Introduction to UNICEF
UNICEF is for every child as UNICEF believes every child has a right to survive, to thrive, to breathe in a safe environment, to have access to clean water and sanitation, to have food, to have health, to have education, to have gender equality and to have a right to prosper, live happily and fulfill her/his potential for the benefit of a better world.
Across the globe, in more than 190+ countries and even in the places where it’s dangerous and challenging to reach UNICEF reaches out and drives change for children and young people every day. For the past seventy-three years, UNICEF has been protecting the rights of every child. In its capacity, the organization helps to immunize 45% of world children.
Based in U.N. headquarters in New York City, UNICEF was founded on 11th December 1946 as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, in order to provide life-saving assistance to the children devastated by World War II. In 1953, the words “International” and “Emergency” were dropped from the official name of UNICEF. It became the United Nations Children’s Fund, but the original acronym UNICEF was too well-known to drop.
Today, the international organization even registers birth to provide legal identity. In 1965, UNICEF received the Nobel Peace Prize for the recognition for its work.
And right now, as the world undergoes the Covid-19 pandemic, UNICEF is taking every possible move to save the children. UNICEF provides guidelines and latest information and updates on related Covid-19 topics namely: what parents should know, how to keep the world’s children learning, tips for parents for the online safety for children and cleaning and hygiene tips to help keep the COVID-19 virus out of the homes. UNICEF is also working on a global agenda to protect the children, fight for gender equality and stop the spread of misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anyone and everyone can be part of UNICEF. At AdmissionSight we believe that if you are a high school student we recommend you to be a part of UNICEF as the organization is driven by five core values: care, respect, integrity, trust and accountability. At AdmissionSight we believe that if you are a graduate or a high school student or a parent who wants to change the world you can simply do so by joining UNICEF.
Following are the ways you can be part of UNICEF:
UNITERs aka Volunteers
The number one way to join UNICEF USA is to be a volunteer. UNITERs are online activists, teachers, filmmakers, celebrities, marathon runners, undergraduates, graduates, high schoolers, research scholars, you name it. UNITERs are the front line advocates of UNICEF USA which supports the organization through education, advocacy and fundraising in the United States. UNITERs work on behalf of children in the United States and around the world.
People who belong to the following groups are part of UNITERs family by default:
- Members of UNICEF High School Club or Campus Club (discussed in detail below)
- Members of UNICEF USA
- Regional Boards
- NextGen members
- Any faith-based or civil society organization that partners with UNICEF USA
To be a UNITER you can join a UNICEF UNITER team currently in the eighteen cities namely: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC.
At AdmissionSight we believe that a UNITER team provides extra opportunities to network and additional experiences to expand UNICEF, henceforth a UNITER takes more action locally and learns more ways to help children. At AdmissionSight we believe that to be a UNITER is a unique opportunity for the high schoolers, students and parents to engage with the local community in many different ways and learn more about UNICEF’s work to put the children first.
A high schooler or graduate can also join the United Nations Volunteers Program. Check it out at unv.org, where students can apply to work overseas with the United Nations and gain international exposure and diverse cultural experience.
The second most easy for a high school student to be part of UNICEF is either by joining or forming or organizing a UNICEF Club. It’s true that a high schooler has so many different options for the clubs but UNICEF provides international and humanitarian focus. At AdmissionSight we believe that developing a deeper empathy is the need of the hour in today’s world, especially for a student.
Basic suggested qualification for joining a UNICEF Club is as follows:
- Class Standing: a Sophomore or Junior (in order to allow transition and growth).
- Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher (can be adjusted to your club standard).
- Must have attended at least two events in the previous semester/ year.
- Previous leadership experience.
The UNICEF Clubs Program has a detailed year-long curriculum. Also, after joining a club, a student may look to see if there is a UNICEF USA’s UNITER team in the area as members of UNICEF High School Club or Campus Club are UNITERs automatically. And just like a UNITERs team, a UNICEF Club member works towards advocacy, building community, fundraising and speaking out on behalf of UNICEF.
At AdmissionSight we believe that the UNICEF Clubs empower the students not only to educate themselves about the worldwide humanitarian issues with educational resources and hands-on activities but also infuse a student with the team-building spirit – so as to be a team leader. How? Because the very first step to start a club is to have at least four student leaders and a faculty advisor. So, are you game to have the following roles in a UNICEF Club: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Communication Officer/s.
It’s surprising that many high schoolers do not know the very presence of UNICEF high school clubs. At AdmissionSight, we provide career guidance and awareness to the students.
The hands-on activities in the UNICEF Clubs can be fun, innovative or the same old same old kind: hot coffee, lemonade or bake sales, benefit concerts, sports tournaments participation for example run, bike or walk for runners in marathons, UNICEF Club Gala, water walk, trivia night, international evening, a mile of challenge and community festivals. The other examples of fundraisers are – working with the local elementary schools, participating in panel discussions, greeting card campaigns, social media campaigns and letter-writing campaigns to support UNICEF’s work.
Like many of the other clubs, UNICEF Clubs often set up booths at their schools but they promote local and global issues such as Covid-19, Ebola, clean water, nutrition, sanitation, dengue. Club members also participate in anchor programs namely Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, Advocacy, and End Trafficking.
UNICEF clubs often collaborate via the slack channel and across social media – YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the handle @UnicefClubs. Collaboration among UNICEF clubs is helpful as it provides augmentation in terms of ideas, support, learning and connecting. Also, teams and students can reach out to each other by UNICEFs Club MAP as it carries the contact information of all the registered clubs in the USA.
The best fun part is each year UNICEF Clubs award exceptional clubs, advisors, members and leaders.
The third way to join UNICEF is an internship. The UNICEF Internship Programme is a door of opportunity to the eligible students to get hands-on experience. The UNICEF internship is considered to hold an enormous positive value to put on your Curriculum Vitae. That’s why AdmissionSight requests parents and students to opt for UNICEF Internship Programme.
The eligibility criteria for the UNICEF Internship Programme are as follows:
- Applicant must be 18 years old and above
- Be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or Ph.D. degree programme or have graduated within the past two years.
- Be proficient in at least one of UNICEF’s working languages: English, French or Spanish. Fluency in the working language of the office you are applying to is required.
- Have excellent academic performance as demonstrated by recent university or institution records.
- Have no immediate relatives (e.g. father, mother, brother, sister) working in any UNICEF office; and
- Have no other relatives in the line of authority which you will report to.
Extra consideration is given to the past professional experience.
The UNICEF internship can be virtual, part-time or full time. It can be unpaid and paid both depending upon the availability of the funds in that country. And whether it’s paid or unpaid internship, the applicant bears the expenses for travelling, lodging and living.
The duration of UNICEF internship is usually between six (6) and twenty-six (26) weeks. A student can intern in any of the three areas.
- Programme and Policy,
- External Relations and
Also, check out the internship opportunities at the UN Internship Programme United Nations (UN) or the UNDP Internship Programme United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The UNICEF Internship Programme is independent of UN and UNDP.
NETI : New and Emerging Talent Initiative
It’s a two-year career support programme which provides a multicultural environment experience. It inculcates a two-week orientation in NYHQ, mentoring, external coaching and peer support. NETI is meant for dynamic professionals in an international career with UNICEF who are interested to join at entry-level and stay till mid-career level. Candidates are selected after a NETI recruitment process.
NETI participants are given the same benefits and allowances as United Nations staff members.
Following are the eligibility criteria for NETI candidates:
- Completion of an advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) at the time of application.
- Proficiency in English and working knowledge (B2) of another official language of the United Nations (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).
- Readiness to be assigned to any UNICEF office worldwide, including hardship duty stations, non-family duty stations, and complex emergency operation duty stations
- A minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional experience. Relevant experience should include, but not limit to, work in developing countries and multicultural environments.
Preference is given to candidates below 38 years of age.
More detail about the NETI is can be found here – https://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_74609.html
VOY: Voices of Youth
As the name implies VOY intends to create a space where young people learn to communicate and find their voices to make positive differences in their communities and countries. VOY is a global community for young people to learn about development issues namely – Health, Environment, Education, Human Rights, etc. and to express their opinions.
The Voices of Youth is an initiative of the Youth Section in the Division of Communication at UNICEF Headquarters in New York. But, VOY is not a platform for UNICEF’s agenda.
JPOP: Junior Professional Officers Programme
It’s for young professionals interested in having the hand-on experience in multilateral technical cooperation.
More detail here – https://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_jpp.html
Why Choose UNICEF?
At AdmissionSight we encourage students to work with volunteering organizations as we believe it will help students develop a strong character. A student learns to embrace diversity easily thereby develops a deeper sense of dignity, respect and sensitivity towards cultural and religious difference. People who work in UNICEF have high moral values and ethical standards. Hence a student who joins learns to take and keep clear ethical stands, promises, immediately addresses untrustworthy or dishonest behaviour; resists political pressure in decision-making and will never abuse power or authority. A high school student or a graduate who joins UNICEF demonstrates commitment and values responsibilities.
At AdmissionSight, we help students navigate the complex college admissions process. AdmissionSight showcases students on how to strengthen their leadership skills and increase community-service involvement. If you are a concerned parent of a high schooler or a graduate wondering about the future of your child’s education or you are unable to decide about selecting the right college or you are pondering on the right subject for the right career path, please feel free to contact us today.