( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Launched a Campaign With the Danish Nonprofit Human Act to Support UNICEF’s Efforts to Protect Children From the Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic
ENSPIRE Contributor: Re’Dreyona Walker
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting children’s ability to go to school, access food, and more. UNICEF is working to protect children during this crisis. Because of the effects the pandemic has had on school-aged children, activist Greta Thunberg has expanded her activism to the fight against the spread of coronavirus, donating $100,000 in prize money to the UN to help support children during the pandemic crisis.
“Like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child-rights crisis,” said Thunberg in a statement. “It will affect all children, now and in the long-term, but vulnerable groups will be impacted the most. I’m asking everyone to step up and join me in support of UNICEF’s vital work to save children’s lives, to protect the health, and continue education.”
The campaign is being launched with an initial donation on behalf of Human Act and the Greta Thunberg Foundation to UNICEF of $200,000. Greta Thunberg donated the award she recently received for her global activism by Human Act, who granted her foundation the prize money of $100,000. Thunberg’s prize money will now go to UNICEF along with an additional $100,000 from Human Act.
Proceeds from the campaign will go directly towards UNICEF’s emergency programs to fight COVID-19, including through the provision of soap, masks, gloves, hygiene kits, protective equipment, life-saving information, and other support to healthcare systems.
A UN report from early April warned that children risk being among the biggest victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. While children have been largely spared from the direct health effects of the disease up to this point, the crisis is having an overwhelming effect on their overall wellbeing. Children of all ages and in all countries are being affected, in particular by the socio-economic impacts and, in some cases, by the mitigation measures implemented to prevent the spread of the virus.
UNICEF’s global COVID-19 response is focusing on working with partners to help reduce the spread of the virus and reduce its impact on children while ensuring that essential services for children continue. This includes:
- Ensuring access and availability of key supplies and services for children, women, and vulnerable populations.
- Scaling up messages about handwashing with soap.
- Supporting governments with the procurement of personal protective equipment for health care workers, including gowns, gloves, and masks as well as oxygen concentrators and medicines.
- Supporting distance learning opportunities for children who can’t access school.
- Providing mental health and psychosocial support to children and families affected.
- Helping maintain essential immunization and other services for children.
“The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest struggle the world has seen in generations,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Children and young people are among the most severely impacted by the knock-on effects of COVID-19, so it is only natural that they would want to do something about it.
Through her activism, Greta Thunberg has proven that young people are ready to take a stand and lead change in the world. UNICEF is very pleased that Greta and her supporters have not only chosen to take a stand against this pandemic but to do so in partnership with UNICEF.
To learn more about how to donate to the campaign and the organization’s COVID-19 efforts, please visit UNICEF’s website.