Los Angeles teen advocates for the rights of all children to reach their full potential
NEW YORK (November 7, 2013) – The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is proud to name 14-year-old Lucy Meyer as its Spokesperson for Children with Disabilities. A longstanding UNICEF supporter and Southern California Special Olympics Athlete, Lucy will continue to raise her voice to make the world a better place for all children.
“Lucy Meyer is a powerful example of how children with disabilities are more than capable of overcoming barriers,” said Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “Lucy’s dedication to UNICEF and commitment to advancing the rights of children with disabilities everywhere are an inspiration to all of us. We are thrilled to work alongside her to help ensure that all children can realize their dreams.”
Born with cerebral palsy, Lucy began her work with UNICEF in 2011, when she started trick-or-treating for UNICEF. In January 2013, she created a fund to support children with disabilities in developing countries. To date, her website has raised more than $100,000 for UNICEF’s programs for children with disabilities.
“It makes me sad when kids cannot go to school, cannot play sports, and cannot do things that kids like to do,” said Lucy Meyer. “I want UNICEF to make it so that kids with disabilities can play, learn and have fun just like kids without disabilities.”
Over the past year, Lucy has taken her message on behalf of children with disabilities to Senators and Representatives, both at home in California and in Washington, D.C. She was a featured speaker at the preview launch of UNICEF’s 2013 State of the World’s Children report on Children with Disabilities at the Capitol Visitors Center in May. She has met directly with dozens of Senators and Representatives to share her personal story, urge ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and discuss other issues related to disability rights. Lucy has walked the halls of Congress to tell every legislator and staffer she meets about the need for children with disabilities to be a priority.
Lucy has taken on a prominent role on behalf of children with disabilities in Los Angeles, where she was a featured speaker at the West Coast launch of this year’s State of the World’s Children report. She has participated in other speaking engagements around the city.
Worldwide, an estimated 93 million children under the age of 15 have a disability. Across the developing world, children with disabilities are often invisible. They are excluded from school, hidden by their families, and abandoned by their governments. They are denied access to education, health care, and other lifesaving services, and they face discrimination, prejudice, and abuse on a daily basis. Children with disabilities are three to four times more likely to be victims of violence, and in many countries, they are significantly more likely to experience abuse at home.
To learn more, please visit: http://www.unicefusa.org/donate/lucymeyer
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.
For additional information, please contact:
Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, [email protected]