Written by UNICEF fundraiser, Peter Stears
Being a UNICEF fundraiser carries with it a great amount of pride. When you step outside of the Dublin Office onto the hectic street emblazoned with the UNICEF logo, you realise that you are part of a team that spans to the far ends of the world. Passers by look at you, look at your t-shirt, and see that you are part of something magnificent. For me, there was no greater sense of belonging than when I donned my UNICEF t-shirt. After my training and work shadowing days it was finally time to begin knocking on the doors of hopefully potential donors by myself. There were the understandable butterflies in my stomach but it only took one glance at my t-shirt and the UNICEF logo to understand that I was there to stand up for a child’s life somewhere in this world – a child who suffers mass injustice everyday, lives in fear and whose human rights are being denied. By calling to a person’s door I spoke on behalf of the child who cannot speak, because they have had their skull and jaw fractured due to shelling in Gaza. I walked from one door to the next for the young boy who is forced to beg on the streets from morning to night. When I made people aware of the horrific situation facing millions of children everyday I saw a genuine look of care and desire to make a difference on their face. As a fundraiser there was no greater feeling than welcoming another person looking to make a difference in a child’s life to the UNICEF team and making them realise that they are having a huge impact on a child’s life, essentially, returning a child’s deserved future to them. You begin to understand, as you spend more time as a fundraiser, that your job is powerful. As a fundraiser you inherently possess the qualities and confidence to be able to go up to a stranger’s door and chat to them, help them realise what is going on in the world and ask them to be part of the team that is making a difference for children all over the world, including children here in Ireland. A fundraiser does not brave all sorts of weather and does not talk to a hundred people every day to be applauded and praised by everyone they meet. A fundraiser wakes up every morning with the determination and the will to fight for the rights of children in this world who have had them unjustly taken away. Fundraising comes with its challenges, as does everything in life, however the positives massively outweigh the negatives. There is no greater honour than being able to go home every day and say to yourself that today, you helped save a child’s life, and that, is the power a fundraiser has.