|© UNICEF Philippines/2008/Bito|
Pen and paper. Soap and water.
You've probably never given these things a lot of thought as you go about your daily routine. After all, it's easy to dismiss them as ordinary comforts that don't really merit a second glance.
But do you know that for the millions of Filipino children who have never even experienced having them, these items are luxuries beyond their wildest dreams? More than that, that these everyday items can also determine the difference between success and failure, even life and death? Children with limited educational opportunities are almost certain to grow up with bleak economic and employment prospects. Those without access to clean, potable water, on the other hand, face serious risks to their health and lives.
Yet it is encouraging to know that, through the generosity of corporate partners and individual donors, more and more children have the chance to enjoy these comforts. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.
In our website and newsletters are heartwarming stories that prove just how true that adage is. It really does take an entire community to protect and uphold the rights and welfare of children. And because UNICEF relies solely on voluntary contributions, you'll read about how our partners are stepping up to do their share in helping to raise the Filipino child, who so readily help us make a positive difference in the lives of children all across the country. Partners like GMA Kapuso Foundation, ING, Sony Ericsson, SM, and individual Champions for Children
Our donors have made it possible for UNICEF to build well-equipped day care centers that will provide proper mental stimulation for children from ages zero to six years old, the most critical period in brain development. Donations from individuals and corporations have also allowed us to promote life-saving health habits as well as set up sanitation facilities that will spare many young lives from dangerous yet preventable childhood ailments. Because of their support, we are able to give Filipino children a fighting chance for a better tomorrow.
I don't think I can ever look at pen and paper or soap and water without remembering all the good that these generous contributions have already done. When I scribble a note, I can't help but think of the wide-eyed wonder in the faces of day care pupils on the first day of classes as they hold crayons and shiny new toys in their hands. When I turn on the tap, I can't help but hear the heady giggles of children who are grateful to be playing with soapsuds and clean water for the very first time. And I find myself wishing that every Filipino child can experience the joys of such firsts.
That is why I am appealing to you now to ask for your continued support. There is still so much to be done, especially in these uncertain times. Because for every child we help, there are countless others still waiting to be saved from the perils of illiteracy and ignorance, malnutrition and disease, and exploitation and abuse.
All it takes is a modest monthly pledge. For just P500 a month, or P16.67 a day, you can send five children back to school with complete materials or ensure a 30-day supply of clean drinking water for five children living in evacuation centers.
Please don't hesitate to give today. Any contribution you choose to make will be more than welcome. I promise you that it will go a long way towards assuring that each Filipino child is able to enjoy the rights to education, health, and protection from abuse.
Representative of UNICEF Philippines