Elizabeth Kiem is the online producer for unicefusa.org.
We are the cable darlings for the next 36 hours, starting Tuesday afternoon, when Malaak Compton-Rock joins Oprah Winfrey to make the case for volunteering as a "touchstone" for life.
Compton-Rock is committed to a life of service--her Angelrock Project educates people interested in charitable work about their local community service options.
Before founding Angelrock, Compton-Rock (who is married to the comedian Chris Rock) dedicated her service to the global community by working here at the U.S. Fund. So while the Oprah segment is featuring Compton-Rock's upcoming book "If it Takes a Village, Build One," expect to hear good things about one of Compton-Rocks favorite organizations--UNICEF.
Tune in to hear more about the big impact even the smallest gestures can have. Compton-Rock says UNICEF greeting cards are one of the best ways to "give back."
U.S. Fund for UNICEF/2010 and Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com
Left: Marcus Samuelsson at a recent Tap Project event. Right: Malaak Compton-Rock and Chris Rock
UNICEF will also get a broadcast shout out tomorrow night from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. Samuelsson, a UNICEF ambassador, is making his debut on Bravo's Top Chef Masters.
The charity he's playing for? UNICEF's Tap Project of course!
So what have we learned? If it takes a village, build it. If it was created "quickfire" - taste it. And if it's for the good of children everywhere--sign it, send it, read it and win it!
Oh yeah--and watch it!
Malaack Compton-Rock and UNICEF cards on Oprah, Tuesday, 4 PM EST/3 PM CST.
Marcus Samuelsson on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, Wednesday, 10 PM EST/PST.
Jenner Pascua is a production officer for unicefusa.org
Last week Sigrid Kaag, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, released a statement about the recent death of a 12-year-old Yemeni girl.
"The death of Elham Mahdi al-Assi from internal bleeding following intercourse, three days after she was married off to a man at least twice her age, is a painful reminder of the risks girls face when they are married too soon."
This heart-breaking news reminded me of a recent photo essay UNICEF released in January. This week's photo shows a young bride from Bangladesh.
UNICEF/NYHQ2009-2317/Md. Ilias Mia
Bangladesh - Thirteen-year-old Tania, who is pregnant, carries a small jar outside her home, in the south-western district of Barguna in Barisal Division. Tania was married at age 10, an arrangement made by her parents when she was just a year old. Despite her pregnancy, she has many household tasks. She advises against marrying at too early an age.
Each spring for the past 25 years we search for the UNICEF holiday greeting card design to be produced and sold by Pier 1 Import stores nationwide during the holiday season. This year is no different - a huge thank you to the thousands of young artists for sending in their beautiful designs. Even though only one design is finally selected, each and every young artist is a winner for caring about UNICEF's mission .
Frida Giannini is the Creative Director at Gucci. She joined UNICEF representatives on a field visit to Malawi, where in addition to Mozambique, the company's five-year long campaign supports UNICEF programs for thousands of orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS.
On Wednesday, February 24th, Healthfirst, a not-for-profit company that offers free and low-cost government-sponsored health insurance programs, donated over $32,000 to the US Fund for UNICEF for Haiti earthquake emergency relief. A press conference was held to announce the donation. The funds, donated by Healthfirst employees and other company contributions, were presented to the US Fund's Chief Financial Officer Edward Lloyd by Healthfirst Vice President of External Affairs George Hulse.
Abigail Quesinberry/US Fund for UNICEF
Representatives from Healthfirst including Vice President George Hulse present a check for $32,185 to the US Fund for UNICEF for Haiti relief.
The US Fund's Chief Development Officer Robert Thompson was also on hand and spoke to the natural synergy of the two organizations' missions. Ricoh Dupree of Radio Soleil and Cynthia McCaffrey, Chief Program Officer at the US Fund for UNICEF also spoke and congratulated Healthfirst on their efforts. Edward Lloyd praised Healthfirst for their generosity in support of UNICEF's lifesaving work and for their continued commitment to the children of Haiti.
We are so grateful for the generous support of Healthfirst.
Yesterday, April 4, was International Mine Awareness Day. Programs and events were held around the world to educate people about the dangerous legacy of landmines, which affect more than 84 countries.
Children at play are particularly vulnerable to mines and cluster munitions since they come in interesting shapes and colors that attract children's curiosity.
This week's Monday photo shows a young survivor from Angola.
Sean Sutton/Mines Advisory Group
"A landmine victim in Angola
This is a serious problem with devastating consequences. Visit www.mineaction.org to educate yourself and help raise awareness.
If you live near New York City, today you can join U.N. Under-Secretary-General Alain Le Roy for the opening of an art exhibition to mark the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
Monday, April 5 2010, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m; North East Gallery, United Nations Visitors Lobby
"The late James P. Grant, a little-known American aid worker who headed UNICEF from 1980 to 1995 and launched the child survival revolution with vaccinations and diarrhea treatments, probably saved more lives than were destroyed by Hitler, Mao and Stalin combined" -- Nicholas D. Kristof, March 6, 2008
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the passing of James P. Grant, the former Executive Director of UNICEF and global children's champion. As a Congressional aide, I had the opportunity to see Jim Grant in action as he pressed Senators and Representatives to save children's lives and to make children a priority of U.S. foreign policy. I later had the privilege to assist him in his advocacy work when I joined the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
A child at a community center in Cote d'Ivoire, shares a book with UNICEF Executive Director Jim Grant.
The spirit of Jim Grant was very much alive when his friends and former colleagues gathered at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University to hear from distinguished experts at The James P. Grant Lecture: "An Unfinished Agenda for Children."