FESPACO 2009 : At Burkina Faso’s largest panafrican film festival, UNICEF gives United Nations award to child rights promotion film
Ouagadougou, 21 March- At an award ceremony held early this month in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, during FESPACO, Africa’s largest film festival, the UN honoured « l’As du lycée» ( High school marvel) with a UNICEF-sponsored prize for the promotion of child rights. The award was given to Burkinabé film director, who received the UN trophy and 2 million CFA
The award was announced by Miss Nignan Nadia, Vice President of children’s parliament and Chair person of the panel, who presented it to the winner together with UNICEF Representative in Burkina Faso, Mr Hervé Périès. She said that the film impressed the panel by the relevance of the thematic it addresses in connection with children’s rights, especially some of the burking issues affecting children’s welfare such as schooling, citizenship, female genital mutilation/cutting, equity between children, health… Besides, it strongly advocates in favour of child survival and development, UNICEF’s flagship thematic in sub-Saharan Africa, the region furthest behind on almost all of health-related MDGs.
The film features mainly children, among which Ismaël, whose father is a house keeper. Ismael happens to be part of a school made up with children from rich families, arrogant and malicious. Poor and needy, Ismael would only rely on his intelligence to move forward.
FESPACO constitutes an appropriate framework of advocacy on children-related issues. The participation of UNICEF in FESPACO editions aims at encouraging film producers and directors to play their role of stakeholders in promoting behavioural change in favour of the development.
UNICEF helps to promote the rights of the children, so as to meet their basic needs and provide them more opportunities of blossoming fully. For this purpose, UNICEF leans on the provisions and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to draw special attention to the situation of vulnerability of the children. It should be noted that in this 21st edition of FESPACO, a priority was granted to the child survival development that covers the following areas: health-nutrition, HIV - AIDS, adequate food, access to drinking water and sanitation, basic education, protection against all forms of violence, child abuse and exploitation, leisure and relaxation, children’s participation in the promotion of their own rights.