The Challenge

World Children’s Day is UNICEF’s flagship global day of action for children, by children, marking the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on Nov. 20. Each year on this day, UNICEF advocates, educates and raises funds for the most pressing issues facing children—such as COVID-19.

Young people have spoken out about their concerns on subjects such as education, inclusion, mental health and the climate crisis. When the global pandemic hit in 2020, UNICEF wanted to provide a platform for their voices to be heard throughout the global community, so people pause to listen to their concerns, and find ways to work alongside them to “reimagine a better future for every child.”

The Solution

We needed something simple and creative, yet powerful and memorable, to appeal to both young people and their communities around the world. We also wanted to be inclusive, engaging and thought-provoking. A call was put out for poetry submissions from young poets from all corners of the planet. Participants were asked to channel their passion and creativity to write poems that would help the world reimagine a better future for every child—a future of boundless learning, a future without discrimination, a greener and more sustainable future—whatever was closest to their hearts. Their poems focused on how they want to see the world after the pandemic, working with ‘RiseUp’ and ‘MaskedButNotMuted’ as the two key campaign themes. They kept it real, raw and authentic, and did not shy away from the painful, hard-hitting notes.

The Results

Presidents, Prime Ministers, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors and global businesses united with children and young people in person or virtually on World Children’s Day.
Iconic landmarks around the world turned blue.
Children took over newsrooms, newspapers and broadcast studios to report on issues that matter to them.
Hundreds of young people from over 35 countries answered our call to share their thoughts in rhyme, reimagining a better world for every child.