First-hand, human stories of hope, resilience, determination, and family: a call to see the world's children as our own, by the President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF
In I Believe in ZERO, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, an organization known for its decades of charity work and philanthropy with the United Nations, Caryl M. Stern draws on her travels around the world, offering memorable stories that present powerful and sometimes counter-intuitive lessons about life. I Believe in ZERO reflects her-and UNICEF's-mission to reduce the number of preventable deaths of children under the age of five from 19,000 each day to zero.
Each of the stories in I Believe in ZERO focuses on a particular locale-Bangladesh, Mozambique, earthquake-ravaged Haiti, the Brazilian Amazon-and weaves together fascinating material on the country and its history, an account of the humanitarian crises at issue, and depictions of the people she meets on the ground. Stern tells of mothers coming together to affect change, of local communities with valuable perspectives of their own, and of children who continue to sustain their dreams and hopes even in the most dire of situations. Throughout, Stern traces her emerging global consciousness-and describes how these stories can positively impact our own children.
In this incredibly moving book, Stern hopes to open hearts and minds and leave readers with the belief that no child anywhere should lack basic human support-and that every child and mother can be an inspiration.
A frequent media commentator whose annual salary has been a focus of controversy, Stern (Hate Hurts) describes what she does as president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in this forthright account of her first years on the job. With no previous on-the-ground experience in international aid, at age 50 Stern began directing the organization s funding efforts, traveling to developing nations where children suffer the worst effects of poverty, natural disasters, and civil war. From the discomforts of travel in the undeveloped world and her worries about neglecting her family to witnessing the death, disease, and grueling child exploitation she set out to combat, Stern paints a vivid portrait of her difficult job and transition. She tempers these frustrations with gratitude for corporate partners, celebrities, and donors; reflections on the resiliency, dignity, and faith of those in camps, slums, and rudimentary medical facilities; and the success of UNICEF s I Believe in Zero campaign to eliminate preventable child deaths. Stern s ability to bridge diverse cultures, language barriers, and economic circumstances through simple commonalities she relates to women in Africa as a mother and gains insight into the experience of displaced persons from her Jewish heritage is the greatest of many lessons she offers to those wanting to help children in crisis.