Southwest Region Engages Communities Throughout Houston to Help Children Everywhere
UNICEF USA Southwest Region Kid Power Program Celebrating World Children’s Day
Can you imagine a world where every child is in school, safe from harm, and able to fulfill their potential? This is a dream UNICEF has, and it works in communities around the world to make this dream come true.
World Children’s Day
On November 20, 2019, World Children’s Day, the City of Houston and UNICEF USA Southwest Region joined the rest of the world in getting one step closer to that dream. The purpose of the annual global moment for children by children is to raise funds, raise awareness of critical issues facing children, and encourage the local and global communities to work together to address and solve these issues.
As well as being World Children’s Day, November 20 is the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. The international treaty affirms the world’s commitment to protecting the rights of all children. It was ratified by 196 countries, including the United States.
In Houston, World Children’s Day began with a joint press conference with Mayor Sylvester Turner’s team and members of UNICEF USA Southwest Region at City Hall. The press conference highlighted the manner in which the City of Houston is working to secure the rights of its children and officially launched the city’s participation in the global event. It also announced the city’s expansion of the UNICEF Kid Power Program, an innovative digital platform that is free for teachers to use in the classroom and gets children active through exercise. This activity assists UNICEF in delivering food packets to severely malnourished children.
After the press conference, UNICEF Kid Power and former Houston Dynamo soccer star Mike Chabala hosted an exuberant soccer clinic at Hermann Square for 95 children from Best Elementary School. Best Elementary was chosen because its entire student body came together in the spring of 2019 to take part in UNICEF Kid Power. By participating, these amazing students saved the life of a malnourished child.
The Kid Power initiative has saved the lives of over 99,000 children, over a period of five years, in the 190 countries UNICEF serves. In 2018, 6,250 Houston students participated saving 53 lives. Because of the generosity of local UNICEF supporters, over 50,000 participated in 2019.
To culminate World Children’s Day in Houston, the Montrose bridge and a number of buildings throughout the city were lit up in UNICEF blue. This act by the City of Houston was the perfect way to end the perfect day honoring children’s rights.
Project Lion is an initiative inspired by the movie Lion, which portrays the suffering and marginalization of India’s displaced children. The initiative addresses the plight of 1.5 million homeless children in India who are growing up in poorly run residential institutions. All are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
Project Lion was launched by UNICEF USA with a generous seed grant from interior designer Purvi Padia and her husband, Harsh, who are committed to changing the lives of these children. The first three-year plan of the project will address 200,000 of the most vulnerable with immediate and long-term solutions implemented by UNICEF USA.
Project Lion has the potential to transform the way children without families in India are cared for. On October 30, 2019 UNICEF USA Southwest Region hosted an educational luncheon at the Post Oak Hotel to highlight the project and UNICEF’s child protection program in India.
UNICEF USA Southwest Region works daily to educate Houstonians on the plight of children in their community, in other parts of the country, and around the world. Not only does it educate, it also executes UNICEF USA’s programs in Houston to benefit these children. Due to the organization’s diligence and compassion, conditions of children everywhere are being improved.
UNICEF USA Southwest Region Board Chair, Susan Boggio
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, the organizations work toward the day when no children need die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.