The UN family - through its funds, programmes and specialized agencies - carries out activities to improve the lives of people around the world. Here are a few examples:


A boy poses with his drawing


Children's Artwork on World Heritage Sites

The artwork displayed comes in response to a global call for the Little Artists Exhibition inviting children around the world to draw a UNESCO World Heritage site that matters to them. This could be a site in their community, a memory from a family vacation, or a place they saw in a book, movie, or TV show.

A man leads a group dancing


Dancing, a liberating force in refugee camps

“Dancing is a form of healing; the idea is for traumatized people to look after their bodies, to encourage them to dance, be in rhythm, become physically tired in order to promote sleep, listen to the drum and regain their culture”. In Africa, choreographers have set up workshops to help refugees regain hope and dignity through physical expression.

A woman reclines on a sofa and reads from a book.

UN COVID-19 Response/UNICS

Stories over the phone connect visually impaired during quarantine

The lockdown is a particularly challenging time for people with disabilities. Among the many initiatives emerging, Belgian association Ligue Braille is helping blind and partially sighted people cope with isolation by reading them stories over the phone and sending audio books in the post.

Artists live-stream their music from their homes during a virtual global jazz concert on International Jazz Day. Photo: UNESCO

UN COVID-19 Response

UN harnesses the power of culture to inspire hope and solidarity

There can be no future without culture… it is through culture that we will forge our collective resilience and it is culture that will bring us closer together.” – UNESCO Assistant Director-General. When this year’s live jazz concert to celebrate International Jazz Day was cancelled due to COVID-19, musicians planning to perform at the 30 April event in Cape Town, South Africa, decided to live-stream their music from their homes.


When Hip-hop Saves Lives

As over 15,000 coronavirus cases were reported in West and Central Africa, a song was composed to express the spirit of #DontGoViral in an online campaign launched by UNESCO and i4Policy. The campaign crowdsources creative content and addresses the urgent need for culturally relevant openly licensed information in African languages to inform communities, in their own languages, about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and combat the “infodemic” spreading disinformation and misinformation about the virus.

A woman delivers a box with a blue ribbon to another woman who is wearing a veil.


Giving Togetherness

The restrictions that came with the Corona crisis demanded great sacrifices from all people. At the same time, they showed us clearly that we are all affected in the same way, regardless of our origin, religion, or skin color. The feasts that people celebrate every year are no longer the same: Easter and Pesach in 2020 were not the family feasts they usually are, just as Ramadan is not the same this year. Here is what one group did to help bring holiday cheer.

Photo of racks of freshly baked bread.


Online Bread-making for Solidarity

Now more than ever, we need something to connect and unite us, to help us feel the support of others and overcome loneliness. Around fifteen people took part in an online bread-making, and the group was very diverse – from volunteers to teachers, to families and foreigners. Through a creative method "Theater of Crumbs", people turned their feelings and wishes for a supportive and healthy community into flour drawings and bread sculptures, as they discussed how they could support the people in need on the streets.

Portrait of a masked figure.


Experiences from Sri Lanka

An example of the use of Living Heritage to cope with the current situation of COVID-19 includes one practitioner of traditional string puppet drama who has produced four short video clips to educate the public on responsible behavior to prevent the spread of the virus. He uses the traditional puppet drama characters and characters from contemporary life to convey the message. Although string puppet dramas are traditionally performed inside darkened spaces using purpose-built stages, these episodes take place outdoors in daylight, creating a sense of realism that makes it easy to convey the message across to the viewer.

Lady Gaga in Pink


WHO and Global Citizen announce: 'One World: Together at home' Global Special

The World Health Organization (WHO) teamed up with international advocacy organization Global Citizen to launch "One World: Together At Home" - a global television and streaming special, curated in collaboration with superstar singer-songwriter Lady Gaga. Celebrating frontline health care workers around the globe in their unrelenting battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is aiming to raise funds for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to buy personal protective equipment and other supplies for countries that need them most. Superstar Lady Gaga, promised and delivered a “love letter to the world” featuring an extraordinary multi-generational line up of performers.