What do you think of when you think of UNICEF? If you grew up in the 70's or 80's like I did, you probably think of two things:
1. Those annoying orange boxes you had to carry around with you on Halloween that no one gave you more than a few pennies to put in, and if you had a prop you had to carry with your costume and your treat bag and the orange box, it was totally annoying.
2. Ugly Christmas cards. I know its not PC to admit, but come on now, did you ever buy those Christmas cards more than once, if at all. Some faded watercolor of children standing around the globe--and that was the good one.
Well, recently, my husband gave me my first iPod (a nano!!) for our one-year anniversary (lucky me!!) which I LOVE and I have become obsessed with podcasts. In my search for interesting podcasts I came across UNICEF's podcasts, and they are totally cool and give a whole new, real, dramatic face, at least for me, to UNICEF's work.
What is so powerful about the podcasts is the ability to hear interviews with young people about issues such as landmines in Cambodia, the inequity of access to education for girls internationally and the experience of children who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Many of the interviews and stories are uplifting and inspiring such as a report about how a photography class helped survivors of the Beslan school hostage crisis process what happened to them, or how through different conferences and studies UNICEF is listening more to young people's opinions and needs when shaping policy.
They even had a C8 Forum in Scotland in July of 2005 to have a young person's version of the G8. Young people from 8 of the world's poorest countries met with young people from the G8 countries to create recommendations for the adult leaders of the G8.
So anyway, check out UNICEF's podcasts, they are inspiring and informative and make commuting zoom by.
Also, the cards are looking a bit better too. They have some beautiful looking handmade notecards from Bangladesh, a card based on Indonesian batiks and another based on Indian brocades.
And even the orange boxes are cuter. I wish they had told us these facts when they handed them out back in the day:
30¢ provides antibiotics for a child with pneumonia.
$1 immunizes a child against the measles.
$2.50 buys basic school supplies for one child.
$10 provides enough high-protein biscuits to feed three hungry children for one month.
$150 pays for a small well to provide clean water for an entire village.
And now you can dump your coins into a Coinstar machine, enter a code to designate you want to donate to UNICEF and the Coinstar machine prints a receipt for the full amount of the tax-deductible contribution. Pretty cool stuff.