Friday, August 23, 2013

"You say grace before meals. Alright. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink." - G.K. Chesterton
UNICEF, or the United Nations Children's Fund, was created in 1946 by the United Nations in order to provide food, clothing and health to European children that faced famine and disease after World War II. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations, an international organization made up of 193 independent states. Today UNICEF is "the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized." 

"UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. In coordination with the United Nations partners and humanitarian agencies, UNICEF makes its unique facilities for rapid response available to its partners to relieve the suffering of children and those who provide their care." To read the full mission statement click here.

UNICEF works to help children live safe, educated, healthy lives. This organization was created to "work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child's path."

Their current focus areas include: HIV/AIDS, child survival and development, basic education, gender equality, child protection, policy advocacy, and partnerships. To learn more click here.

UNICEF is also focused on the Syrian crisis. The Syrian crisis (or civil war) is "an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it" that began on March 15, 2011. Now coming up to two years of conflict, we have come upon Syria's worst chemical weapon attack, killing over 500 people on Wednesday August 21, 2013. (To read more about the Syrian crisis click here)

With the majority of the deaths including those of women and children, UNICEF stepped in, attempting to prevent the loss of a generation. There are currently 3,128,000 children living in poverty and caught in the lines of fire in Syria. 947,394 children from Syria have escaped and are living as refugees in Northern Africa. To learn more click here.

Infographic source
So what can you do to help? You can donate and you can spread the word. Raising awareness is such an important step to take these days, especially with the vast technology we have. With something as simple as a Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, or Twitter post you can easily raise awareness with just a few clicks here and there.

Children are the future. We are the future. We have to help keep us alive. Anything you do is helpful so don't ever think that what you do isn't important, because it is! We need to be grateful for what we have and pray for those trapped in Syrian crossfire.

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