Hey Kiwanis Family!
I'm here at the UNICEF campus summit with a group of about 250 UNICEF campus leaders! These are individuals just like us, only their club is UNICEF campus initiative! I had no idea until I got here that these clubs existed on our campuses every where (George Mason University, Texas A&M, University of Virginia, Columbia University, etc.)! Since a lot of our initiatives are so similar, I encourage all of you to get involved with these clubs! They have a ton of resources accessible to them and more hands means raising more money which means saving more lives! Not to mention, they are some pretty cool people :) just like us, always brainstorming ideas on events, fundraisers and activities they can do with their local communities!
Some amazing accomplishments they have had recently: Last year they raised $333,929.98 for UNICEF intitiatives! They also have an "Extranet": system for leaders and officers to get more resources, recruitment fliers and project handbooks. Their biggest initiative right now is changing the 21,000 preventable children deaths to 0. (ex. The Eliminate Project!)
A really neat activity they had us do this afternoon was an emergency simulation. They grouped us into 7 groups each with a different division (health, nutrition, communications, supply, etc.). Then they gave us a situation, immediately following a major earthquake. From there each of these departments had to provide a budget for the amount of food, water, etc., needed to bring the state back to normal all within a time limit because the plane was about to leave. I was in the supply department and wow, working with the other departments with a budget of only $2 million for about 200,000 people puts what UNICEF workers do into perspective. It's so hectic and crazy trying to figure out everything needed and working with other groups that are going nuts! I'm working on getting the activity packets so we can bring this to our conventions/clubs/fall rallies.
This morning, we had the incredible opportunity to hear the President/CEO of U.S Fund for UNICEF, Carol Stern. She talked about so many incredible experiences from when she travelled around the world. One in particular stuck out to me which I'd like to share with you.
After the earthquake, Carol visited Haiti where she met two girls. She asked them where they were during the earthquake and she replied that she was at the market getting food for her family and she came back to no home and no family. They started living in a tent village which is certainty not the cleanest of areas, yet these two girls somehow had perfectly white shirts! When Carol asked them how they do it they replied, " every day when come back, the first thing we do is clean our shirts with soap and water, dry it, fold it and keep it under our mattress so it can't get dirty or wrinkled. You see, we don't have control of everything, so we take advantage of the things we DO have control over."
This is the kind of impact we as Kiwanis Family members, just as they as UNICEF Campus Initiative members, bring to the rest of the world. we don't have control over natural causes, the governments families must live under, or the contraction of particular diseases. But what we DO have control over is providing clean drinking water, vaccines to prevent maternal and neonatal tetanus, providing an education to children around the globe, preventing the contraction of malaria through mosquito nets, and so much more. We may not have control over a lot of things in life, but as for the things we do have control over, we have the power to CHANGE THE WORLD!
It's not about which organization on campus raises the most money, it's not a competition. Can you think of a better way to save the lives of child everywhere than with each other? So go out, find those groups with our same ideals, and work together. Take advantage of the things few we have control over and together, change the world.
Continuing to love serving you,
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