Becca Arbacher is one of the four delegates chosen to represent the United States at the Children's Climate Forum (CCF) taking place in Copenhagen. The U.S. Delegates will be sharing their experiences at the CCF on Fieldnotes.
We easily settled in to work at the UNICEF Children's Climate Forum. On the first day I chose a workshop on Climate Justice.
|© U.S. Fund for UNICEF/2009|
|Delegates from around the world attending the Children's Climate Forum pose for a picture.|
At the workshop, we discussed the disparity between the major polluters and those who are affected most. Axam from the Maldives described how of the 1197 islands, only 200 are inhabited. Tsunamis, like the one in 2004, destroy the fresh water available to the sparse population, and these disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity as global warming affects the water levels and temperature. He explained how the max elevation was only around 1 meter, and how the islands can be rendered uninhabitable. We then split into smaller groups, where my group focused on refining the message about climate justice that would be included in the drafting group. We categorized our ideas into seven focus points: funding, cooperation, accountability, morality, optimization of energy, a multi-faceted approach, and individual action. This workshop was my favorite of the day.
During lunch I talked to Ragnar about the differences in public opinion regarding climate change in his home, Iceland, and in the US. We started talking about how Iceland has a fantastic source of geothermal energy, and how 70% of its total energy consumption comes from renewable sources, yet the public is generally apathetic. I thought this was really intriguing, considering Iceland will be one of the first countries affected by melting ice and rising sea levels.
With holiday season gearing up, U.S. Fund for UNICEF corporate partners are offering a varied range of gifts that give back.
Want to give a present that also makes a difference for children? From bracelets to luxury goods and accessories, writing instruments to soft toys, several corporations have created dedicated items that will help UNICEF. Gucci, IKEA, Montblanc and Cartier have joined this year in support of UNICEF's mission, and will make a donation for each purchase of dedicated items this holiday season to support UNICEF's lifesaving programs. Click here for details of each company's offer.
On Friday, UNICEF released a Humanitarian Action Update for the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda), where some 500,000 children under the age of five are suffering from severe acute malnutrition due to ongoing drought, chronic food insecurity and conflict.
You can see the concern on this mother's face as she feeds her severely malnourished child therapeutic milk at a UNICEF-supported feeding unit in Ethiopia.
If you follow the news, you likely know about the brutal attack on a UN guesthouse in Kabul, Afghanistan just over a month ago. On October 28, Taliban militants staged an early morning raid"they killed guards and scaled a gate to enter a small compound, firing guns and grenades in an assault that lasted nearly two hours. When it was over, eight people were dead and nine wounded. Now, after weeks of genetic testing, UNICEF has confirmed that one of those killed was a UNICEF staff member.
|© UNICEF/AFGA2009-00945/Shehzad Noorani |
Afghanistan, 2009: A young girl child standing by a bakery in Dah Afghanan, a poor neighborhood in Kabul.
Teshome Mendefro Ergete had been working for UNICEF Afghanistan just since September, 2009. Mr. Ergete, an Ethiopian national, was an expert in drilling wells for fresh water. Right now in Afghanistan, 70 percent of the population lacks access to clean, safe drinking water. There's no doubt that Mr. Ergete's work in the country would have had a hugely positive impact.
Olivia Zhu is one of the four delegates chosen to represent the United States at the Children's Climate Forum (CCF) taking place in Copenhagen. The U.S. Delegates will be sharing their experiences at the CCF on Fieldnotes
The first morning we had a great time playing what I'm going to call "World-Ball." We arrived in the main exhibition hall to find a circle of delegates from Italy, Malawi, Indonesia, and elsewhere tossing/kicking/volleying around a humongous inflatable globe.
On November 24, Abe Pollin passed away at the age of 85 in Washington, D.C. Mr. Pollin perhaps was best known locally and across the country for being the owner of the Washington Wizards NBA Team and for his development work, including the construction of the Verizon Center in downtown Washington.
This holiday season, there is LOTS going on at IKEA stores to support UNICEF!
For the 5th year, IKEA will hold its annual soft toy promotion. The campaign has raised $16 million for UNICEF and has benefited 7.6 million children so far!
For each soft toy sold at stores around the world between November 1st and December 24th, IKEA will make a donation of 1 Euro (approximately $1.47) to be split between the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Save the Children. The 2009 campaign will support UNICEF's "Schools for Africa" program and will help provide vital education programs for children in Niger, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Mali, Ethiopia and South Africa.
There's a fun new way to participate in the campaign this year. Everyone is invited to join IKEA soft toys in an attempt to create the world's biggest choir! You can record your own singing with just a few simple clicks and can select which soft toy character you want to be, and make it dance, all by going to IKEA.com/softtoysaid.
Today is World AIDS Day.
UNICEF-supported programs provide care and education for millions of HIV-positive children, as well as those who are orphaned by the disease and those who are living with infected caregivers.
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is being featured as the Charity of the Day on GoodSearch.com and GoodShop.com today--Cyber Monday!
For me, the sport of soccer evokes memories of a suburban childhood: freshly laundered uniforms and energy drinks, grass stains and post-game pizza parties. Never once during the many years of weekend tournaments and afternoon practices did I consider the children across the world enjoying the same sport, in dusty streets and alleyways instead of newly sodded fields. And I certainly never considered the many children denied the fundamental right I took for granted each day"the right to play.
|© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-1231/Giacomo Pirozzi|
A boy balances a soccer ball on his head outside a UNICEF child-friendly space in Antananarivo, Madagascar|