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Frequently Asked Questions

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General 

UNICEF in Australia

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Education

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General

What does UNICEF stand for?

The United Nations Children’s Fund, formerly the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, was established on 11 December 1946 by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China.

In 1950, its mandate was broadened to include the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953, when its name was shortened to the United Nations Children's Fund. However, UNICEF retained its original acronym.

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What does UNICEF actually do?

UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund and is the world’s leading advocate for children. UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.
 
UNICEF works in emergency relief and on longer term development projects for children. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and HIV/AIDS.
UNICEF is non-political and provides aid to children on a non-discriminatory basis based on need and has no religious, racial or political affiliations.

UNICEF’s approach is to use low-cost, highly effective solutions that work dramatically to improve children’s lives. UNICEF is funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Find out more about what UNICEF Australia does here.

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What is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the foundation of UNICEF’s work and sets out rights for the survival, development, protection and participation of children. It is an international human rights treaty that sets out the basic rights of children and the obligations of governments to fulfil those rights. It has been ratified by all but two governments in the world.

This ground-breaking treaty for the world's children was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989 and within a year it entered into force as international law. The convention expanded the world's legal boundaries, for the first time establishing children's basic needs as rights. The Convention has been ratified by 192 out of 193 territories and states worldwide (all countries except the USA). This makes it the most widely and rapidly accepted human rights convention in history.

Australia signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990.

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What are UNICEF’s priority areas of work?

UNICEF commits its resources to achieving results for children in five priority areas while also continuing to respond rapidly in emergencies and conflicts. These priority areas are:

  • Young Child Survival and Development – UNICEF works to ensure that children survive and thrive through child survival, nutrition and environmental interventions.
  • Basic Education and Gender Equality – UNICEF works to ensure that every child, especially girls, receives and completes a quality primary school education.
  • HIV/AIDS and Children – UNICEF works to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensure care for the children and young people already affected by the disease.
  • Child Protection – UNICEF works to protect children so that they can grow up free from violence, exploitation, abuse and discrimination.
  • Policy Advocacy and Partnerships – UNICEF works to establish partnerships, conduct research and raise awareness that help protect the rights of children.


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Does UNICEF just work with children?

No, UNICEF works with governments, non-government organisations, community organisations, local committees and families, as well as children themselves, in order to improve the lives of both children and their communities. The focus of UNICEF's work is children, but many of the improvements made for children ultimately improve the lives of others in their families and communities. For example, our maternal health projects that help mothers survive childbirth will ensure that children grow up with the support of their mothers.

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Where does UNICEF operate?

UNICEF maintains programs in over 150 countries. UNICEF headquarters are in New York. There are eight regional offices, a research centre in Florence, a supply operation in Copenhagen and offices in Tokyo and Brussels. There are 36 National Committees for UNICEF (of which UNICEF Australia is one) that raise funds and spread awareness about the organisation’s work.

For more information on a specific country please click here.

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Is UNICEF part of the UN?

UNICEF is a United Nations agency. However, National Committees for UNICEF in industrialised countries, like UNICEF Australia, are not. Our formal link with UNICEF is through a Cooperation Agreement, which recognises UNICEF Australia as UNICEF’s sole representative in Australia. UNICEF Australia is a registered Australian charity and a registered non-government organisation in Australia, and is governed by its own Board of Directors.

UNICEF Australia’s functions are fundraising and raising awareness of child rights.

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How is UNICEF different from other organisations?

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organisation.

UNICEF is different in two main ways:
The first difference is that UNICEF is one of the largest organisations specifically focusing on children’s development, children in emergencies and children’s rights.

The second difference is that, internationally, UNICEF is what is known as an intergovernmental organisation (IGO). This means that UNICEF works in formal partnerships with governments, and has greater access to and influence with those governments on programs for children.

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UNICEF in Australia

What does UNICEF do in Australia?

UNICEF Australia is a non-government organisation established more than 30 years ago. We are one of 36 National Committees around the world who play a vital role in generating fundraising revenue, public support and awareness for the organisation's work.

Serving as the public face and dedicated voice of UNICEF, the National Committees work tirelessly to raise funds from the private sector, promote children’s rights and secure worldwide visibility for children threatened by poverty, disasters, armed conflict, abuse and exploitation.

UNICEF is funded exclusively by voluntary contributions, and the National Committees collectively raise around one-third of UNICEF's annual income. This comes through contributions from corporations, civil society organizations and more than 6 million individual donors worldwide. They also rally many different partners – including the media, national and local government officials, NGOs, specialists such as doctors and lawyers, corporations, schools, young people and the general public – on issues related to children’s rights. UNICEF Australia is a company limited by guarantee.

For more detail on what we do, click here.


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Where does UNICEF get its money from?

UNICEF is funded entirely through voluntary contributions. The main sources of income are individuals, trusts, businesses, government, community organisations and student fundraising through schools.

UNICEF receives donations through its monthly giving program, called UNICEF Global Parent.  This program is designed to provide long-term assistance to children and communities in 150 developing countries worldwide.  As a Global Parent, your monthly donations support long-term programs to provide essential services to improve the lives of all children.

By focusing on helping as many children as possible, we ensure that funds go to where they are most needed to help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. With UNICEF’s help, hundreds of children’s lives are improved every day. For more information visit our monthly donation pages.

UNICEF National Committees, like UNICEF Australia, are non-government organisations that promote children’s rights, raise funds, sell UNICEF greeting cards and products, create key partnerships and provide other invaluable support in industrialised countries.

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How much money does UNICEF spend on administrative costs?

UNICEF’s approach is to use low-cost, highly effective solutions that work dramatically to improve children’s lives.
In 2012 for every dollar donated to UNICEF Australia:
• 73 cents went directly to program expenditure, including long term development and emergency response work across both domestic and international programs and community education.
• 21 cents per dollar from funds raised by the public went to investing in further growing fundraising in Australia to benefit more children across the world.
• 6 cents was spent on UNICEF Australia’s accountability and administration.  UNICEF Australia is in the lowest percentile of our peer organisations in terms of money spent on administrative costs.
 
For a detailed costing breakdown, please refer to the latest UNICEF Annual Report.

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What are the opening hours of the UNICEF Australia office?

The UNICEF Australia office is open from 9am until 5.30pm EDT Monday-Friday.  Outside of these hours and during public holidays please email us.


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Information about fraudulent emails and letters

It has come to our attention that scam emails and letters alleging to be from or associated with UNICEF are in circulation.

One of the most recent fraudulent emails refer to “The Unicef Grant Donation Award Promo” whereby recipients each receive a cash grant/donation of £500,000 and are asked to contact UNICEF to claim the money. Another example is a letter from the UNICEF/Spanish Lottery Board notifying the recipient of their winning ticket and asking them to send personal information including bank account details, to UNICEF.

These emails and letters are not genuine and UNICEF is in no way connected with them.

UNICEF Australia would like to urge you to be wary of any suspicious emails (or other communications) that claim to originate from UNICEF or someone connected with UNICEF, especially when they are not from an official UNICEF email account and are asking for personal information or for international money transfers. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website SCAMwatch (www.scamwatch.gov.au) provides information on how you can recognise, report and protect yourself from scams.

Please verify the authenticity of any such correspondence before sending a response, before divulging personal information and before parting with any money. If you are in any doubt, please contact UNICEF Australia at unicef@unicef.org.au or (02)9261 2811 for clarification.


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How to identify legitimate UNICEF fundraisers

If you have been approached by a person claiming to be raising funds for UNICEF and you believe they might not be a genuine fundraiser, please contact UNICEF Australia on 1300 884 233 or email unicef@unicef.org.au with information on who approached you, how and when. Sadly fraudulent fundraising is affecting many charities.
 
Below is a list of ways to identify a legitimate UNICEF fundraiser in Australia.  All our fundraisers are knowledgeable about UNICEF and have either a signed contract with UNICEF Australia or have a letter of authority from UNICEF Australia or badge identifying them as a volunteer UNICEF fundraiser. 

Who might ask you for your bank or credit card details?

Our face-to-face fundraisers will have UNICEF-branded ID badges containing the name and number of the fundraiser; information on the company that employs them and UNICEF contact details. They will be wearing a UNICEF T-shirt and/or hoody. They collect credit card or direct debit information.  THEY WILL NEVER ASK FOR CASH.

Who might call you?

At times UNICEF may contact people by telephone to ask for support. If the caller is from a contracted professional telemarketing agency, you will be told that you are being contacted on UNICEF’s behalf at the start of the call. If you wish to support us but would prefer to not give your details out over the phone, all of our callers will be happy to send you a letter and a donation form in the post.
 
The caller will be knowledgeable about UNICEF and will be able to provide contact details to enable you to confirm that the call is genuine.
 
If you would like to confirm a fundraiser’s identity please contact UNICEF Australia on 1300 884 233 or at unicef@unicef.org.au

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Can we apply to UNICEF Australia for funding of our programs?

All money raised by UNICEF Australia must be remitted to other UNICEF development programs in over 150 countries. We have no flexibility to remit funds to other NGOs or individuals.

You may wish to contact UNICEF in your country of interest to enquire about possible assistance from or referrals to other partners. Contact details for all UNICEF offices around the world can be found at http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/index.html

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Does UNICEF Australia work with Indigenous communities?

UNICEF Australia is dedicated to working towards reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians to help build a nation where the rights of all children in Australia are respected and realised. We do this by working in partnership with government, communities, non-government organisations and other partners to improve the lives of Indigenous children and help give Indigenous children the same life opportunities as other children in Australia.

UNICEF Australia is developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to help improve the lives of Indigenous children in Australia. Through our RAP, we will develop positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, build respect for Indigenous culture and identify opportunities to work towards closing the 17-year life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. By developing a meaningful plan, UNICEF Australia hopes to ensure Indigenous children have the same opportunities as other children in Australia.

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UNI115425.jpg© UNICEF/NYHQ2005-2204/Giacomo Pirozzi
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Donate

How do I donate?

You can make a donation to UNICEF via our Appeals page on our website or call 1300 884 233.

If you don't want to use a credit card, there are two other options for donating to UNICEF.

Donate by Cheque/Money Order made out to: UNICEF Australia

Please mail to:
UNICEF Australia
PO Box 488
Queen Victoria Building
Sydney NSW 1230

For receipting purposes please include your details*
Name:
Address:
Tel:
Appeal:

*If you are already a UNICEF supporter and know your Supporter ID number please use this as your contact details.

Or you can donate directly into UNICEF's bank account

Account name: Australian Committee for UNICEF Ltd
BSB: 012 010    Account: 837541992
Ref: Your first name and last name
If you would like a receipt for a direct transfer, please email accounts@unicef.org.au with donation amount, date of deposit and your name and address.

If you’d like to make a regular donation to UNICEF you can join our Global Parent Program. Global Parent is a monthly giving program that provides long-term assistance to children and communities in 150 developing countries worldwide. As a Global Parent, your monthly donations support long-term programs to provide essential services to improve the lives of all children. For more information about our Global Parent Program click here


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How can I change my credit card/address details?

To change any of your details including updating your credit card or change of address please provide your name, phone number, supporter ID (if known), address and new details in a letter or email to:

Email: support@unicef.org.au
Mail: PO Box 488, Queen Victoria Building, NSW 1230
Fax: (02) 9261 2844
Or call Supporter Relations on 1300 884 233


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How can I cancel my monthly donation?

If you would like to cancel your Global Parent donations, please provide your full name, supporter ID (if possible), phone number and mailing address in a letter or email to:

Email: support@unicef.org.au
Mail: PO Box 488, Queen Victoria Building, NSW 1230
Fax: (02) 9261 2844
Or call Supporter Relations on 1300 884 233

On receipt, your donations will be cancelled from the following month. Donations are debited on the 15th of each month and files prepared and sent to the bank on the 11th. As such, for written notification received after the 11th, there may be one more debit.


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Can I donate to a particular project or country?

Donations can be earmarked for a specific emergency project or country through the specific appeals listed on our website. For more information on all our current appeals, please visit our website at: http://www.unicef.org.au/appeals

Otherwise, donations can best be spent when UNICEF is given the freedom to prioritise spending and therefore allocate funds to projects and countries where they are most needed, which also helps minimise administration costs.

UNICEF Australia funds projects following requests from UNICEF headquarters and country offices. If you would like to discuss this further, please call our Supporter Relations team on 1300 884 233.


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Why can’t I sponsor a child through UNICEF?

UNICEF has a monthly giving program, called UNICEF Global Parent. The Program is designed to provide long-term assistance to children and communities in 150 developing countries worldwide. UNICEF’s Global Parent program helps many children, not just one.

As a Global Parent, your monthly donations support long-term programs to provide essential services to improve the lives of all children.

By focusing on helping as many children as possible, we ensure that funds go to where they are most needed to help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. With UNICEF’s help, hundreds of children’s lives are improved every day.

UNICEF does not promote individual child or family sponsorship, which can potentially interfere with family or community relationships.

If you would like some information about the UNICEF Global Parent program posted to you, please contact our Supporter Relations department on 1300 134 071 or 1300 884 233.


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Does UNICEF sell cards and gifts? And where can I find them?

UNICEF no longer sells greeting cards and gifts, however our range of Inspired Gifts are a great gift idea for all occasions from Mother's Day through to Christmas Gifts.


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What are Inspired Gifts?

UNICEF Inspired Gifts are real, life-saving and life-changing gifts that are distributed to children and their communities around the world throughout the year. Not only do they provide the receiver with a great sense of satisfaction they also provide a practical item for the field; helping save, improve and protect the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.See the full range of items in our charity gift shop.

Check out our Inspired Gifts today.

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Does UNICEF accept foreign coins? If so, where can I bring my coins? 

UNICEF Australia accepts local and foreign currency through two programs: UNICEF Change for Good on Qantas flights or through the Commonwealth Bank UNICEF Foreign Coin Collection. If you are in Sydney you are welcome to drop your coins in to our Sydney CBD office, located at Level 4, 280 Pitt St, Sydney.

UNICEF Change for Good
UNICEF Change for Good is a foreign currency collection program on Qantas flights.
To contribute to the Change for Good program, please place your foreign (or local) coins in the envelopes provided on Qantas flights or in the collection bins in the following airport terminals:
• Adelaide
• Alice Springs
• Brisbane (and International)
• Cairns (and International)
• Canberra
• Coolangatta (Gold Coast)
• Darwin
• Hobart
• Melbourne (and International)
• Perth (and International)
• Sydney (and International)
• Townsville
For more information about the Change for Good program, click here
 
Commonwealth Bank UNICEF Foreign Coin Collection
All 1000 Commonwealth Bank branches are now available to collect foreign coin from customers. Please drop your foreign coin in at any of the Commonwealth Bank’s branches.   With the largest branch network in Australia you will find a Commonwealth Bank located somewhere close by and at your convenience. 

The funds raised through foreign currency donations contribute to UNICEF's life-saving programs in health, education, and protection in more than 150 countries around the world. For more information, click here.


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I'd like to send supplies to a particular country. How can I do this?

UNICEF Australia does not procure supplies for UNICEF's emergency or long-term projects overseas. While it is a very generous offer to donate medical/educational supplies, food or clothing, it is administratively and logistically extremely difficult and expensive to organise to freight and distribute items overseas from Australia.

Instead, UNICEF has its own Supply Division which procures humanitarian supplies from around the world.

For gifts-in-kind to overseas communities, there is an organisation based in Hong Kong called Global Hand, which facilitates the distribution of medical supplies and equipment, food, computers, construction materials, educational supplies etc. Their website is http://www.globalhand.org


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Volunteer, Employment and Internships

How do I volunteer for UNICEF Australia?

UNICEF Australia has only one office based in the Sydney metro area. This office primarily works with volunteers who assist with office administration. As our office is based in Sydney, we do not have many volunteering opportunities in other states or territories.  However, we occasionally require the assistance of volunteers for UNICEF events.
If you are interested in volunteering for UNICEF Australia, please fill out the form on our Volunteer page. We will keep record of your application and contact you if any volunteer work becomes available.
Please note, our office is only open on Monday-Friday during office hours.

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How can I volunteer for UNICEF overseas?

As our role in Australia is advocacy and fundraising, UNICEF Australia does not directly recruit volunteers or employees to work with UNICEF overseas. However in order to assist those who are keen to volunteer and work overseas with UNICEF, we have compiled a guide outlining the ways you can volunteer overseas with UNICEF and how to get started.  Register your details here to have us email you the guide.


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How do I get a job with UNICEF?

We advertise staff vacancies here as they arise and we are only able to accept applications in response to advertised vacancies.We also advertise vacancies on seek.com.au, ethicaljobs.com.au or in newspapers.We do not accept speculative applications.

If you are interested in a career with UNICEF overseas, you can obtain detailed information about the various avenues open to you, and the application process, from UNICEF’s international website a unicef.org/about/employ/index.html. Please note UNICEF Australia does not recruit either paid or volunteer staff for UNICEF overseas.


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Can I do work experience with UNICEF Australia?

UNICEF Australia is unable to accept work experience placements due to our small staff and limited resources.

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How do I do an internship with UNICEF Australia?

UNICEF Australia offers a limited number of internships for tertiary students and graduates each year. The internships are unpaid, and require a minimum of two days/week over three months at UNICEF Australia’s offices in Sydney, NSW. For more information and to apply click here.


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Education

Can you send us some posters for a project/our school?

Yes we can! If you would like a poster to display in your classroom please send us an email to unicef@unicef.org.au with your address details or call (02) 8917 3212.

Additional education links are also are available on our website at: www.unicef.org.au/schoolroom.


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How can my school help?

UNICEF Australia’s NEW Youth Advocacy program allows schools to get involved and learn about important child rights issues throughout the year. We will provide you with weekly child rights topics, activities and event ideas to get your whole school involved, help support the work of UNICEF and speak out for child rights. To find out more about this program and how your school can get involved, please visit our Youth Advocacy page.

Your school can also get involved in UNICEF Day for Children which is celebrated by schools around Australia on Universal Children’s Day – the fourth Wednesday in October. Your school can be creative in dedicating this day to the theme of change by holding fun activities while raising money to support UNICEF education projects around the world. In 2011, students raised funds to support UNICEF’s WASH project in Timor-Leste. UNICEF Day for Children is a great initiative for SRC groups to organise in their schools with UNICEF providing students and teachers with educational resources and activity ideas to plan their day. 

For more information about how you can get involved visit www.unicefdayforchildren.org.au


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Where can I get a copy of a UNICEF publication?

To save on administration costs UNICEF Australia does not receive publications in bulk numbers. You can purchase a number of UNICEF's flagship publications from our online shop.

Soft soft copies are available to download at www.unicef.org.au/publications.
If you can't find the publication you're after please visit www.unicef.org/publications

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