The end of the year is the time to reflect on our accomplishments, successes and challenges. How effective have we been in supporting the children in our projects in the U.S.? How effective elsewhere? As you will see in my brief report, 2016 was not merely a very busy year for Childhood USA; it was highly successful thanks in no small part to you.
Childhood USA Achievements in 2016
Childhood USA continues to fund and support national and international organizations. For example, this year, we awarded 9 grants to projects in New York, Minneapolis, Miami and San Francisco, adding a new partner: Safe Horizon in NYC, which works with child victims and their families.
How about our impact? Many of the projects have already produced outstanding results:
Bridge for Youth developed a phone and computer “app” called the Youth Service Network that helps trafficked youth in Minneapolis find shelters. We are thankful for the partnership of the Carlson Family Foundation in Minneapolis, MN.
Peer Health Exchange, New York and San Francisco, demonstrated that peer education can significantly improve the knowledge of high school students on how to protect themselves from sexual abuse and exploitation.
Bounce! project, New York, empowered peer-led adolescent survivors of sexual abuse to have a voice and to support each other in the recovery from trauma.
“Stewards of Children Prevention Toolkit” was an extraordinary partnership that addressed the silent epidemic of child sexual abuse. Our partners were Darkness to Light, a US-based NGO that has trained 1.3 million adults on prevention of child abuse and Ericsson, our Swedish technology giant. Together, we developed the first-of-its-kind mobile app that equips adults with the skills to recognize, prevent and respond to child sexual abuse. The app was launched on September 16th at the United Nations using Childhood USA’s #EyesWideOpen advocacy platform co-founded by H.R.H. Princess Madeleine and Karini Gustafson-Teixiera. For 2 weeks, it was featured on Times Square billboards!
"Solutions to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for Children”, United Nations. Childhood USA organized a landmark high-level meeting on the local and global efforts, and solutions to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for children by 2030. Our co-hosts were extraordinary: the Swedish and Italian Permanent Missions to the UN, H.R.H. Princess Madeleine of Sweden and the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. The event was moderated by CNN International anchor Robyn Curnow. And the audience and speakers were not merely leaders in the UN, but academic, corporate and civil society leaders and experts, as well as champions of children's rights including Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, actor/activist Forest Whitaker, Maestro Andrea Bocelli and Childhood’s own H.R.H. Princess Madeleine.
Childhood USA ThankYou Gala - Cipriani 42nd St. New York. In the presence of H.R.H. Princess Madeleine and Chaired by a Childhood co-founder and committed board member, Monika Heimbold, Childhood bestowed the prestigious ThankYou Awards to Maestro Andrea Bocelli, Activist/Actor Forest Whitaker and Unilever CEO Paul Polman, for their commitment to children’s rights. The event also featured a speech from child sexual abuse survivor and activist Jenna Quinn, and a performance by The Voices of Haiti, a children’s choir from Haiti that is supported by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. The guests included the Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova and the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Jan Eliasson.
Other Notable Childhood USA Accomplishments:
- Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona - At the invitation of the Director General of GSMA, Joanna Rubinstein spoke at Barcelona Congress on the global challenge of child sexual abuse and the role of the ICT sector in child protection. The meeting brought together >100,000 people.
- UN World Tourism Organization – Joanna Rubinstein was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Network on Child Protection in Travel and Tourism and joined its annual meeting in Berlin.
- Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children – Childhood USA was appointed to the global board of the Partnership and participated in the launch of this new global effort at the United Nations.
- Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) in Haiti – At the invitation of ABF, Childhood USA visited the ABF programs in Haiti and provided advice on the Mobile Clinic, which includes child protection education program.
- C10 Awards of Reach for Change – The #EyesWideOpen co-founder Karini Gustafson-Teixeira and Childhood USA Managing Director of Programs and Policy, Nicole Epps, participated in the Grassroots Communications Panel in New York, as a panelist and the moderator, respectively.
- National Academy of Sciences – Joanna Rubinstein was invited speaker at the meeting: Identifying the Role of Violence Prevention in the Post-2015 Global Agenda. Washington D.C.
- Children’s Rights Day - The Power of Culture to End Sexualized Violence Against Children. “A Swedish and American perspective on strategies to prevent sexualized violence against children.”- House of Sweden, Washington D.C. - Nicole Epps represented Childhood USA at the meeting and spoke about Childhood programs and the mobile app.
- Nordic Forum Against Sexual Exploitation of Children Online - Childhood USA President was invited by the organizers, ECPAT, to speak on the 2030 agenda and the Childhood USA mobile app was presented by Ericsson.
We have so much to be grateful for in 2016. We are appreciative of all who have contributed to helping Childhood USA expand our reach by becoming our supporters, advocates of our cause and donors; or by including us as partners in various local and global initiatives aiming at ending violence and sexual abuse of children. Without your partnership, support and engagement, we would not have been able to celebrate our achievements and successes today. But, most importantly, we would not have been able to help the children we serve. Thank You!!!!
Wishing you and you family happy holidays. We cannot wait to share with you all we have in store for 2017.
Childhood President & CEO
& HAPPY HOLIDAYS from the Childhood USA Family