How to make 40 thousand children happy for a week?
“I’ve made 1,000 friends from all over BIH! Can I come next year again?” asks 7 years old girl, while saying goodbye to a young Kids Festival’s hostess.
The third Kids Festival, the largest youth happening in BIH, took place in Sarajevo in the first week of school vacations at the beginning of June, attracting some 40,000 kids from all parts of the country to Skenderija – well known sports and youth centre, where the Festival traditionally takes place.
Children from more than 30 cities and towns enjoyed a week long event participating in plenty of educational, cultural and funny workshops. When asked, children were saying that it was "the best day of life” for them.
UNICEF in BIH supported the organization of the event by organizing some 35 busses and providing a daily trip to Sarajevo to thousands of children from rural areas of BIH.
“Children had an opportunity to meet new friends from different parts of the country, some of them to visit the capital for the first time and to enjoy the day dedicated to them exclusively. Our goal was to provide fun, but also to give children the opportunity to learn”, stressed Susanna Prahl-Landzo, the Director of the Festival.
Besides organizing the cinema for children, including for those that do not have movie theaters in their communities, The Kid’s Festival team ensured that each day of the Festival is eventful and interesting to the children.
For example, the Police Day brought dozens of policemen in uniforms to discuss with adolescents topics like drug abuse and traffic safety. Visually, the most interesting part was a demonstration of various exercises performed by a special police squad.
Video presentation covered human trafficking through a police promotional spot from the human trafficking awareness campaign.
One of the most popular workshops was the one during which children tested their talents in music.
Ambassadors of 15 countries visited the festival during this fabulous week.
One of hundreds groups that visited the Kids Festival in Sarajevo and certainly will remember it was a group of children with special needs from Pazaric institute in Sarajevo. Children were delighted, playing and having fun with their peers from other areas, with no prejudice or differences.
UNICEF BIH seized a good opportunity of having 40,000 children at one place to distribute leaflets with important information on Avian Flu and it’s prevention, written in child-friendly language and in rhymes.
“As many of those children live in rural areas, every day being in direct contact with poultry and birds, we are aware of how vulnerable they might be. It is essential to inform them on the risks and the prevention of Avian Flu and this is one of our best opportunities to reach them directly”, said Ms. Helena Eversole, Representative of UNICEF in BIH.
For the parents that came to accompany children, UNICEF has distributed a colorful illustrated brochure “MDGs are about children”. The idea was to make them participate as well in a meaningful way in the kids’ party.
The same day the big event was officially closed, the team opened a new planning book – already starting preparations to make even bigger and better Kids Festival next year!