One of the most beautiful gifts of technology has been the ability to connect – not just with our friends and family but with our brothers and sisters in other nations. As the world becomes increasingly connected, we can no longer stand by as members of a privileged class while young children live in poverty, war and hunger. You’ve seen the pictures of the little Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, who washed up on the shores of Turkey a few weeks ago. The number of people displaced within Syria’s borders and who have fled the country as refugees is the largest of any crisis in recent history, totaling to 12 million. Over 7.5 million are children. Children who have borne witness to unspeakable acts of violence and terror and are in great need of humanitarian aid, and not just in Syria. The migrant crisis is complex and will not easily be solved by a simple donation; yet at the very least, UNICEF is working to provide some sense of relief to those most vulnerable.
Out of all of this tragedy we scroll through online and hear about on the television comes an opportunity to help. UNICEF at Loras would like to extend the invitation to fulfill your duties as a global citizen. Read the news, know the tragedy and participate in our efforts to help children from all corners of the globe. These are heavy times, but we can help. We can even have some fun while helping. As the vice president of UNICEF at Loras College, I would like you to join me and many others in providing for the children whose families cannot provide for them.
As the fall season approaches and October fast approaches, UNICEF at Loras is preparing for a big fundraising year. For those unfamiliar, UNICEF stands for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. Each year, the student group at Loras works to educate the campus on international relief and education efforts that the US Fund for UNICEF puts forth.
“Children first” will be the motto for this year, fittingly since UNICEF is the leading advocate for children’s rights and has field workers in over 190 countries. On a macro level, UNICEF provides life-saving aid and life-changing opportunity to any disaster or war torn area you can think of. On a campus level, students work toward putting children first through building community among members and collaborating with other organizations.
In addition to the humanitarian and fundraising efforts that UNICEF does throughout both our nation and the world, its efforts to educate the world’s population about the needs of children around the world are also extremely important.
There are articles that are posted directly on the UNICEF website by humanitarians and activists stationed all around the world. It is so important to stay informed on what is happening in the world around us, so that we know what we can do to help.
Students from all years at Campus Fest were eager to hear of UNICEF’s plans for the new year as they received free t-shirts, wrist bands, pens and lanyards from the organization. Some fundraising efforts in October include Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF where students go door to door in costumes to collect spare change and Candy for Change, where members sell candy grams for a small donation for the Halloween season. The first meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 21st at 6 p.m. in the Arizona room in the ACC (near the CAB office).
We are always seeking to welcome in new members! If you are interested or have any questions/ideas, please feel free to contact Louisa.Pavlik@loras.edu or Cassandra.Busch@loras.edu.