Giving to charity: answering false perceptions about UNICEF - from playground to parliament

If you’re considering giving to charity, the false perceptions about individual charities abound. We’re answering 2 common misconceptions about UNICEF.

Fundraising team
UNICEF South Africa/2007/Hearfield
27 March 2020
Giving to charity can be a confusing minefield. As the myths abound about larger charities, so do the false perceptions about individual humanitarian organisations, like UNICEF. The global nature of our organization’s initiatives and programmes can make our on-the-ground impact seem far-removed from the individual eye because there may be no visible evidence or personal connection to a particular child or area. In addition, UNICEF South Africa’s involvement at a policy and technical level can make its work seem remote or difficult to understand.

From the playground to parliament, we’re shining the light on two of the most common questions and perceptions surrounding UNICEF South Africa and what giving to this charity would entail.

1. Can I really see UNICEF South Africa involved on the ground?

No matter what people’s reasons are for giving to charity, our primary goal at UNICEF is to bring tangible transformation in the life of every child. We achieve this in two primary ways: persistent, ongoing support to improving the everyday lives of children around the globe and immediate disaster relief.

If it seems impossible to locate our work to one child or one area, it is because our reach extends comprehensively to every vulnerable child in South Africa and beyond. The work is never done because we believe that every child should survive and thrive, every child should learn, every child should be protected from violence and exploitation, every child should live in a safe and clean environment, and every child should have an equal chance at life.

Sustainable day-to-day work...

If you’re considering giving to charity, this annual report provides a detailed overview of the constant, daily humanitarian work that UNICEF South Africa is involved in. Some of our on-the-ground efforts include supporting Safe Parks for children (where they can receive a healthy routine, support structure, and positive mentorship), as well as assisting early childhood development centres where we cultivate practical solutions for child development, such as play learning. We also provide holistic support for communities as a whole as well as parents, caregivers and educators. It takes a village to save a child after all!

We are also involved in running various initiatives that target specific threats to the rights of children. Our Deliver Futures campaign aims to combat malnutrition in children around the globe, while our Every Child Alive campaign works to end preventable newborn deaths. Giving to charity - particularly on a monthly basis - helps us have a long-term and sustained impact in these areas.

Sudden Disaster Relief...

Giving to humanitarian organisations like UNICEF South Africa enables us to act with urgency and immediacy in a disaster - providing on the ground relief and humanitarian aid in times of crisis. Right now, for example, we are urgently working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to informal settlements, where children in under-resourced and highly populated communities are at risk of contracting and spreading the disease. Our Little Hands Matter campaign aims to build handwashing stations in these areas, providing the necessary sanitation and hygiene to help with preventing the spread.

Giving to UNICEF assists with long-term sustainable impact, as well as immediate disaster relief. We do not just work on the ground, we work on every ground - for every child.


2. How does UNICEF work with Government?

UNICEF works both on the ground (in playgrounds) and on the higher levels of government (in parliament) to ensure lasting and tangible progress in the lives of children. The gaps that remain between well-resourced and under-resourced communities require meaningful measures to make meaningful change. By working with government, as well as the corporate sector and civil society, we are able to focus on social advocacy and policy reform, in our collective effort to mitigate inequality and abuse.

Let’s be clear: we are not the government. We are a humanitarian organisation that works to support and implement child-friendly government policies while advocating for practical solutions to children’s rights violations, creating a system of accountability where it matters most. Through engagement at a government level, we can implement real and lasting change on the ground.

The transformation that we can achieve at a policy level, translates to a more tangible, and more far-reaching impact in the lives of actual communities and actual children. When you consider giving to charity, these are the levels of impact you want to see.

For more information about the work behind UNICEF South Africa’s name, read this article.

Want to be part of changing the lives of children, from Parliament to playgrounds?

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