Looking to Make a Difference in the World? Join UNICEF Club

Asiya Mohiuddin , Contributing Writer

Glenbard West offers a variety of extracurriculars – some of which people are not familiar with – including many clubs that have just recently been introduced. One of these clubs in particular is UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund). UNICEF was created near the end of the school year last year, and held its first official meeting at the beginning of this year. Now that Glenbard West has UNICEF as a club, they have held quite a few meetings and activities.

President and co-founder Hawraa Faisal explains that “UNICEF High School Clubs partner with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to educate, advocate, and fundraise—work that is vital to UNICEF’s ability to save children in 190 countries and territories around the globe.” UNICEF works on helping children across the world who are in need of essential resources and supplies. The club holds several activities such as fundraisers, one of which was called “trick or treat for UNICEF,” raising a large sum of money. In the future the club is looking forward to hosting various other fundraisers as well as group volunteer efforts at local charity organizations.

When asked about what made her decide to start UNICEF at Glenbard West, Hawraa explains “I grew up in a war-torn country (Iraq) where children are still living in atrocious and dangerous conditions and have learned and received aid from UNICEF when I was a child. I have always wanted to do something and raise awareness for all of these powerless children but I didn’t know how at the time.” There are so many children out there in need of food, clothing and other essential resources, emphasizing how important UNICEF is to helping the less fortunate. In starting a UNICEF club at Glenbard West, Hawraa explains, “I realized that people were extremely ignorant of the situations that immigrants and refugees experience, especially the trauma that children experience, and I wanted to do something about that.” It is so important that we understand what is going on in the world and do something about it. UNICEF is a great representation of coming together in order to do our part in contributing to the solution of problems around the world.

Currently serving on the executive board are Hawraa Faisal as president, Aliyah Mohiuddin as Vice President, Jenny Pajova as secretary, and both Juveria Fatima and Nia Ademuyiwa as treasurers.

In starting the club itself, Hawraa explained that it was quite difficult due to so many people wanting to start clubs as well. “Originally I tried to start the club during the start of my Junior year but was shut down and told that the club would not succeed because we had a club (Glenbard Global Giving) similar to it that was shut down the year before. I then tried again in March to get it started and was given a two month trial period for the club to see how it would hold up,” says Hawraa. Starting a club was much harder than it seemed, as it took a long process to create it. However, as the school year progressed she says, “We had many invested students who showed up to the meetings and allowed us to keep the club running for the 2017-2018 school year and beyond. A lot of work was put into starting the club and maintaining it, and without our wonderful members and board, we wouldn’t have this club.”

Meetings for UNICEF take place every other Wednesday in room 223. To obtain more information, contact any of the board members, and be sure to stop by after school!