On Halloween in 1950, school children in Philadelphia started an important tradition that has inspired millions of children to make a difference, by collecting money for the children of the world when they went trick-or-treating. The school children raised $17 in 1950, but since then children have raised nearly $200 million dollars for UNICEF's work to provide emergency relief, medicine, clean water, better nutrition and better education for kids in 160 countries.
UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund was created by the UN General Assembly in 1946 to provide humanitarian and development assistance to children and mothers in developing nations. UNICEF's focuses include: immunization, child protection, education of girls, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and early childhood care. These are the same focuses of the Millennium Development Goals -- specific goals that all of the leaders of the world agreed to work towards.
In addition to providing an opportunity to raise funds for UNICEF's work, UNICEF Day is also a chance for kids, their parents and teachers to learn about the challenges facing children around the world - from poverty and diseases to armed conflicts. It's also a time to learn about the rights of all children as declared in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to remind our governments about their pledge to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
|"There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace." -- Kofi Annan|