RWTH: The UNICEF university group helps save children’s lives

Never since World War II have so many people been on the run. Over 250 million children grow up in conflict regions, and many more are threatened by natural disasters such as droughts, floods or epidemics. The corona crisis has dramatically exacerbated the situation of children in the poorest countries. More and more girls and boys are affected by poverty, hunger and exploitation. You need to be protected from the virus itself and from the aftermath of the crisis.

For 75 years, UNICEF has made sustainable progress for children through programs and political influence. In 2020, 1.5 million severely malnourished children were saved. The organization wants to protect children’s lives without complex technology and expensive systems. She often uses simple solutions to make critical improvements. Decades of experience, studies and innovative ideas make it possible to constantly adapt the help to the local situation.

In 2011 the UNICEF University Group Aachen was founded, which consists of young adults and students from various fields of study. “We support UNICEF with information work and fundraising campaigns. To this end, for example, we hold lectures at schools and offer charity events, ”says Tom Theis from the group’s board of directors. Until the pandemic-related restrictions, the “Peanutbutter and Jam” concert took place regularly, and a festival and parties were also organized. “Due to the pandemic, the main activity of the voluntary UNICEF groups is to organize campaigns to collect money for projects, but largely shut down,” explains Theis, who is studying environmental engineering at RWTH in the 5th semester.

“Nevertheless, we have been able to collect some donations in the last few months, including a pub quiz on the fourth Advent. It was also possible to sell greeting cards at the Christmas market in cooperation with the UNICEF working group in Aachen, ”continues Theis. Starting in May, a UNICEF project will be presented every month and it will be shown what financial support of any kind can achieve. Theis emphasizes that the university group is looking forward to further voluntary support on site and that interested parties are cordially invited. The website offers information on this and also refers to the possibility for everyone to support UNICEF with donations and sponsorships.

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