UNICEF’s Spirit of Compassion Award recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions as philanthropists, advocates, and volunteers to advance the cause of children around the world. This year’s award was presented to Olivia Harrison for her commitment to UNICEF and to her family’s legacy of helping the children of Bangladesh.
In 1971, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar organized the Concert for Bangladesh – the first benefit concert of its kind – and pulled together a star-studded cast of musicians including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, and Leon Russell. The show, held at Madison Square Garden on August 1, alerted the world to the plight of the Bangladeshi people, who were suffering the simultaneous effects of floods, famine, and civil war. The Concert for Bangladesh was one of the most ambitious humanitarian efforts in music history, and focused global attention on the crisis in Bangladesh while raising awareness of UNICEF and its work in the developing world.
In 2005, Olivia launched The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF, which continues to support UNICEF programs in Bangladesh, while extending its influence to include other countries where crises are putting children at risk.
Most recently, The George Harrison Fund joined the U.S Fund for UNICEF and the Association of College Unions International to launch a fundraising challenge on college campuses across America. The Help Us Save Some Lives Campus Challenge mobilizes students to raise awareness and funds to save children around the world.
Support The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF’s (http://www.unicefusa.org/news/news-from-the-field/the-george-harrison-fund-for-u.html) newest initiative – floating schools in Bangladesh – that allow children who are hard to reach and affected by seasonal flooding to continue attending school. Your contribution can help to build a child friendly school environment that includes IT facilities, a library, school supplies, first aid kits, bathroom facilities and a midday meal.
Photo Credit: Julie Skarratt