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Zonta International

Partners to improve the lives of women and children

Zonta International’s partnership with  UNICEF USA began nearly 50 years ago with six mobile medical units in Ghana. It was one of Zonta’s earliest international service projects and the first time Zonta and UNICEF USA came together to help women and children in need.

Recognizing even then the lack of basic facilities in the rural areas of developing countries, Zonta International worked with UNICEF USA to establish six mobile pediatric medical units to serve the health needs of mothers and children in remote areas of Ghana from 1972 to 1974. The units were staffed by physicians, nurses and other paramedic personnel and visited six villages a week, providing pre- and post-natal care, information on nutrition and family planning, and treatment of diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, trachoma and leprosy.

Zonta International’s support for UNICEF USA and its efforts to improve the lives of mothers and children globally has only continued to grow since that first project in Ghana. To date, Zonta International has provided nearly US$13.4 million to UNICEF USA to support projects in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Columbia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.

responding to adolescent girls' health needs in peru

Zonta International began partnering with UNICEF USA for Adolescent Girls’ Health and Protection in Peru project in 2020. Already reaching more than 13,000 adolescents, the program aims to improve the capacity of services to respond to the health needs of adolescents, in particular adolescent girls, in a timely manner and prevent all forms of violence in schools and other services. The project is expected to reach 50,364 adolescents (24,829 girls) in four regions of the country.

Learn more about Adolescent Girls’ Health and Protection in Peru.

Partnering to empower girls in Madagascar

In 2016, Zonta International began supporting UNICEF’s Let Us Learn program in Madagascar, which creates opportunities for vulnerable and excluded girls to realize their rights to an education in a secure and protective environment. Zonta supported the program through 2022, providing thousands of girls with catch-up classes, pedagogical kits and materials, cash transfers, new classrooms and updated latrines.

In 2022, Zonta shifted its partnership with UNICEF USA to focus on climate change in Madagascar, where only 41% of the population has access to basic water services, 17% to basic sanitation services and 23% to basic hygiene services. Just over 80% of schools lack safe water and 31% lack basic latrines. Engaging Girls on Climate Change in Madagascar will help UNICEF enable children, particularly girls, to learn in a safe and inclusive environment and empower them to take actions to change and to build climate-resilient communities.

Learn more about Engaging Girls on Climate Change in Madagascar. 

Ending child marriage

Zonta International expanded its partnership with UNICEF USA in 2018 to support the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage, which brings together governments, civil society, families and young people in a collective effort to prevent girls from marrying too young and to support those already married as girls. Operating in 12 countries, the program is turning commitment into tangible action to make meaningful and lasting changes in girls’ lives. Zonta International, as the first private-sector donor to the Global Programme to End Child Marriage, is helping fund the second phase of the project, which has already reached nearly 8 million adolescent girls.

Learn more about the Global Programme to End Child Marriage.

Stand with women and girls worldwide


Related resources

Recent News

21 MARCH 2023

Zonta-supported project provides health care to more than 20,000 girls in Peru

In 2022, 37,426 adolescents (20,629 girls) received health care in Ucayali and Huancavelica. Read our recent update on Adolescent Girls' Health and Protection in Peru to learn more about the project and its achievements.

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