Join the World of Children Award and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF as we speak to several top changemakers working for children globally.
This broadcast features interviews with past World of Children Award winners Dr. Jane Aronson and Susie Krabacher as well as our five 2011 World of Children Award winners. We'll also be interviewing Lynn Stratford, Senior Vice President of Program and Strategic Partnerships for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, bestselling author Frank Lafasto, and our founder, Harry Leibowitz. Wendy Naugle, Executive Editor of GLAMOUR magazine, will be conducting interviews with these changemakers, exploring how ordinary individuals can affect positive social change in big ways.
We will also have several past World of Children Award winners available via chat to discuss their experiences helping children and to offer advice to other individuals and organizations who want to maximize their social impact.
Dr. Jane Aronson
Dr. Aronson is a board certified general pediatrician and infectious diseases specialist. She has been a practicing adoption medicine specialist for the past 17 years. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of Columbia University, and also the director of International Pediatric Health Services (IPH), which she opened in 2000. Since founding WWO in 1997, Dr. Aronson has visited orphanages in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Latin America. Dr. Aronson and her partner Diana have three children: Hilary (adopted domestically), Desalegn (adopted from Ethiopia) and Ben (adopted from Viet Nam).
Dr. Ashok Banskota
Dr. Ashok Banskota has dedicated a lifetime of service to the most disadvantaged children in Nepal. He has volunteered his time and talents for decades to give more than 43,000 poor, disabled children new lives. After training and earning his board certification in New York, he found the medical situation in Nepal shockingly limited and primitive, particularly for the poor. In 1984, Dr. Banskota started a small program to help poor children with disabilities. Over time, his program grew into what is now the Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children (HRDC), a world-class center located in Nepal that provides surgery and rehabilitation for children who would otherwise be ostracized by society or even sold to circuses to live a short life of humiliation. HRDC treats children under seventeen for a whole range of problems from club feet, to burn victims, and to TB of the spine.
When Tatiana Grossman learned at age 12 that 75 percent of children in some African countries could not read and lacked access to books, she immediately took action. She lead a solo book drive on the lawn of her community's childrenâ€™s library to collect thousands of books that now serve 62 schools and villages in Botswana and Lesotho. Fueled by her initial success, and her successful collaboration with the African Library Project, she soon founded her own nonprofit organization, Spread the Words, to increase early literacy around the world by helping children create school libraries in impoverished communities, support the libraries they've started, and bring digital curriculum and textbooks to schools that need them. Today, Tatiana and Spread the Words have established libraries serving 99 African villages and primary schools where before there were none. Now she's consulting with Silicon Valley engineers and digital content providers to provide African classrooms with the latest in digital classroom technology and free digital teaching materials.
The concept of Empower Orphans was ideated by Neha Gupta in 2005, when she was only nine years old.
When Neha was nine years old, the harsh reality of the orphaned children's prospects hit Neha hard. Instead of just feeling empathy towards them, she took action and decided that she wanted to help make a difference in the lives of the orphans.
Neha has raised more than $250000 thus far.
She has won numerous awards for her efforts, including: World of Children Award, Kohls Cares, Gold Level President's Volunteer Service Award; Great Friend to Kids Award; 2nd Prize for Wachovia's 2008 National Philanthropic Award; Bronze Medal for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award; Philadelphia 76ers Hometown Hero Award; as well as becoming a finalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer's 2008 and 2009 Citizen of the Year.
Susie Krabacher is a dedicated humanitarian whose work with saving, feeding, and educating the poorest of the poor has been featured in People Magazine, Marie Claire, Redbook Magazine, Stern Magazine, More Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, the Canadian Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Miami Herald, the New York Times and many other major publications. Susie's work has been broadcast on Good Morning America, Inside Edition, the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox TV, C-SPAN and CBS. The driving force behind the incredible work of Mercy & Sharing, Susie is a relentless advocate for the children.
Frank LaFasto recently retired as Senior Vice President of Organization Effectiveness after 30 years with Cardinal Health, Inc., a multinational health care company. An internationally recognized author and lecturer on management issues, Frank has more than 35 years experience helping organizations build and sustain successful teams. He currently consults with private and public sector organizations to help them build effective teams, lead critical change initiatives, and develop executive talent.
Luke Lancaster founded his organization, Young Pioneers, at the age of 12 after being continuously bullied at school. Through his experiences, Luke began to notice many others like him, struggling to succeed in life, yet still wanting to make a difference in the world. Inspired to find a solution to the problem, Luke decided to create a youth-led organization whose goal is to "make it cool to care."
Young Pioneers' research found that 83% of young people today would rather ask a friend for advice than an adult, parent or teacher. In response, Young Pioneers has created a training program to equip young people with the tools necessary to overcome adversity and lead change. Luke's international education training program called "Tomorrows Leaders" is identifying and developing young people around the world like himself who want to lead change in their own personal lives, as well as in their schools and their communities. The Young Pioneers network is effectively helping young people be responsible for their own success and is now expanding from the UK into France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US.
Long before "boomers giving back" became a story, Harry Leibowitz was pioneering a new model of hands-on philanthropy.
Leibowitz grew up in humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York - throughout World War II and into the early 1950's his family lived in an old bungalow in Coney Island where ten families shared the common bathroom facilities and he began working long hours upon becoming a teenager. Through these experiences, he developed an incredible work ethic and an appreciation for the plight of children born into challenging circumstances.
He went on to enjoy a successful business career, serving in senior executive positions at companies such as Procter & Gamble and ESMARK, and also running his own marketing consultancy. His years of business travels around the world gave him a firsthand taste of the plight of children in developing countries and made a lasting impression.
In 1996, Leibowitz had a vision for World of Children when he was recovering from cancer surgery at age 55. Watching the Pulitzer Prize announcements on TV, he noted that while there was a Pulitzer for art and literature, and a Nobel for the sciences and peace, and an Oscar for films, there were no awards for those who were tirelessly serving children in need.
That realization was a catalyst for him and he subsequently founded World of Children with vital support from Starr Commonwealth. Harry then pledged to dedicate the rest of his life to creating a prestigious awards program, to support social change makers helping children in need around the world.
A decade later, he now devotes all his time to running World of Children - serving as Board Chair and visiting World of Children honorees around the globe along with his wife Kay-Isaacson Leibowitz, a World of Children board member and retired fashion executive who has served at the helm of leading brands such as Banana Republic and Victoria's Secret.
Wendy Naugle is Executive Editor of GLAMOUR Magazine.
In 1994, Denisse Pichardo was asked to study sexual tourism and children working in the streets in the municipality of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. Denisse was moved to action by what she saw: foreign tourists coming and going with local children, especially young girls, and extremely poor families driven to give or sell their children to these tourists. Her work on this project inspired her to establish Caminante Proyecto Educativo (Caminante Educational Project), an organization dedicated to empowering the most vulnerable youth in the emblematic sex tourism center of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, with impact in neighboring Haiti and beyond. To date, Denisse and her organization have changed the lives of over 12,900 youth affected by sex tourism. She has prevented the sexual exploitation of countless children, reducing the violence in the community, while also rescuing and healing youth affected by prostitution and other violence.
Lynn Stratford is the Acting Senior Vice President of Program and Strategic Partnerships and oversees the US Fund's work with U.S. based NGOs (non-governmental organizations), educators, school children, campus groups, and other volunteers.
Lynn is also responsible for helping ensure program coherence between UNICEF and the U.S. Fund staff in areas related to child survival. These include health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation, education and protection.
Harry Leibowitz, co-founder of the World of Children Award, shares a "somewhat outrageous" question he has been asked about his charitable work with children. He says letting the magnitude of the problem frustrate the efforts to help is "not an acceptable position."
Acclaimed actress, and longtime children’s activist, “Law & Order SVU” star Stephanie March and other celebrities honor inspiring social changemakers at the World of Children Award ceremony in New York City. Hailed as the “Nobel Prize for Children,” the World of Children Award is the only global recognition and funding program dedicated exclusively to recognizing changemakers for children around the globe.