Anna Kim: The World Changer
Name: Anna Kim
First year, Master of Science, Community and International Development
Founder, President, AU UNICEF
What is UNICEF and what is your role in it?
UNICEF stands for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, but they work on sectors other than relief/emergency part, such as child protection and inclusion, education, gender, research, childhood health, etc. I’m the founder and President of UNICEF Campus Initiative Andrews University Chapter, also known as AU UNICEF. I’m in charge of administration, event registration and communication-related work.
How can students become involved with UNICEF?
There are several ways to get involved with UNICEF. We host at least two to three events per month and coming to the event itself means a lot to us. We’ve been hosting educational forums on Tuesday once a month and we have a different theme for every month. The theme of February is education and 100 percent of donations that we collect at the Service Gala that AUSA Senate and AU UNICEF are hosting go to an education project that UNICEF is in charge of. Donating is another way to get involved. You can also become a committee member. We have three committees: Finance Committee, Event Committee and Public Relations Committee. In our first year leading the club, we had five officers, which meant there was a good amount of work for each person to accomplish. We are looking for more potential committee members who are passionate about working for children and planning events. If you’re interested in joining, please contact me!
What is UNICEF doing right now to make a difference?
UNICEF’s mission is to promote the rights and well-being of every child and to reach the most vulnerable and excluded children. UNICEF works with around 200 countries and territories to protect and ensure children’s rights. UNICEF works as a partner with numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments, creates/leads projects, and does research in order to break the cycle of poverty and inequity in this world.
How might UNICEF impact students at Andrews?
AU UNICEF focuses on specific goals: awareness, advocacy and fundraising. Through our work, we want to inform about what has been happening in this world and what people can do to help people who are in poverty. Being aware of these issues itself is so significant, because people will able to spread the word to others, which leads to our next goal, advocacy. There are so many ways to advocate, such as calling the senators and representatives, participating in different movements, gaining knowledge on the given topics and more.
What are your plans for the rest of your academic career?
I will be finishing my master’s degree in May 2018 here at Andrews. I would like to work on my second master’s degree or a PhD program in the near future, possibly in Europe.
What do you want to be doing in five years?
I will be working in the field, specifically related to refugee education. I’m still not sure where I will be working, either domestically or internationally. I want to develop an education system for immigrants and refugees. I would also like to combine development work with music, which I’m also very passionate about.
I’ve heard that you are involved with lobbying. What is your role in that?
My first lobbying experience was last year in Washington, D.C. I was representing the State of Michigan for UNICEF and visited Congressman Fred Upton and other representatives’ offices in D.C. to lobby the Every Mother and Child Act, which would take a leading role in reducing the death of mothers and children under five years of age. I’m not so sure if I will be a lobbyist in the future, partly because the current presidential administration passed an executive order terminating lobbying registration.
Would you recommend others become involved in lobbying?
Definitely! I mentioned the executive order earlier but thankfully, there are other ways to lobby and everyone can do it. Choose a topic that you’re interested in, such as fighting racism, advocating for women’s rights, children’s education, healthcare or other topics. Then, ask your senators and representatives for support. Writing an email or calling your senators and representatives is one of the most effective ways to lobby. Also participating in local council meetings or even scheduling a meeting would be great. Take action and be a part of the change!