Op-ed: UNICEF is more than just a name

Nidhi Addanki

The United Nations Children’s Fund, also known as UNICEF, is more than just a name for an organization. UNICEF’s mission is to aid children in crisis areas who do not have access to the resources we are so privileged to be surrounded by.

By now, most people have probably heard of the Syrian refugee crisis. What they may not know is that 8.4 million Syrian children are in need of humanitarian aid due to the violence that began in Syria more than six years ago. 2.8 million of these children are child refugees, and it is UNICEF’s aim to help them.

Fortunately, Northeastern University has its own UNICEF club, where students work together to discuss vulnerable groups like Syrian child refugees and steps that could be taken to provide them relief. The group also raises funds to help these children in any way that we, as privileged university students, can.

UNICEF brings together students from many different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses and cultural beliefs for one simple reason: to help. We believe each person can make a difference, and that is what we are here to do.

UNICEF at Northeastern is proud to put our efforts into fundraising and thinking of ideas to help bring relief to children around the world. One of our most popular fundraising events is Trick or Treat for UNICEF. Instead of asking for candy, we ask people to donate to the organization. Our club is full of passionate members who want to make a difference on campus and in the world.

We participate in engaging events that bring different communities at Northeastern together, like Relay for Life. At Relay for Life, we fundraise and come together in support of the American Cancer Society. We bring in guest speakers from UNICEF’s Boston office to inform us of current efforts and how we can make a greater impact on today’s society.

UNICEF at Northeastern may be a branch of the larger UNICEF organization, but we are anything but small. Our dedication to making our organization more recognized on campus pushes us to continue thinking of innovative ideas. We aim to plan events that bring our campus together, not only to inform students about UNICEF, but get them involved as well.

Our club is not just informational, but engaging and active as well. We want to do more than just educate our club members; we want to push for inclusivity.

Nidhi Addanki is a third-year criminal justice and psychology combined major and director of PR and events for Northeastern UNICEF.