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6 Amazing Ideas That Save The Lives Of Millions Of Children

25 years ago, world leaders came together at the United Nations to declare that children have rights - and the Convention on the Rights of the Child was born. But turning these rights to survive and thrive is no easy task. It requires commitment, resources and great ideas. Here's 6 amazing ideas that have helped save the lives of millions of children over the years which we're proud to support.

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1. School-in-a-Box

Books, pens, rulers, paint and brushes, chalk: these sound like the normal things you'd find inside a classroom.

And they are also some of the things you'll find inside our School-in-a-Box - a part of our standard response in emergencies. With this one box even a teacher whose classroom has been destroyed, can go back to teaching, and children can go back to learning, with enough supplies and materials for a teacher and up to 40 students.

2. Mosquito Nets

Annoyed by that mosquito flying around at night preventing you from falling asleep?

In many parts of the world, a mosquito's bite can be deadly.

But mosquito nets are a super simple, cost-effective way of protecting people from mosquitoes that spread malaria and other diseases.

In 2012, there were 207 million cases of malaria worldwide. UNICEF is one of the largest buyers of mosquito nets in the world - in 2013 we delivered 29 million nets to 38 countries.

3. Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food

We all love peanut butter, but did you know it's been used to save the lives of children all around the world?

Peanuts are a crucial ingredient in something called Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) paste. It's a mixture of peanuts, sugar, oil, milk powder and micronutrients, and it delivers much-needed energy to malnourished children.

It also doesn't expire for two years, and requires no water, no preparation, and no refrigeration - making it perfect for use during emergencies. In 2013, UNICEF bought enough RUTF paste for 2.6 million children.

4. Salt Iodization

Can you believe simply adding iodine to the salt that we sprinkle on our food has helped prevent intellectual and developmental disabilities in millions of people around the globe?

Iodine is very important for our health - but we don't get enough of it from the food we eat. So adding it to something we all eat - like salt - is a simple way of making sure millions of people get the right amount they need to stay healthy.

At UNICEF, we've been talking about the importance of salt iodization for a long time - and working in different countries to make it happen. Today, around 70% of the world has access to iodized salt. We're so glad to see the impact that this simple idea has made - and we're still working to reach the 30% who don't have access.

5. Oral Rehydration Therapy

Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) are not your ordinary table salt. They are special salts, which mixed with clean water can help a person who is dangerously dehydrated.

Before the introduction of oral rehydration therapy, death from diarrhoea - caused by diseases like cholera - was the leading cause of death for infants in developing nations.

Between 1980 and 2006, each year around 2 million infant deaths from diarrhoea have been prevented. In 2013, UNICEF procured 34.3 million ORS sachets.

6. Vaccine Brokering

We've told you before why vaccines are so important, but we'll say it again.

And because they prevent the deaths of millions of children each year, we spend millions on them. Specifically, about $800 million a year - making us the world's largest buyer of vaccines.

In 2011 we decided to tell the world how much we pay for vaccinations. Doing this has helped to drive down prices - helping save more lives.

Let's Reimagine The Future For Children

Turning these amazing ideas into reality wasn't done by just one person.

From our first Goodwill Ambassador Danny Kaye (that's him in the gif!) to each and everyone of you, we need a lot of help to make the world better for all children.

Will it be your amazing idea that we feature here in a few years?

Get more inspiration from State of the World's Children 2015 - our crowdsourced digital report featuring innovations like solar powered hearing aids and floating schools helping us reach #EVERYchild.

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