Youth Development

How rag dolls raise awareness of the need for immunizations

UNICEF is the world’s largest buyer of vaccines. It provides immunization for more than one third of the world’s children. Since 1980, UNICEF has helped quadruple immunization rates for children worldwide. Today, infant and childhood vaccination saves up to 3 million children’s lives in a year. Yet, today, nearly 1.5 million children die annually because they were not vaccinated.

Christele Pautet and Oumou Wane, Global Day of Giving Project Leaders, learned about UNICEF’s mission from a colleague. Their project involved working with the children of a Parisian elementary school to make UNICEF rag dolls. Twelve volunteers helped the 27 children create the dolls. In the process, the children learned how lucky they are to live in a country that gives them a registered birth date, the opportunity to go to school and the ability to see a doctor when they are unwell. At the end of the day, the dolls were bought by the children’s parents and the funds that were raised went to UNICEF’s immunization programs.

Since the first Global Day of Giving with UNICEF, volunteers have become more involved with the UNICEF program. At Christmas time, UNICEF is invited to come to the XL Catlin Paris office and sell their products, which support the UNICEF upcoming immunization programs. Because the UNICEF program was so positive, many colleagues are now keen to become more involved in supporting nonprofits.

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