Unfairy Tales Series Calls Awareness to Syrian Child Refugees

Unfairy Tales pic
Unfairy Tales
Image: unicefusa.org

Houston, Texas resident Carmen María Montiel possesses over three decades of experience in journalism and television broadcasting. A winner of the 1984 Miss Venezuela Pageant, Carmen María Montiel is also an active participant in community initiatives and a supporter of the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). In March 2016, UNICEF launched a series of animated films entitled Unfairy Tales.

Unfairy Tales recounts the true stories of Syrian refugee and migrant children and consists of three animated shorts revealing the horrors that caused the children’s need to flee their home countries. Intended to call attention to the child victims of the Syrian refugee crisis, Unfairy Tales chronicles the children’s experiences with the purpose of creating a more positive perception of child refugees in Syria and worldwide. Furthermore, it serves as part of UNICEF’s Act of Humanity initiative that supports the human rights of children regardless of ethnicity or country of origin.

The series combines stunning animations with chilling narration to tell the children’s stories. Prior to the March launch, UNICEF premiered the series’ first tale at the Supporting Syria and The Region Donor Conference in London on February 4, 2016. The animation premiered features seven-year-old Malak and details her journey across the Mediterranean in search of refuge from the conflict. Visual design company House of Colors supplied the animation and used a custom animation algorithm to give the ocean’s waves a semblance of sentience.

To learn more about the Unfairy Tales series and the children involved, visit unicef.org/media/media_90760.html.


UNICEF and EU Provide Safer Learning Opportunities for Syrian Children

Syrian Children pic
Syrian Children
Image: http://www.unicef.org

Deeply involved in philanthropic work around Houston, Carmen Maria Montiel is especially active in fund-raising endeavors for the Latino Learning Center. Carmen Maria Montiel also supports philanthropy on an international level by serving on the Board of Directors of UNICEF.

In a press release, UNICEF recently announced that it has finalized an agreement with the European Union (EU) to provide greater access to education to more than 2 million children impacted by the conflict in Syria. UNICEF explains that conflict has caused an education crisis in Syria and the surrounding nations, with 25 percent of Syrian schools rendered unusable, an estimated $700 million in lost school infrastructure, and more than 50,000 teachers no longer teaching.

To help the 2.7 million children who are academically displaced, UNICEF and the EU are committing $69 million in grants to expand safe education opportunities in Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon. UNICEF asserts that education initiatives, such as No Lost Generation, are crucial to children’s individual well-being and the future of the region.

Programs at the Latino Learning Center of Houston

Carmen Maria Montiel is an award-winning television journalist and the winner of the 1984 Miss Venezuela Pageant. A resident of Houston, Carmen Maria Montiel spends her free time working with local nonprofits, such as the Latino Learning Center. Several programs hosted by the Latino Learning Center are designed to benefit communities in Houston that are disadvantaged.

Senior housing: The Latino Learning Center sponsors two apartment buildings that are available as housing for Houstonites who are elderly or disabled. Despite the rising prices the East End, where the apartments are located, these units are priced for individuals with low incomes.

Adult daycare: The adult daycare program provides a way for older members of the Houston community to socialize in an environment supervised by registered health professionals. Attendees of the adult daycare program are able to participate in planned activities, receive breakfast and lunch, and receive transportation to and from the program.

Technical skills: To foster success in Houston’s communities, the Latino Learning Center offers bilingual, entry-level training in home air-conditioning and refrigeration and in residential electricity. Each course runs 12 weeks, and each student receives a certificate after completing either of the programs.