2015 has been an unprecedented year of global decision-making. This September, at the United Nations (UN), every country adopted the most ambitious goals ever propagated: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals, to be achieved by 2030, especially goal 16.2 - "end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children" – clearly articulate Childhood’s mission to ensure that every child can reach its full potential.
After working for a decade to make the precursors to the SDGs – the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - a reality, Dr. Joanna Rubinstein was appointed in January 2015 as President and CEO of Childhood USA. She brings her vast network of leaders in government, the UN, civil society and the private sector to Childhood USA.
Childhood USA Achievements in 2015
- Awarded 9 grants to US projects and 6 international projects, including projects focusing on unaccompanied migrant children, education for prevention and provided funding for relief operations for Childhood-supported projects in Nepal.
- Secured the prestigious UN accreditation as an affiliated NGO. Convened global leaders and decision- makers from governments, academia, UN agencies and corporations.
- Using H.R.H. Princess Madeleine of Sweden’s ThankYou by Childhood campaign, launched the social media initiative to raise awareness and to address sexual abuse of children, #EyesWideOpen. #EyesWideOpen was seen by over 15 million people while displayed on Times Square Billboards.
- Held the first annual Childhood ThankYou Gala in the presence of H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and launched Childhood ThankYou Awards for global champions of children’s rights.
H.R.H. Princess Madeleine and Karini Gustafson-Teixiera launched in 2015 #EyesWideOpen, a digital media initiative, to mobilize the public to take action in addressing the global challenge of child sexual abuse and child trafficking. The #EWO Child Protector Tool Kit provides resources and education on how to identify, prevent and protect children from sexual abuse.
Childhood joined the West Harlem Community event for 700 children and parents celebrating the holiday season, and presented three ThankYou Young Artist Awards for the best drawings on the theme “Every Child Deserves…”. Actress Rosario Dawson and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson launched #EWO at the event.
In 2015, Childhood investments in social and traditional media yielded extraordinary results. Childhood USA domestic and international media presence significantly increased, reaching over 600 million media impressions.
Important Meetings and Events
UNITED NATIONS - Childhood USA organized a high-level meeting at the United Nations on “Children and the Sustainable Development Goals: Giving Every Child a Chance,” together with the Swedish Mission to the UN and Mentor International. The keynote addresses were given by H.M. Queen Silvia, Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General of the UN, H.E. Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda, and Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO. CNN Anchor, Robyn Curnow, moderated the event and interviewed H.M. Queen Silvia, for CNN International, about the European Refugee Crisis and its impact on children.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY – Childhood USA organized a round table on “The Role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Child Protection” with experts from academia, UN, civil society, the private sector and the Childhood-funded projects to discuss how to harness the power of technology for child protection.
CHILDHOOD THANK YOU GALA -The first Childhood ThankYou Gala was held at the Plaza Hotel and the Childhood ThankYou Awards bestowed for significantly furthering children’s rights worldwide, were launched and presented by H.M. Queen Silvia. The awardees were Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Mrs. Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Companies and the IKEA Foundation. The gala chair, Monika Heimbold, and several celebrities, including Uma Thurman and Forest Whitaker, attended the event.
2015 put Childhood USA on the path to expand its reach, increase its impact, and become a recognized leader in the mission to end child abuse and exploitation by 2030.