I Believe in Zero: Learning from the World’s Children

Caryl M. Stern. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-02624-8
A frequent media commentator whose annual salary has been a focus of controversy, Stern (Hate Hurts) describes what she does as president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in this forthright account of her first years on the job. With no previous on-the-ground experience in international aid, at age 50 Stern began directing the organization’s funding efforts, traveling to developing nations where children suffer the worst effects of poverty, natural disasters, and civil war. From the discomforts of travel in the undeveloped world and her worries about neglecting her family to witnessing the death, disease, and grueling child exploitation she set out to combat, Stern paints a vivid portrait of her difficult job and transition. She tempers these frustrations with gratitude for corporate partners, celebrities, and donors; reflections on the resiliency, dignity, and faith of those in camps, slums, and rudimentary medical facilities; and the success of UNICEF’s I Believe in Zero campaign to eliminate preventable child deaths. Stern’s ability to bridge diverse cultures, language barriers, and economic circumstances through simple commonalities—she relates to women in Africa as a mother and gains insight into the experience of displaced persons from her Jewish heritage—is the greatest of many lessons she offers to those wanting to help children in crisis. Agent: Lorin Rees, Rees Literary Agency (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-250-02625-5
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-250-06028-0
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