International UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore calls for space for youth programmes in media
Almaty, November 20, 2010 – At the closing stages of his trip to Kazakhstan UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore visited the Youth Friendly Services (YFS) Centre at Almaty Student Hospital and attended a fundraising event for UNICEF’s work on behalf of children with disability.
Prior to YFS, Sir Roger, his wife Lady Krisitina and UNICEF Representative Hanaa Singer joined children in an earthquake and fire emergency preparedness drill in a school which falls under the EU-UNICEF disaster risk reduction programme in Almaty Region. Impressed by the level of the schoolchildren’s preparedness, Sir Roger expressed the hope that the children would never have to use their skills on disaster risk reduction in their real life. In Almaty city, Sir Roger visited a baby home, where he called for more adoption of children who suffer from various diseases. Also, Sir Roger, joined by his Kazakh colleague UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Batyrkhan Shukenov, met children and athletes of Special Olympics Kazakhstan. Sir Roger voiced the hope Kazakhstan would lead on social reform likewise it is leading in political and economic reforms.
At the YFS centre, Sir Roger and his wife Lady Kristina spoke with a group of young people who shared some of their personal stories about the problems that young people face, including a lack of youth participation in decision making and not enough information about issues that impact their lives, including HIV/AIDS. Unemployment is also an issue for young people who both finish school and graduate from the university.
Youth friendly services operate in many parts of the world. Such a service was also initiated in Kazakhstan by UNICEF five years ago. Youth can obtain some medical-psychological, social and legal support at YFS. Over the last few years, YFS have been accumulating some substantial experience of working with adolescents and youth. For the time being, YFS at Almaty Student Hospital is providing adolescents and youth with a full package of services with due account for their age. Presently, such centres operate in seven cities of Kazakhstan – Astana, Almaty, Semey, Taldykorgan, Taraz, Ust-Kamenogorsk and Shymkent.
Sir Roger urged the young people to keep speaking out to help make positive changes in the lives of children and youth and promote tolerance. “You have to talk long enough and loud enough and eventually you will be heard,” said Sir Roger Moore.
The famous British actor noted that there is also a role for local media and television to play in raising awareness of everyday issues that youth face. “They must make space for programming for youth and the problems of youth so it gets spoken about,” said the International UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Later in the day Sir Roger Moore attended the Charity Ball organized by Eventica Group in support of UNICEF’s programme on children disability. Sir Roger Moore reminded the audience of the importance of upholding the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the right to education, health and a protective environment for all children. The event coincided with the 21st anniversary of the adoption of the convention and the nomination if the first Kazakhs Good will ambassador.
This was the first ever Ball to support programmes for children with disability. The Ball convened representatives of the corporate sector, Government officials, public figures and all those who are not indifferent to the cause of children.
“The promotion of awareness starts close to home and those small places, that you will not be able to find the on the global map. These are the places where every man, every woman and every child seek equal justice, equal opportunity and equal dignity without discrimination,” UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan Hanaa Singer told the Ball.
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Sir Roger Moore champions rights of Kazakhstan's children
UN Radio's Gerry Adams asked him what stood out for him most during his visit - Read more and/or listen to the interview