Health and Well Being for Every Child – UNICEF
A United Nations organization that has been in the news is UNICEF. It is the United Nations Children’s Fund. Their title and the fantastic work you have seen them do in Ukraine and Afghanistan are only a part of what they do every day for the world’s children. It began after WW II to assist and aid the children displaced during and after the war in Europe. It is now active in over 192 countries. As you have seen, UNICEF does assist refugees, at the rate of 55 children every minute in Ukraine. However, UNICEF knows that a child is part of a community. A child thrives if the key factors are available for them when needed. This means that UNICEF has become an organization that innovated and worked to create a social welfare environment where children can develop UNICEF bakes in health and well-being SDG #3, in all things for every child.
What does social welfare mean? It is centered on children’s health, including their physical and mental health. UNICEF delivers 49% of the world’s vaccines against preventable diseases. They work to ensure children have the right food at the right time. They are part of ensuring that children who suffer from food insecurity receive treatments and community-based interventions for malnutrition and stunting. They have also expanded to ensure mothers have access to food so their babies have a better birth and first-year outcomes.
UNICEF also works to educate all children, which is directly related to health and social outcomes for children. That focus on education resulted in the creation during the pandemic of the learning passport (UNICEF and Microsoft developed together). The learning passport gave children who may not have consistent access to the web and teachers a method to learn online. It works across multiple languages, covers many subjects, and is used by a broader range of ages with 1.6 million users in 13 countries.
UNICEF also has included mental health as one of its interventions during the pandemic because mental health and psycho-social well-being is part of the groundwork for a child’s development. UNICEF has set up Blue Zones for children who have become refugees, which are safe spaces that provide for the psycho-social needs of children leaving their countries.
UNICEF understands and innovates to ensure every child has access to good health and well-being. Their example of adapting and innovating to ensure that every child has what they need to live to their potential is on display for all of us to see and follow.