To commemorate the 71st anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, the Chapter hosted a UN Day Celebration Banquet. The dinner offered the opportunity to learn more about the Adopt-A-Future campaign, a UNHCR sponsored initiative to support the education of children living in refugee camps, welcome refugee families here at home, and build awareness and advocacy. We welcomed several special guests including Marco Antonio Fraire- Deputy Head Consul of the Mexican Consulate Orange County, Stephanie Hu- District Representative of US Representative Ed Royce (CA-39) and members from the Orange County Refugee Forum. We were privileged to have speakers Andi Gitow-Deputy Director of United Nations Information Center (UNIC) and Justin Wolff- Chief Giving Officer of Yoobi, describe both the local and global initiatives being taken for the education of refugee children. This successful event was a great kickoff to the Adopt-A-Future program we will be supporting these next two years. Thank you all for your generous donations as we strive to reach our goal of $30,000 for this important campaign.
For those who were not able to attend UNA-OCC's UN Day Celebration Dinner, featured above is a video of our keynote speaker, Andi Gitow, Dep. Director of United Nations Information Center (UNIC). Ms. Gitow shared with the audience her personal insights on the ongoing refugee crisis based on years of experience with the UN and in journalism. Her speech also highlighted the UN and UNA's initiatives in addressing this very important issue.
In our efforts to support refugees living in Orange County, the UNA-OCC and Young Professionals Group partnered with the Tiyya Foundation in organizing a "Back to School" community outreach event. Our Chapter distributed UNA sponsored backpacks stuffed with school supplies to local refugee children participating in the Tiyya youth soccer program. Besides cheering for the kids during their soccer games and serving pizza to the teams, we also had the opportunity to teach the children about the UN's Sustainable Development Goals through games and crafts.
The Chapter hosted its first annual Summer Social gathering, with an open invitation to members of the UNA-OC, Young Professionals, Committee Chairs, and their guests. The conversations were lively, entertaining, and thought provoking as the event brought together a unique blend of people, careers, backgrounds, and worldviews. Many stories were shared and new connections made amongst those in attendance! The Social also served as the perfect occasion to introduce upcoming projects and events of the OC Chapter. One of these important initiatives is the Adopt-A-Future Campaign-- an opportunity to “adopt” an overseas refugee serving school in order to support the education and empowerment of refugee children. Attendees had the chance to experience, through virtual-reality headsets, a day in the life of a young Syrian girl living at a refugee camp. The virtual tour of the refugee site was a powerful resource that visually revealed the necessity of the UNA’s Adopt-A-Future Campaign. Special thanks to Joy Adams, Council of Organizations Coordinator, for hosting this successful event!
Board members tabling at La Paz Intermediate School International Fair, and Pacific Symphony in the Cities, both events this summer in Mission Viejo
Young Professionals Lisa Nguyen, Julia Smith, and Isabel Treidl among other SoCal UNA members Visiting Congressman Ted Lieu’s office at UNA Day on the Hill
The UNA-USA Annual Meeting has a new name -- the Leadership Summit -- to better represent the meaning and purpose of the event: UNA-USA members coming together to improve chapter sustainability and advocate on issues that support the UN. The 2016 Leadership Summit was from June 12-14 in Washington, D.C. The theme was A Time for Humanitarian Action.
An appreciative crowd gathered for the Orange County chapter’s annual champagne brunch on January 31. Held as always at the beautiful Hacienda Restaurant in Santa Ana, the event kicked off another year of local support for the work of the United Nations, including education and advocacy initiatives.
The speaker, Sheikh Yassir Fazaga, of the Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Viejo, was originally from Eritrea and a refugee himself. Sheikh Fazaga continues to work with recent refugees in his role as Director of the Mental Health Department at Access California Social Services Agency in Anaheim. His talk, “The plight of refugees in a changing world,” laid out in a compelling and heartbreaking way the reasons that people decide to flee from their homes and seek a safer life elsewhere, and what they have to endure to arrive at a safe haven. He also suggested some ways in which each of us can help.
Although there was no silent auction at the brunch this year, chapter president Carl Mariz asked members to donate what they can to help the chapter do its work this year. As of this writing, donations are still coming in—and are welcome any time.
Our chapter's participation in the Great American Write-in Mar 12, 2016
Our chapter's annual membership brunch was held on Sunday, January 31, 2016. The plight of refugees in a changing world Guest speaker: Sheikh Yassir Fazaga
Backpack Giveaway to Refugee Children- Oct. 1, 2016
Annual Summer Social - July 17, 2016
UNA-OC is planning an extraordinary evening UN Day Celebration: One Humanity, Shared Responsibility October 24, 2016, 5:30-8:30 p.m. a three course dinner event with keynote address to launch the Adopt-A-Future initiative, a campaign in partnership with USA for UNHCR Help us build a classroom for refugee camp children
Will the 21st-century issue be disease not starvation? Disease emergence, for example Lyme disease, Zika, Ebola, MERS, and others, is a result of population pressure on the environment. In the twenty-first century, as a result of population pressure, we can expect as many or more disease emergence events as we have seen in recent years. This talk will address a number of the issues involved, including population growth and population movement.
Saturday, June 25, 2016 10:00 am – 12:00 Noon
As co-founders of OCCA, we supported this program:
The Annual Brunch for Members and Friends and brief annual meeting to confirm 2016 officers
Sunday, January 31, 2016 At the beautiful Hacienda Restaurant, 1725 College Ave, Santa Ana 92706
The plight of refugees in a changing world
Sheikh Yassir Fazaga Orange County Islamic Foundation International speaker, teacher, and religious leader
Our speaker is sought-after from USA through Canada to the Middle and Far East. Born in Eritrea in NE Africa, at age 15 he moved to the United States. He earned a B.A. in Islamic Studies from the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in Virginia, and a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from CSULB. He serves as the Religious Leader of the Orange County Islamic Foundation (OCIF) in Mission Viejo, and as the Director of the Mental Health Department at Access California Social Services Agency in Anaheim.
$45 members $55 non-member supporters $30 students, UNA-OC Young Professionals, & members on limited income
Brunch buffet 11:00 am Program begins at 11:30 am Event ends 1:30 pm