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A FOND FAREWELL: Working with the World Childhood Foundation

Wayne Holton

Citrin Cooperman News
June 14, 2018
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A FOND FAREWELL: Working with the World Childhood Foundation


The recent marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle brought the royal family to our [virtual] doorstep, and the sweeping media coverage made us feel like we were front row at the royal wedding. In reality it is highly unlikely for most of us to have a meaningful acquaintance with a royal, much less an actual queen.  Citrin Cooperman Partner, Wayne Holton, however, is not most of us. Wayne has spent the better part of 20 years working with the World Childhood Foundation, (WCF) as a founding director and as the treasurer, and until very recently, served on the Board of Childhood USA. 

Wayne has been active with the WCF from its first Board meeting in 1999, when he was asked by his client, Antonia Axson Johnson, one of the founding partners, to manage the foundations money.  Wayne has been the foundation’s treasurer ever since, and has been a trusted financial advisor for Antonia Axson Johnson, owner of Axel Johnson Group, for the past 52 years.

“The opportunity to be a part of the World Childhood Foundation has made all the difference in my life and my work,” said Holton.  “Having a daughter and five granddaughters, has made this an extremely personal undertaking, but it has always been about the children.”

The WCF was founded by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, in 1999, together with 14 family foundations, private individuals, and companies that all shared her vision. Queen Silvia of Sweden was patron of the First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, when a girl stood up and shared her personal experience of sexual abuse.

The mission of WCF and Childhood USA is to defend the rights of children and to promote better living conditions for vulnerable and exploited children at risk all over the world. By investing in children at an early stage, they prevent marginalization, abuse, and neglect, giving children the opportunity to develop into strong, secure, and responsible human beings

The organization has grown to support children who are victims of abuse and sexual exploitation, street children, children in alternative care, and families at risk, in more than 100 programs annually in 17 countries. More than 1000 projects have received nearly $80 million from childhood's offices in Sweden, Brazil, Germany, and the USA.

"My concern for children who are abused, who are suffering and in difficulty was deepened when, in connection with that Congress, I realized the magnitude of the problems involved. I then decided to become personally involved." -- Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden

For Wayne, being a part of this mission has been a labor of love and of commitment, which was recognized by Her Majesty Queen Silvia, at a special luncheon in his honor on Thursday, May 31, 2018.  For his role, Wayne was presented with a Tiffany & Co. silver goblet from Queen Silvia, with her royal crest on the lid and a hand-written thank you note for all of his help with the foundation. 

Wayne has traveled throughout the United States and to countries like Russia and Brazil, on behalf of the foundation and has always provided his services pro bono. For him, just being able to serve in this capacity has been its own reward.


About World Childhood Foundation (WCF): WCF envisions a world where all children are free from violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation. Founded in 1999 by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, WCF supports the development of solutions to prevent and address violence, defend children's rights, and promote better living conditions for children. As a United Nations accredited NGO, WCF raises awareness about child sexual abuse through programmatic support, global advocacy initiative #EyesWideOpen (co-founded by H.R.H. Princess Madeleine) and high-level meetings with government, academic, civil society, and private sector leaders.  In 2015, Childhood USA's application to the United Nations Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations of the Department of Public Information (UN NGO DPI) was accepted, allowing Childhood to more easily work with the UN to drive change for children on an international scale. In 2016 and 2017, the World Childhood Foundation served over 73,000 clients - both directly and indirectly - in the United States alone and launched the Stewards of Children Prevention Toolkit mobile app (www.socapp.org) in partnership with Darkness2Light and Ericsson. Childhood USA is a board member of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and on the executive committee of the UN WTO Network on Child Protection in Tourism.