This year UNICEF USA joined forces with Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre for the third time to provide multiple arts-based, interactive workshops designed to raise awareness about UNICEF’s work and improve the lives of children across the globe. UNICEF USA strives to advocate, educate, and fundraise on behalf of UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). With a regional office located in Atlanta that covers the Southeast region, UNICEF USA set its sights on bringing an educational family event to the city of Atlanta that will encourage families to get active to help children around the world.
Over 250 children, families and friends descended upon the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown Atlanta on September 30th for this year’s UNICEF Family Fun Day. Participants explored practical solutions to many of the world’s most vexing humanitarian problems through storytelling, theatre and hands-on workshops.
Whole World in your Hands
With the world becoming more and more interconnected and interdependent there is a strong need for individuals to understand geography. The Whole World in your Hands activity gives families the opportunity to race one another by placing blocks (countries) into the correct buckets (continents). With the help of UNICEF UNITE volunteers individuals learned where multiple countries were located in the world while playing a fun interactive sorting game.
Girls and women around the world spend 200 million hours a day gathering water. In 8 out of 10 homes without running water, it’s the girls who spend hours every day lugging heavy containers over rough terrain. The water walk is one of UNICEF’s signature activities and allows individuals to experience how it feels to be a child carrying gallons of water while having the chance to read statistics about UNICEF’s WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) program.
UNICEF Kid Power Dance Zone
Get active and save lives by getting in the groove while wearing a UNICEF Kid Power band. This wristband is the first wearable for good product currently on the market in the U.S. When kids take steps it unlocks RUTF packets (Ready to Use Therapeutic Food) which UNICEF uses to fight malnutrition worldwide. Families got to learn traditional dances from various African cultures with the help of Mama Yeye who is a distinguished dance instructor who works with the Alliance Theatre.
Welcome Letter to Refugee Families
With Georgia being one of the states with a large population of refugee and second generation families, UNICEF USA advocates for families to open their minds and hearts by welcoming new families into our communities. The letter writing station was filled with crayons, UNICEF blue paper and markers so that children could write letters, suggest activities for families and draw beautiful photos to newly settled families. UNICEF USA sends these letters off to a local refugee resettlement organization so that they can be shared with new families, ensuring them that there is a safe place for them in the Atlanta community.
This year UNICEF USA partnered with Challenge Island to bring STEAM related activities to Family Fun Day. Children has the opportunity to build rollercoasters, which simulated UNICEF’s life-saving supply chains which are used to get vaccines to the most hard to reach areas around the world. In addition families also had the opportunity to build a UNICEF CFC (Child Friendly Center) which UNICEF sets up to provide children with access to play and therapy to help them cope with distress related to living in a war torn area and/or refugee camp.
With the help of a UNICEF USA national board member families tuned into a series of magic tricks that incorporate UNICEF statistics. Families enjoyed seeing objectives pulled out of thin air and objects disappearing.
In the 1970s UNICEF and Rotary International joined forces to eradicate polio, a pandemic throughout history with devastating effects on children in particular. Currently the organizations work has gotten the number of effected people down to 14 in 2018 as they continue to strive towards total eradication. Through a virtual reality experience families got to meet 9-year old Job, one of the last children in Kenya to contract the disease, and Sabina, a dedicated vaccinator who will do whatever it takes to ensure that no child should ever suffer from polio again.
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF photo Station
For 68 years UNICEF's Trick-or-Treat box has been part of our nation's Halloween tradition. In line with that tradition, the Southeast Region educated a new generation of Trick-or-Treaters on the significance of their UNICEF collection boxes and how collecting donations will help other kids.
Girl Scouts Learn & Earn Badges
This year Family Fun Day partnered with the Girl Scouts of America by providing the opportunity for scouts to earn badges for participating in workshops throughout the day. In association with Challenge Island, a local educational enrichment program teaching through S.T.E.A.M. based activities, Girl Scouts were awarded 3 different types of badges or journeys as well as S.T.E.M. badge certificates.
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“We will not be silent! Children will be heard!”
The day culminated with a peaceful demonstration at the ‘Get Up Stand Up’ workshop, where children learned what it takes to become active global citizens by lifting their voices against the injustices children face around the world. Participants in this workshop made signs and talked about topics ranging from kid’s access to healthcare around the world to children’s safety.
This year’s event would not be possible without the help of the many UNICEF Southeast Region volunteers and Alliance staff members and friends who helped organize and run the workshops and events around Family Fun Day.