As ubiquitous as the acronym is, many people are still unaware of what UNICEF actually stands for and what the organization accomplishes.
UNICEF means United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, was founded in 1947, and has been working to improve children’s lives ever since.
The organization has many programs that reach out to the different needs of children all over the world. These include child survival and development, basic education and gender equality, policy advocacy, child protection and HIV/AIDS. Children are particularly vulnerable in these areas because they are unable to fend for themselves. The fact that many children in developing countries are orphans adds to the problem.
UNICEF ensures that the children it protects are healthy, receive some education, are protected from violent environments, have access to healthcare — especially those affected by HIV or AIDS — and, perhaps most importantly, are not forgotten by society. Since many of these children do not have families to provide for them, UNICEF steps in to provide the care and support needed in the early stages of life.
UNICEF recognizes the importance of providing a good life for these children because they are the future. It will be almost impossible for developing countries to come out of poverty if its children do not have basic healthcare or an education. Although UNICEF officially stands for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, the organization stands for so much more: the protection of children.
– Mary Penn