300 young New York City professionals gathered in Tribeca’s R 20th Century Gallery for the 3rd Annual Photo Benefit hosted by UNICEF’s Next Generation. UNICEF’s Next Generation—a diverse group of young professionals, ages 21 to 40, who share a commitment to UNICEF's future and a belief in zero—sold out the event, reaching its goal of raising both funds and awareness for the charity’s activities.
DJ Kiss entertained as partygoers mingled throughout the gallery and placed silent auction bids on water-themed photographs highlighting UNICEF’s mission to increase access to clean drinking water. The event raised $25,000 towards Next Gen’s UNICEF Tap Project, supporting water, sanitation, and hygiene projects in Togo, Vietnam, Mauritania, and Cameroon. It’s an important humanitarian effort for the 783 million men, women and children around the world without safe drinking water. In rural Cameroon, for example, almost half of the population lacks access; in Togo, the figure is around 39%. Half of humanity—2.5 billion people—live without proper sanitation, and diarrhea caused by dirty water is the second largest single cause of under-five child deaths worldwide. That’s more deaths than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
Next Generation Chair, Jenna Bush Hager, and one of the featured photographers of the evening, Mia Baxter. Photo by Lauren Farmer.
UNICEF’s Next Generation Chair Jenna Bush Hager headlined the event and told Guest of a Guest that the powerful photography was a conversation starter for the cause. “You look in the gallery tonight and you see people walking around having conversations about these photos, which is so important to raising awareness,” Jenna said. “Tonight we’re focused on water and—it’s ridiculous—it’s 2012, and kids still don’t have access to clean drinking water. So it’s important that we have these conversations, as well as raise money.” To support UNICEF’s Water and Sanitation programs, please click here.