UNICEF GOODWILL AMBASSADOR MAESTRO VENGEROV ANNOUNCES START OF THE “EVERY CHILD NEEDS A FAMILY CAMPAIGN” IN ARMENIA
Young artists of the UNICEF Children’s Chamber Orchestra attend Maestro’s master class
YEREVAN, 21 February 2011 – World’s renowned violinist and conductor, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Maxim Vengerov announced today the start of the campaign “Every Child Needs a Family” during a master class that maestro gave for young artists of the UNICEF Children’s Chamber Orchestra, while on tour in Armenia.
“I was born to a family of musicians. During my childhood I was surrounded by care and love of my parents and grandparents. Nothing and no one can substitute a family – the best place for a child to be and to develop,“ Maxim Vengerov said, addressing media, students and management of the Yerevan State Conservatory.
The campaign seeks to gain public support for return of around 4,000 children who are currently in special boarding schools and orphanages to their biological families, and where it is not possible, their placement with foster families.
Supported by UNICEF and the Government of Norway and implemented by the Armenian Public Relations Association (APRA) the campaign “Every Child Needs a Family” is also geared to help the Government of Armenia in implementation of child protection reforms and, particularly, its de-institutionalization strategy.
“Apart from the importance of ensuring child’s best interests, getting a child back to family or keeping a child in foster care is less expensive than keeping a child in a residential care institution. Therefore, it is much more cost-effective to reallocate funds provided to maintain institutions and orphanages and invest them in family support schemes, expansion of foster care and introduction of other services to support vulnerable families,“ Laylee Moshiri, UNICEF Representative in Armenia said, adding that “Maxim’s voice in support of the right of each child to grow in a family appeals to the hearts of the Armenian people and is sure to help UNICEF mobilize a lot of public support for the campaign we have just started.”
The campaign envisages a series of events and activities that will run throughout the year and will involve policy-makers, opinion leaders, media, families and children.
During the campaign, the UNICEF Children’s Chamber Orchestra created in 2009 by UNICEF and Spivakov Foundation in Armenia and sponsored by Beeline, one of Armenia’s leading mobile operators and Internet providers, will perform a series of concerts in Armenian provinces and advocate for the right of a child to grow in a family.
About UNICEF Children’s Chamber Orchestra: The UNICEF Children’s Chamber Orchestra was established by UNICEF and Spivakov Foundation in 2009 within the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Orchestra made up of 23 children aged 10-16 had its debut performance on 20 November 2009. In 2010 the Ministry of Culture sponsored the participation of the UNICEF Children’s Chamber Orchestra in the “Autumn Fairytale” international festival of classic music in Prague where they won the Grand Prix. The Orchestra is sponsored by ArmenTel (Beeline), one of Armenia’s leading mobile operators and Internet providers.