Love is both a noun and a verb, so this Valentine’s Day, show some appreciation for the love you have, be it a romantic relationship, a close friendship, or a supportive family, by sharing your good fortune with those in need.


Vaccines: the ultimate gift of love


In the words of polio survivor and veteran health worker, Richard Elaka, from Kinshasa, the sprawling capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo “vaccination is a gesture of love”. 
 
"...vaccination is a gesture of love that
protects the children." 
For more than 20 years, Richard has been a community outreach worker informing parents about the importance of vaccination and the risks of non-vaccination. "I realised that many families don't get their children vaccinated because of a lack of knowledge," he explains.  

"In the morning I wake up, I take my awareness materials and go meet families with young children. When I arrive in a family, I make the parents understand that vaccination is a gesture of love that protects the children. When they vaccinate their children, they are protecting them.”  
Richard is a polio survivor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and works as a community outreach worker. © UNICEF/UN0352672/Mulala

“For parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated, I explain to them that I am myself a victim of polio. Look at me. If you don't want your children to be vaccinated, you see the consequences. 

"When a child has polio, he will be disabled for the rest of their life. Your children need to be immunised."  

Thanks to the hard work of people like Richard, UNICEF has helped reduce the global incidence of wild polio by 99 per cent since 1988 but it remains a threat. The virus is still endemic in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan and risks making a big come back thanks to disruptions to routine vaccination programmes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our teams won’t stop until polio is banished to the history books. Spread love by stopping the spread of disease when you gift your loved one our Be My Valentine Vaccine Pack. 
 
Give the gift of immunity
Children fill containers with water at Tica relocation centre, Mozambique. Ⓒ UNICEF/UN0406986/Franco


Why we love water 


On 23 January, Cyclone Eloise made landfall in Mozambique, bringing powerful winds, torrential rain and severe flooding. The storm damaged and destroyed farmland, vital infrastructure including health centres and schools, as well as thousands of homes.  

Eloise dealt yet another devastating blow to local families, still trying to put their lives together after Cyclone Idai struck, less than two years ago.. Even before the storm hit, nearly half of the population was living below the poverty line. 

Today, around 250,000 people, including 130,000 children, in the cyclone affected areas of Mozambique are likely to need humanitarian assistance, according to government estimates.  
A boy smiles with bottled water provided by UNICEF in Beira, Mozambique. © UNICEF/UN0409398/Franco

UNICEF teams are working around the clock and have already delivered basic household and hygiene items, water purification products, tarpaulin sheets and essential medicine for as many as 20,000 people.

That said, children living in the affected areas, particularly those who have been displaced, could soon be at risk of contracting waterborne diseases if they do not access clean water. 

Cholera can spread incredibly quickly through displaced populations who have no option but to drink from local water sources, no matter how polluted they are. It quickly causes dehydration and can kill the vulnerable in hours. 

Help protect children in crisis this Valentine’s Day with our Pure Water Pack. 
Give the gift of health
Young children in Papua New Guinea explore the contents of a School in a Box kit that UNICEF distributed. © UNICEF/UN0260351/Chambers


For the love of learning 


Whilst vaccines and clean water save lives, education changes lives. It allows children to escape poverty and abuse and to learn skills which will benefit them, and their families throughout their lives. For far too many children however, education is disrupted by war and natural disaster and the longer children stay out of school the less likely they are to return. 

Thankfully however, in the aftermath of disaster, our teams are there. Worldwide, UNICEF teams provide children, and their dedicated teachers, with supplies, like our fabulous “school-in-a-box” which safeguard children’s futures.

This pre-prepared and extremely portable kit contains books, pencils, erasers, scissors and even a wind-up solar radio and blackboard to ensure children continue to learn during times of crisis. 
 

We know from experience that a chance to learn is particularly vital for children who have been caught in the middle of a natural disaster or outbreak of violence. It not only keeps their educations on track, allows them to spend time with their peers but helps them deal with the trauma associated with displacement, natural disaster and violence. 

Our “School-in-a-Box” will be remembered for a lifetime. 
Give the gift of learning

 

Here’s how it works

  1. Purchase a UNICEF Inspired Gift. From therapeutic food to clean water, school supplies to vaccinations, we have something for everyone.
  2. A personalised card will be sent to your loved one telling them about the life-saving impact they're having on children.
  3. Real supplies will be dispatched from a UNICEF warehouse to wherever they're most needed.
There's no better way to show someone how much you appreciate everything they've done to make your life better. Buy one this Valentine's Day and forever change the lives of vulnerable children.
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