Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed an international audience at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
“I am so delighted to be in attendance representing the Primary, one of the largest children’s organizations in the world, and speaking [on] behalf of Latter-day Saint Charities,” said Sister Jones, who joined a panel of speakers Thursday, December 5, at a UNICEF-sponsored event at the Palais des Nations.
Other speakers included Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director; Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF director of emergency operations; Sigrid Kaag, Netherlands minister for foreign trade and development cooperation; and Muzoon Almellehan, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
“As a faith-based organization, we believe all people are children of God, and we offer assistance without regard to race, religious affiliation, or nationality,” she explained during the panel. “We welcome collaboration with partners around the world to sustain progress and development for all children, especially those who are displaced.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council recently estimated that 63 million children in areas of conflict are unable to attend school.
The leader of the global faith said that Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, partners with UNICEF “to help children gain the skills and life opportunities needed to break cycles of poverty, oppression, trauma, and violence.”
Last year, Latter-day Saint Charities expanded its partnership with UNICEF to help meet the early childhood development and education needs of children impacted by refugee crises in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Uganda.
As a result of the partnership, Sister Jones reported that more than 36,000 children now participate in early childhood development activities. In addition, 10,000 parents can now bring child development and caregiving best practices into their homes.
The event was live-streamed on UNICEF’s YouTube channel. Click here to watch the event in its entirety.