Children Gather in Front of UNICEF Tent

The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society—A Commitment to Protect

The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society generously donated $50,000 to UNICEF in support of protecting the world's most vulnerable children. 

In August 2016, the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society presented the U.S. Fund for UNICEF with a check for $50,000 to be allocated where UNICEF needs it most. The organization’s generous support comes at a crucial time for all children globally, enabling UNICEF to maintain its strong presence around the world and continue to implement programs that improve children’s lives through lifesaving interventions for health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, social inclusion, child protection and HIV & AIDS.

Since 1989, the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society Inc. (the Society) and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF (USF) have been partnering closely to strengthen UNICEF’s mission to protect children worldwide by supporting UNICEF’s emergency relief efforts, education programs, USF’s End Trafficking project, and more.

The Society has been the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America since 1931. The organization focuses on philanthropy through various programs that make a difference in the lives of people nationally as well as globally.  The Philoptochos Society fulfills its mission through its National and Metropolis Boards and through its 26,000 members and more than 400 active chapters, nationwide, enabling it to respond immediately to humanitarian crises.

UNICEF and the Society share a similar mission to assist the world’s most vulnerable children to survive and thrive. A big part of UNICEF’s mandate is to protect children from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, trafficking and exploitation. It believes that the best way to do so is to prevent violations of the rights of children from occurring in the first place.

From left to right: Caryl Stern, President and CEO of U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Ourania Soumas, UNICEF Committee Co-Chair, Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc., Rachel Steinberg, Director, Global Cuase Partnerships, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Photo courtesy of Rania Richardson, 2016

The critical support that Society offers helps ensure that UNICEF can reach children where the need is greatest. For instance, the Society’s gift may help UNICEF to strengthen child protection systems while working with partners and governments at the national and local level to ensure child victims are placed in safe environments and provided with social services, health care, and psychosocial support. Last but not least, the Society’s contribution may enable UNICEF to plan, invest in innovative solutions, gather data to strengthen programs, and act quickly when emergencies strike.

Through support for UNICEF’s work from partners like the Society, the annual number of under-five deaths has dropped by 53%, from 13 million in 1990 to 6 million in 2015.  This number continues to decrease faster than at any other time during the past two decades. Unfortunately, much more needs to be done. Every day, more than 16,000 children under five die from preventable causes. That is why UNICEF and its partners have pledged to work tirelessly until no children die from preventable causes.

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is immensely grateful for our longstanding partnership with the Society. It is only through these strong partnerships that UNICEF and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF are able to continue their lifesaving work. USF looks forward to continuing our partnership with the Society as we work together to achieve a better world for children everywhere!