IN – Talk by Kimberley Colegrove from UNICEF on 8th March 2023

We all know UNICEF. Many of us have bought the lovely UNICEF Christmas cards. But do we know what the letters stand for? Ms. Kimberly Colegrove, in her lively, informative talk, gave us the answer, and so much more.                      United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund        
What started out as an emergency fund for children, in 1946, after WW II, has turned into a permanent organisation, primarily for helping children, but stepping in where help is needed. It is non-political and non-partisan and has to be invited by a country to help.          2 of their main projects are getting vaccine, especially polio, to children, and getting water to the villages. And of course, an important part of working with adults is helping them to understand the importance of medicine and hygiene.        A milestone in helping children survive is the Declaration of Children’s Rights, legally binding and signed by 196 nations in 1979. The one nation which didn’t sign is the U.S.A., the reason being there is still the death penalty for children til the age of 14 in 14 states. Although this hasn’t been carried out (exact dates unknown here), it is still on paper that children as young as 14 are subject to the death penalty.      
The four principles of UNICEF are:     1) non-discrimination
                             2) best interest of the child
                               3) children’s health  
                             4) misuse of children ,in the form of child labor        
Ms. Colegrove is head of the volunteers working in the Cologne area. She has done field work herself, so has interesting stories to add to the facts. We had so many questions in the end which were readily answered. We finally had to look at the clock to wind up the discussion. Thank you, Kimberly, for your thought-provoking presentation.   

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