Champions voted to allocate a portion of 2008 collections—roughly $200,000—to “wherever the funds are needed most.” UNICEF recommended that the funds support UNICEF’s programs for children in Belize. Although Belize is an upper-middle income country, wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving 33 percent of the population in poverty, lacking proper social services and proper sanitation. Belize also has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Central America.
Champions for Children Amy Cedarburg (IMA), Linda Feeney (IOR) and Terrell Lee (BNA Admirals Club) attended a UNICEF field visit to Belize in April 2010. While in Belize, the group observed UNICEF programs and local initiatives that are ensuring child survival. Specifically they saw programs addressing clean water, education, and health care. One stop on the trip was to visit the Aquacate School, which incorporates two UNICEF-supported programs, the child-friendly school and the intercultural and bilingual initiatives. The goal of child-friendly schools is to provide safe, clean, healthy, and protective learning environments for children. The intercultural and bilingual programs stress the importance for the students to blend their Maya traditions and language with the traditional school curriculum.
"It was an incredible experience to see first-hand the good work of UNICEF. Thanks to the organization's efforts, children in Belize are attending school, have access to clean water, and are immunized against preventable diseases," said Chicago-based International Flight Attendant and Champion for Children, Linda Feeney.
- To see photos, click here.
- To learn more about Champions’ personal experiences, please read Terrell Lee’s blog post, Amy Cedarburg’s blog post and Linda Feeney’s newsletter story