UNICEF's Next Generation Launch Event

July 28, 2009

This blog post has been written by Caroline Johnston Polisi, a member of UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee.

UNICEF's Next Generation--a new U.S. Fund for UNICEF volunteer group dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children around the world--made our public debut last Thursday night with the launch of our first initiative, Project Sprinkles: Combating Malnutrition in Guatemala. The committee is comprised of 30 young adults from diverse backgrounds, of which I am one, and is led by Jenna Bush Hager, a longtime UNICEF supporter and Young Leadership Ambassador & Next Generation Chair.

The Gates, a venue in NYC, was abuzz with other Next Generation members, U.S. Fund for UNICEF staff--including U.S. Fund for UNICEF President & CEO, Caryl Stern--and other like-minded young professionals, all committed to doing whatever it takes to save the lives of children. Guests enjoyed Crumbs Cupcakes (aptly decorated with sprinkles), sipped Sprinkle Spritzers, danced to DJ Josh Madden's beats, and bid on raffle prizes for gift certificates to restaurants including the Waverly Inn and Kingswood, among others. Guests could also purchase a variety of UNICEF's Inspired Gifts, like the prominently displayed School-in-a-Box kit, which includes the tools to provide a temporary school for over 40 children in times of emergency.

 

UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee member Megan Ferguson and chair Jenna Bush Hager call out raffle numbers. The event helped raise around $45,000.McMullan/2009UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee member Megan Ferguson and chair Jenna Bush Hager call out raffle numbers. The event helped raise around $45,000.

 

The vibe was upbeat and excited as Jenna took the microphone around 9:00 p.m. to welcome guests and to update them on our new group's plans, which begin with a focus on the children of Latin America. During our initial committee meetings, UNICEF's Guatemala representative briefed us about rising levels of malnutrition among Guatemala's children, and we decided to take immediate action, committing to raise $175,000 for Project Sprinkles. Resembling a small packet of sugar, one sachet of "Sprinkles" poured over one meal a day provides the perfect amount of daily nutrients to a child, regardless of the quantity or quality of the food the child eats.

This blog post has been written by Caroline Johnston Polisi, a member of UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee.

UNICEF's Next Generation--a new U.S. Fund for UNICEF volunteer group dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children around the world--made our public debut last Thursday night with the launch of our first initiative, Project Sprinkles: Combating Malnutrition in Guatemala. The committee is comprised of 30 young adults from diverse backgrounds, of which I am one, and is led by Jenna Bush Hager, a longtime UNICEF supporter and Young Leadership Ambassador & Next Generation Chair.

The Gates, a venue in NYC, was abuzz with other Next Generation members, U.S. Fund for UNICEF staff--including U.S. Fund for UNICEF President & CEO, Caryl Stern--and other like-minded young professionals, all committed to doing whatever it takes to save the lives of children. Guests enjoyed Crumbs Cupcakes (aptly decorated with sprinkles), sipped Sprinkle Spritzers, danced to DJ Josh Madden's beats, and bid on raffle prizes for gift certificates to restaurants including the Waverly Inn and Kingswood, among others. Guests could also purchase a variety of UNICEF's Inspired Gifts, like the prominently displayed School-in-a-Box kit, which includes the tools to provide a temporary school for over 40 children in times of emergency.

 

UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee member Megan Ferguson and chair Jenna Bush Hager call out raffle numbers. The event helped raise around $45,000.
McMullan/2009
UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee member Megan Ferguson and chair Jenna Bush Hager call out raffle numbers. The event helped raise around $45,000.

 

The vibe was upbeat and excited as Jenna took the microphone around 9:00 p.m. to welcome guests and to update them on our new group's plans, which begin with a focus on the children of Latin America. During our initial committee meetings, UNICEF's Guatemala representative briefed us about rising levels of malnutrition among Guatemala's children, and we decided to take immediate action, committing to raise $175,000 for Project Sprinkles. Resembling a small packet of sugar, one sachet of "Sprinkles" poured over one meal a day provides the perfect amount of daily nutrients to a child, regardless of the quantity or quality of the food the child eats.

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This blog post has been written by Caroline Johnston Polisi, a member of UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee.

UNICEF's Next Generation--a new U.S. Fund for UNICEF volunteer group dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children around the world--made our public debut last Thursday night with the launch of our first initiative, Project Sprinkles: Combating Malnutrition in Guatemala. The committee is comprised of 30 young adults from diverse backgrounds, of which I am one, and is led by Jenna Bush Hager, a longtime UNICEF supporter and Young Leadership Ambassador & Next Generation Chair.

The Gates, a venue in NYC, was abuzz with other Next Generation members, U.S. Fund for UNICEF staff--including U.S. Fund for UNICEF President & CEO, Caryl Stern--and other like-minded young professionals, all committed to doing whatever it takes to save the lives of children. Guests enjoyed Crumbs Cupcakes (aptly decorated with sprinkles), sipped Sprinkle Spritzers, danced to DJ Josh Madden's beats, and bid on raffle prizes for gift certificates to restaurants including the Waverly Inn and Kingswood, among others. Guests could also purchase a variety of UNICEF's Inspired Gifts, like the prominently displayed School-in-a-Box kit, which includes the tools to provide a temporary school for over 40 children in times of emergency.

 

UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee member Megan Ferguson and chair Jenna Bush Hager call out raffle numbers. The event helped raise around $45,000.
McMullan/2009
UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee member Megan Ferguson and chair Jenna Bush Hager call out raffle numbers. The event helped raise around $45,000.

 

The vibe was upbeat and excited as Jenna took the microphone around 9:00 p.m. to welcome guests and to update them on our new group's plans, which begin with a focus on the children of Latin America. During our initial committee meetings, UNICEF's Guatemala representative briefed us about rising levels of malnutrition among Guatemala's children, and we decided to take immediate action, committing to raise $175,000 for Project Sprinkles. Resembling a small packet of sugar, one sachet of "Sprinkles" poured over one meal a day provides the perfect amount of daily nutrients to a child, regardless of the quantity or quality of the food the child eats.

Project Sprinkles will bolster the work UNICEF is already doing in the fight against global malnutrition. UNICEF's traditional therapeutic foods like Plumpy'nut® and High-Energy/Protein Biscuits have proven extremely helpful for children under the age of two by providing life-sustaining intervention to youngsters in Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger and Sierra Leone, among many others. But malnutrition also severely affects children who technically receive enough calories a day to prevent starvation. "Hidden hunger" is a term used to describe the condition of many who can afford only the cheapest and most filling foods (like rice, or unfortified tortillas for example) but who cannot afford foods rich in essential vitamins, minerals and protein.

Children in Guatemala suffer every day from impaired physical and cognitive development due to hidden hunger. These children universally perform worse in school, grow up to earn lower wages, and have less economically stable lives than their nutritionally nourished counterparts. Furthermore, lack of essential micronutrients is a leading cause of weakened immune systems, making malnourished children particularly vulnerable to any number of infectious diseases, which ultimately can lead to death. UNICEF's Next Generation will not tolerate the death of any child due to preventable causes.

 

UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee members.
McMullan/2009
UNICEF's Next Generation Steering Committee members.

 

We believe that "Sprinkles" can be the primary element of a sustainable model for malnutrition intervention. Thursday night's event was just the beginning of UNICEF's Next Generation's efforts to help children in Guatemala and around the world. The event exceeded everyone's expectations, selling out in record time, and raising around $45,000 for Project Sprinkles. I am proud and honored to be a part of such an amazing organization, and I look forward to what the future holds for us!

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