October 28, 2006
UNICEF is changing the way it treats kids at home and abroad.
Abroad, UNICEF has learned from its embarrassment of recent years, when it was discovered to have funded summer camps in Palestine that inspired children to become terrorists. Martyrdom-themed camps such as Shahids of Chattin took kids on field trips to visit the families of suicide bombers and organized lectures and songfests that glorified suicide bombers, helping to create a culture of killing.
No longer. UNICEF doesn’t directly fund terrorist organizations, Omar Abdi, director of UNICEF-Pakistan, told Dateline, an Australian documentary program earlier this year. Instead UNICEF does so indirectly, by funnelling its contributions through local Pakistani NGOs, which then use the money to fund terrorist-run schools.
“[The children] have a right to be educated,” Abdi says. “So here is another [organization] that is providing that education to them. We cannot deny to give them supplies to give to those kids.”
In the case Dateline investigated, that other organization is Jamaat-ud Dawa, a Pakistani group on the U.S. government’s terrorism list, and whose notorious leader is thought to be behind some of the most spectacular terrorist attacks against neighbouring India. Dateline filmed the students at Jamaat-ud Dawa’s school:
Young boy (translation): I am a soldier of Khalif Farouq-e-Azam and Siddique-e-Akbar. Allah is great. Allah is great. Allah is great. Allah is great. We are the Suns of Truth, the Stars of Greatness. Our hearts are speaking the Koran. We are the awakening destiny of the world.
Teacher: Die … for … Allah.
Children repeat: Die … for … Allah.
The children are also schooled in English, as in this English poetry class taught by the school principal, Abdul Hadi:
Hadi: Do for Allah.
Children repeat: Do for Allah. Do for Allah. Do for Allah. Do for Allah. Do for Allah. Do … for … Allah. Do … for … Allah. Die … for … Allah. Die … for … Allah. Die for Allah. Die for Allah. Give for Allah. Die for Allah. Obey for Allah. Give for Allah. Pray for Allah.
Here in Canada, on the home front, we are also expected to Give for Allah, through our generosity to UNICEF-Canada. But UNICEF has been unhappy with the chump change collected by Canadian kids during Halloween – last Oct. 31, an estimated two million Canadian kids with their little orange boxes hauled in only $3-million by pounding the pavement.
Worse, these kids and their enablers – the 7,000 schools across Canada that organize UNICEF’s Halloween campaigns – foisted costs on UNICEF by refusing to count the change: Only 10 of the schools did UNICEF’s bidding.
To get more cash out of Canadian kids, UNICEF has replaced the one-night Halloween collection with a new month-long fundraising program. Each kid in Canada is now expected to raise $20 by hook or by crook – kids could organize fundraising events, for example, or simply pester their parents for the money. Kids who raise their $20 quota get to proudly place a paper brick with their name on it on a class UNICEF poster of a one-room schoolhouse, to symbolize their contribution to a Malawi school’s construction. Kids who don’t raise $20 get shamed.
Through peer pressure, UNICEF hopes to double its take from Canada (in the United States, the traditional “trick or treat” Halloween collection carries on as usual). To give itself an extra edge, UNICEF encourages parents to top up their kids’ $20 with an extra $5, by offering charitable tax receipts for donations of $25 or more. The extra $5 produces a tax credit of up to $8, courtesy of the taxpayer. Under the previous orange box system, taxpayers funded none of the kids’ collections.
The fundraising promises to do the trick – more money than ever should roll in, especially since UNICEF is steering away from controversy by promising to use half of the kid-raised money to send Malawi children to school. It doesn’t tell us how much of the other half is destined for Jihadi instruction.
Anyone who wants to help little kids this year, whether to get schooled in Malawi or to die for Allah, should send their tax-creditable donations to UNICEF-Canada, 2200 Yonge St. Suite 1100, Toronto, ON M4S 2C6. Charitable registration number 122 680 572 RR0001.