UNICEF supported and participated in the 2009 Kid’s Festival
Thousands of children and youngsters from the whole Bosnia and Herzegovina have been traditionally reserving the beginning of June to visit the Olympic Centre Zetra in Sarajevo. The reason? The Kid’s Festival, the largest event for children and youth in South East Europe, with an estimated number of 40,000 participants.
For the fifth year in a row, UNICEF BiH supported the event.
"We are all extremely pleased to participate in the Kid’s Festival. We strongly support the theme of the Festival: “All different, all equal”. This year is particularly special as we are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which also promotes the right of children to expression and non-discrimination. It is very important to listen to children and talk about issues that matter to them. Let’s all remember that Human Rights begin with Child Rights. Children are all different and all equal" said Anne Claire Dufay, UNICEF a.i. Representative.
UNICEF BiH worked with the organizers and volunteers to organize workshops on child-friendly schools and other activities for children aged 7 to 14. At the beginning of the workshop, participants had the opportunity to see short movies, produced by children from BiH, under the “Child Friendly Schools and Communities” Project. They had a chance to share their ideas by writing or drawing what “child friendly schools” means for them.
Eleven year old Alen from Vitez drew a school and wrote nine wishes, including new school blackboards, bigger classroom, and more trees in the school yard.
A UNICEF volunteer Thorsten Peters told us that all the children´s texts and drawings will be collected at the end of the Festival. The best ones will be rewarded and used in UNICEF publications.
UNICEF also set up another corner with a Wall of children wishes. This is where all children can write their wishes, visions and requests for the future. Children approached the wall with curiosity and, after only a couple of minutes, the wall was filled with hundreds of messages. The wishes from the wall will be subsequently sent to the BiH Parliament, and exposed in the main hall, during the Celebration of the CRC 20th Anniversary.
Apart from some typical children wishes (like “school with no math”), others were inspiring. “We want all children to have the same rights. We want high schools and universities to be free of charge, so that everyone can afford them. We want excellent students to get free textbooks” wrote Emin and Eman, eight grade students from Sarajevo.
“Children ask questions and show a lot of interest in the activities. They are the future of this country and we adults need to make sure their rights are protected, said Susanne Prahl, Director of the Kids Festival.