GBS UNICEF promotes involvement in humanitarian crises


High school is a busy time – it’s easy to get lost in the abundance of classes, homework, and extracurricular activities. There are many times when we have lost sight of major events impacting the world around us, from natural disasters to humanitarian crises. Luckily, clubs like GBS UNICEF help bring to light these issues so they don’t go unnoticed. 

As the leaders of GBS UNICEF, we have been working since our chapter’s founding in 2019 to communicate global happenings in a digestible way for our local community. We understand that most South students don’t experience the implications of national crises, so the ability to grasp current events is a critical skill necessary for students to broaden their understanding of the world around them.

 During our most recent meeting, we took the time to share a current events update that is affecting millions of people worldwide. On Feb. 6, two devastating earthquakes and numerous aftershocks struck the countries of Turkey and Syria. Tens of thousands of people have died so far, and countless others have had their homes and towns destroyed. Widespread damage was done to schools and infrastructure, leading to water contamination and sanitation issues. Millions of Syrian and Turkish refugees were forced to emigrate to other countries because of the catastrophic effect the earthquakes have had on their own.

Amidst the natural disasters that have plagued Syria and Turkey, there is hope for the future. UNICEF is currently stationed on the ground in these countries rushing lifesaving assistance to children and families. Hygiene kits and warm clothing are being distributed, rescue and search parties are being formed, and the evacuation of unsafe areas is underway. 

The main focus of UNICEF’s emergency response to earthquakes focuses on clean water accessibility, sanitation and hygiene, child protective services, nutrition, and education. UNICEF is prioritizing providing children and families with the support they need, as well as ensuring that long-term solutions, such as climate resiliency initiatives and sustainable construction technology, are effectively implemented in affected countries to combat future crises.

While the upheaval in these countries may not directly affect those at South, it is important for students to stay informed and educated on current events, both on a domestic and international level. 

From providing updates on the war in Ukraine to spreading awareness on epidemics like Yellow Fever in Africa, or bringing attention to the current crises in Turkey and  Syria, GBS UNICEF continues to be a club where students can gain insight on important issues in our world and inspire a desire to help in whatever way they can. 

As the leaders of GBS UNICEF, being a part of this club has allowed us to engage in international affairs and become more involved in service work to benefit millions of people worldwide.