This year, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) celebrated its 25th year. The CRC is an international human rights treaty protecting children under the age of eighteen, and currently 194 countries are working to protect the social, political, economic, health and cultural rights of children. On Thursday 20th November, 2014, the UN hosted several high-level events to honor this anniversary which included a concert, panel discussion, a launch with keynote speakers and a cocktail reception for the Queen and Prime Minister of Sweden.
Having produced the 20th Anniversary of the CRC at the General Assembly 5 years ago, JME was thrilled to be part of the UNICEF team once again. With 5 events back-to-back in different locations it certainly was a full day, starting with the launch of the UNICEF #IMAGINE project with Hugh Jackman and Yoko Ono, and finishing with a cocktail reception for HM Queen Silvia.
Here at J Marshall Events, we often have the privilege of sharing a cup of tea with exceptionally interesting people. We were particularly dazzled by 17 year old Hannah Godefa who has dedicated much of her childhood to raising awareness and funds for several noble causes. We first met Hannah when she delivered a beautifully written speech at the International Day of the Girl Child. Our second encounter was when she moderated a discussion between UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and global pop superstar Katy Perry, at Perry’s induction as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Ethiopian-born Godefa was deeply inspired by a journey to Africa to visit family and soon after founded the Pencil Mountain Project. This organization is a resource mobilization project that delivers supplies to Ethiopian children. The first shipment to Ethiopian students included 25,000 pencils and since then nearly half a million school supplies, including wheelchairs for handicapped children have been distributed. Hannah continues to travel the world speaking out about the need for equal access to education for all children and was appointed UNICEF National Ambassador to Ethiopia in January of 2013.
Recently, Hannah Godefa and Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg co-authored and submitted to CNN World an article titled Teach a girl, enrich the world. These two voices while powerful on their own are quite a force to be reckoned with when combined. One of the most memorable assertions from this article is “…you can teach a man to fish to feed himself for a lifetime. But if you invest in a girl, she feeds herself, educates future children, lifts up her community and propels her nation forward – charting a path that offers dignity for all in the process.” Without a doubt Hannah will continue to be an important voice in the movement to provide equal education to women and young girls worldwide, and we can’t wait to see what she will do next!
On December 3rd, UNICEF inducted pop sensation Katy Perry as their newest Goodwill Ambassador. This invitation-only press event took place at UNICEF House and was moderated by 17-year-old Hannah Godefa, Ethiopia National Goodwill Ambassador, who was accompanied by her proud dad.
The press included youth bloggers, KIDSDAY members, and local NYC students who got an exclusive peak at the #unconditionallyUNICEF video featuring Katy Perry’s trip to Madagascar. Executive Director, Tony Lake, tapped his foot along to the song and commented later, “I was trying very hard not to lip synch”. Below is the video with lyrics inspired by Perry’s work with UNICEF.
Perry commented that being in the public eye enabled her to reach a vast number of people and shine a light on issues that need to be addressed.
We at J Marshall Events admire how Katy Perry is using her fame to shine the spotlight on global issues such as providing maternal health care, incorporating children with disabilities into society, and securing access to clean water.