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Did you know that 70 million children under the age of 5 will die of preventable causes between 2017 and 2030, 167 million children will live in extreme poverty in 2030, 60 million children will be out of primary school, and 250 million women will have been married as children? Millions of children around the world suffer from malnutrition and disease, and without access to clean water or nutritious food, their families cannot provide them with the care recommended by local clinics. Lacking proper nourishment, both their physical and intellectual growth are in jeopardy of being stunted. Additionally, these children will be forced to quit school at an early age so they can work to support their families, deprived of the opportunity to gain an education and shape their futures. These same children, when in adulthood, will be unable to provide their children with proper care, hence continuing the endless poverty cycle.

Unfortunately, the suffering isn’t limited to the lack of basic food and water. With insufficient health care providers, pregnant mothers do not have access to the vital care they need during delivery. As a consequence, thousands of newborns are stillborn and mothers die during delivery, without ever having a chance to hold their babies. No access to regular medical checkups means that many treatable conditions are undetected, later having fatal effects on both mothers and their babies. As for those who are fortunate enough to have medical care, it is frequently seen that they cannot afford to buy the medicines prescribed by local doctors. By taking medicine irregularly or not taking it at all, the mothers and babies face the same risks as those who did not have any medical supervision. No food, no water, no healthcare, no medicine, no opportunities – these are all the products of the vicious poverty cycle.

This is where UNICEF comes into play to help break this endless cycle. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was created in 1946 to help the children in  Europe, China, and the Middle East after World War 2. However, in 1953, UNICEF committed itself to helping all children in the developing countries. This organization works with both governments and non-governmental organizations to protect the rights of children by providing them with health care, immunizations, nutrition, safe water and sanitation, basic education, and emergency relief.

You can make a difference too. By joining our local UNICEF club at Shaker, you can help save hundreds of children’s lives around the world. Shaker UNICEF club is dedicated to improving water and sanitation conditions overseas, preventing malaria by raising money for mosquito nets, providing books and school supplies to improve education, and creating awareness for the children refugee crisis by writing letters to politicians.

Additionally, Shaker UNICEF club hopes to help individuals overseas with the “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” fundraiser. During Halloween, we raised enough money with Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF to provide 150 children with food packages. Our goal is to raise awareness and advocate for the millions of helpless children overseas. With your help, we can save lives and work towards a better world. Join us every other Tuesday in the library to take part in this change.