Meet Moira Dawa, Communication Specialist at UNICEF India as we mark World Children’s Day

For Business Upturn Inspirational Women Series, We spoke with Moira Dawa about her activism, career and defending children’s rights.

Hi Moira Dawa, thank you for being with the Business Upturn team today. We are going to start by asking you the most cliché question. Tell us about yourself?

Thank you for having me. I am a communications professional with over 12 years of experience in the field of strategic communications, media, policy advocacy and youth engagement. I currently lead the Communication, Advocacy & Partnerships (CAP) as well as the YuWaah portfolio for the UNICEF Gujarat Office.


When did you decide that you wanted to work UNICEF ?

Growing up I was always passionate about the rights of children and wanted to make a difference in their lives, however small. And I couldn’t have asked for a better platform or organisation than UNICEF which is the world’s leading child rights organisation. Our goal is to enable every child born in India to have the best start in life, to thrive and to develop to her or his full potential.

How is your day–to–day work at UNICEF ? What initiatives you’re working on?

I lead communications and advocacy specially on innovations as a key driver for children’s and women’s rights; children and young people participation and engagement; management and execution of campaigns; building partnerships with media, private sector and influencers to leverage social, business, and political actions for children.

Today was a big day for us, we mark World Children’s Day which is when the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed. It is a day of action for children and by children when we advocate for a child-centred recovery from the global pandemic.

Working with UNICEF has been extremely rewarding. This year we have launched a number of initiatives with partners such as the Thinker Tinker programme, Children Innovation Festival, the Gujarat Vaccine Yarta, the Young Digital Volunteers Programme, and the Young Leaders Lab to name a few.

How do you see that this is going to impact children of the world and the people in general?

India has the world’s largest youth population with 356 million aged between 10-24 years, i.e. 28% of total population. As per Census 2011, nearly 30% of Gujarat’s population of 60 million aged 10-24 years i.e. 17.8 million. Investing in children & young people to achieve a more equitable, just and sustainable world for all is at the heart of UNICEF’s mandate.

What are the most challenging and most satisfying parts of your work? What motivates you?

Working for and with children and young people is very rewarding especially when you can see the impact of your work in raising awareness about critical issues. Being able to a providing opportunities for children to speak out and help amplify their voices is extremely satisfying.

How will COVID-19 be impacting sustainable development goals? Moving forward what should be our priority?

COVID has shown how inequalities effect the rights of children everywhere. We have seen how children and young people are raising their voice on issues that matter to their generation and calling on adults to create a better future.

This year as we mark World Children’s Day and also commemorate UNICEF’s 75th anniversary we are rededicating ourselves to working with a range of stakeholders to devise partnerships so that children and young people can take action together.

Investing in children young people and unleashing their power & potential may not just advance India’s growth and development story but it carries an enormous potential to transform the global development indicators, including for social, economic and political development. The success of India’s young people largely translates into success for the world.

What would be your priority areas moving forward to build societies and to ensure that proper economic resources reach all?

On World Children’s Day today, We are advocating for a child-centred recovery from the global pandemic. It must be a collective priority to ensure that the learning gaps are bridged and no child is left behind.

What is your advice to children and young people this World Children’s Day?

There are 253 million adolescents in India which is one fourth of India’s population and 21% of the world’s population.

World Children’s Day Celebration at Gujarat Science City

On World Children’s Day today, I would urge all children and young people to know their rights, speak up on matters that concern their lives and to hold adults & duty bearers accountable. If you follow your passion and are driven you can make the change you want to see.