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Belmont UNICEF aims to educate community on child issues worldwide

Belmont students and faculty are stretching to reach new borders with the formation of a new on-campus UNICEF group this semester.

UNICEF, a global organization started in 1946, advocates for the care of children’s care and education in over 190 countries by raising money and awareness for the issues facing people around the word.

After being introduced to the idea of starting the group by Nashville UNICEF Community Fellow Katharine Barcy, freshmen Olivia Hosey and Amy Hart started the process of giving the group an outlet on campus.

They hope to reach out to others who want to get involved with bringing suffering around the world to an end.

Hosey, who serves as the group’s vice executive director, believes that the Belmont community’s desire to change the world makes the campus an optimal place to start a UNICEF group.

“UNICEF gives us a way to first educate ourselves about what issues are affecting children around the world and then see what we can do to help,” said Hosey

Hosey and Hart sought out Director of the Office of Study Abroad Shelley Jewell as their faculty adviser and held their first meeting on Jan. 21, where more than 30 students attended to find out exactly what the on-campus organization is about.

“Our mission is focused around education, advocacy, and fundraising. More than anything, the Belmont UNICEF Campus Initiative wants to educate the Belmont community about the most pressing issues affecting children around the world today,” Jewell said. “We hope that by knowing more about the problems facing the world, we can figure out what we can do to help resolve it.”

They hope to hold two meetings each month for interested students, as well as to hold fun and informative events for the benefit of both UNICEF and the Belmont community.

“The group is hoping to hold both advocacy and fundraising events throughout the year in order to raise awareness as well as funds for UNICEF’s work. These events could include anything from Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF to tabling and passing out information about specific issues. The group also hopes to host speakers for convocation credit,” Jewell said.

The on-campus group plans to meet again in February, though the exact date is as of yet undecided. They hope that people will continue to show interest in UNICEF’s mission and consider attending the meetings.

“We are a new group and will need all the support we can get from other students, but we truly believe that a UNICEF Campus Initiative is something that can be successful at Belmont,” Hosey said.

Those interested in the group or who want to receive more information can contact Amy Hart or Olivia Hosey.

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