What is the Campus Initiative?
The Campus Initiative is an unincorporated, student-led organization that partners with the U.S Fund to educate, advocate and fundraise for UNICEF’s lifesaving work. It is a growing grassroots movement rooted in a belief that college students have a vital role to play in helping the world’s children survive. The Campus Initiative supports UNICEF’s child survival work in more than 150 countries. College students have a unique opportunity to engage a broad range of people and resources – from student groups to professors, to international forums – on child survival issues.
Few issues are as important as making sure small children in the developing world survive diseases that are easily preventable elsewhere. This goal can be accomplished but it will take a lot of hard work. UNICEF’s Campus Initiative Clubs affirm the power of college students to make a major difference.
What are the functions of the Campus Initiative Clubs?
Each activity of a Campus Initiative Club should fall into one of the following categories; Education, Advocacy, or Fundraising.
1. Education. This is a key component of UNICEF’s campus programming. As Campus Clubs, you are expected to educate your members, your campus and your community about UNICEF’s child survival work. You could do this with international dinners, lectures, movies or discussions. Many clubs base their local volunteer work on their interest in issues central to child survival, such as early childhood health, immunization, education, HIV/AIDS, child protection and emergencies. Direct service is great way to grasp the importance of these issues in the United States and many Campus Initiative Clubs incorporate volunteering into their educational activities.
2. Advocacy. There are two types of advocacy important to UNICEF’s work: educational and political. Educational advocacy includes activities that raise awareness about child survival issues. Political advocacy involves communicating with public officials or the general public to affect legislation and public policy. UNICEF’s political advocacy efforts are highly structured and overseen by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy. Campus Initiative Clubs are heavily involved in educational advocacy. They are only engaged in political advocacy on behalf of UNICEF when the public is encouraged to participate in UNICEF-supported legislation.
3. Fundraising. This is a critical component of the Campus Initiative Club work plan and essential to UNICEF’s global success. Funds may be directed to a particular issue or area of the world, provided UNICEF is currently working there. Clubs may hold fundraisers on campus and in the community.
This has been adapted from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF “Prospective Campus Initiative Club Program” Toolkit.