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Giving Tuesday Gifts That Give Kids a Better Today and Tomorrow
All children have the right to dream big. But for those living in the world's toughest places, this year of unprecedented trauma has reduced many children's dreams to a desperate bid for survival. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the continued threat of climate change and natural disasters and forced displacement from their homes and communities all threaten the better present that determines a bright future.
What does a better present look like for them? It is one where they get vaccines, soap and safe water to protect them from diseases like COVID-19, good nutrition that's crucial for a healthy start to life. And, of course, kids won't ever see a brighter tomorrow if they can't get an education today.
December 1 is Giving Tuesday, a global day of action when we can all do something to give the most vulnerable kids hope. To mark this important day, we've created a new Inspired Gift that includes all the supplies kids in need so often do without. Priced at just $50, this Bundle of Hope comes with therapeutic food to treat malnutrition, vaccines, water purification tablets, soaps, pencils and exercise books. It's everything children need to grow healthy, keep learning and look ahead to a promising future.
With Inspired Gifts, you can make a life-changing difference in honor of friends and loved ones who feel just as strongly as you do that every child deserves to survive and thrive. In addition to the new Bundle of Hope, the Inspired Gifts collection offers all the necessities of a healthy and fulfilling childhood: school supplies, medicine, nutritious food, shelter and much more.
In September, Pakistan sent 260,000 trained health workers door to door to resume its first national polio vaccination campaign after a six-month pause due to COVID-19. Over 39 million children under 5, like this little girl, got their shots, then ink marks on their fingers to show they'd been vaccinated. Thanks to UNICEF and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative — including Rotary International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — the wild polio virus has been eliminated in all but two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The highly infectious, paralyzing and sometimes fatal disease mainly affects children under the age of 5. It is completely preventable with vaccination, but ongoing conflict and political instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan have made it difficult to reach every child.
Although more than 90 percent of the world's population is now free of the wild poliovirus, total immunity against the disease requires the vaccination of every child in every household — and you can help. The Inspired Gifts collection features polio vaccines plus all the other immunizations against life-threatening yet preventable diseases no child should be without.
An entire generation of children has seen its education interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At its peak, nationwide closures disrupted the studies of 91 percent of schoolchildren worldwide. Now back at school, students at the Krang Snay Primary School in Cambodia’s Kampot Province eagerly use UNICEF soap and other hygiene supplies so they can protect themselves and their classmates from infection.
In response to COVID-19, a new Inspired Gift was released to provide all the necessary supplies children need to learn and stay healthy and safe. Just $60, this bundle of supplies includes water purification tablets, a sealable water bucket, soap, exercise books, pencils and even a solar-powered radio to connect kids who are working from home or in a classroom with educational broadcasting.
Janet Kasibante, mom of six from Uganda, was pregnant when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. But that did not stop her from visiting her doctor, especially once she learned she was having twins. “I wanted to know how my babies were doing,” recalls Janet. “The doctor had told me they were not in very good positions and this worried me.”
Flash forward to now, and the twins are nearly 3 months old and thriving thanks to Janet's commitment to regular checkups and vaccination. Taking all the necessary COVID precautions, she got her twins immunized with UNICEF-procured vaccines and urges all mothers to do the same: “Don’t use COVID as an excuse not to vaccinate your children. Immunization is good for our children’s health and guarantees them a healthy future.”
The Inspired Gifts Collection offers the full range of vaccines children need to stave off preventable diseases, some of which can prove fatal. Janet's twins recieved their polio vaccines. The Inspired Gift Immunization Collection includes 200 doses of polio vaccines for just $35, along with measles vaccines for $41 and other supply packs that include not just polio and measles vaccines but others that guard against tetanus and yellow fever.
During a visit to the health center in Kaya, in northern Burkina Faso, this baby eats Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, UNICEF's go-to treatment for malnutrition. Over 535,500 children under 5 in Burkina Faso are acutely malnourished, including 156,500 who are near death.
“The aggravating factors causing the nutritional situation of children to deteriorate in these areas are primarily linked to the displacement of populations due to insecurity and reduced access to livelihoods, health care and nutrition services,” said James Mugaju, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Burkina Faso. “The coronavirus pandemic has had a brutal impact on families’ ability to provide for the basic needs of their children. Children are paying the highest price, facing a triple crisis: security, health and food.”
This Giving Tuesday, you can help by sending an Inspired Gift of good nutrition. A two-month supply of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food costs just $55. Also available: High Energy Biscuits, packed full of vitamins and minerals, protein, fiber, iron and healthy fats, as well as Therapeutic Milk, which is used in emergency feeding centers, refugee camps and hospitals.
“We need to ... ensure the continuity of nutrition services in hard-to-reach areas and to provide an integrated package of prevention and treatment of malnutrition to reach these children in urgent need,” said Mugaju. "This is essential because good nutrition for children, from their first days and months, protects them from disease and infection and helps them to recover when they fall ill."
Photo credits from top: © UNICEF/UN0345995/Donnell; © UNICEF/UN0353290/Bukhari; © UNICEF Cambodia/2020/Antoine Raab;
© UNICEF/UN0357098/Kabuye; © UNICEF/UNI394870/Dejongh