Primary school pupils from the network of Soul Buddyz Clubs partnered with older art students from the German school in Johannesburg. They painted their wishes on panels representing the hopes and dreams of South African children.
The South African element of the “1000 Wishes for the Children of the World” is the international launch of the initiative. It is also a contribution to South Africa’s celebrations of the 10 years of democracy, as well as the national Youth Day and the UN Day of the African Child, observed globally on 16 June.
The “1000 Wishes” work of art then travelled to New York and Brazil, where the children of these countries added their own wishes to the piece, which has now grown to become an incredible 600 square meters in size.
Misrak Elias, UNICEF Country Representative in South Africa explains: “We appreciate all our partners, including the assistance provided by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and art students from the German School in Johannesburg, who are mentoring the younger children painting the wishes of South African children on 10 panels that will be added to the original painting and displayed on the Hill for all to see.”
“Remarkably, the paintings have shown that the wishes of German, American, Brazilian and South African children are very much the same – improved housing and recreation facilities, access to education, water, food and good health." said Elias.
After South Africa, “1000 Wishes” will proceed through Japan and then onwards to Athens for the start of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. UNICEF is delighted to have the President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Mr. Tsunekazu Takeda, symbolically escort the “1000 Wishes” from Tokyo to this year’s Games.
During the Games’ finale in Athens, “1000 Wishes” will be spotlighted to raise awareness of the voice and contributions of the children of the world. In cooperation with ATHOC (Athens 2004 Olympic Organizing Committee) and the Greek National Committee for UNICEF, “1000 Wishes” will then launch a painting day for the children of Greece, where their wishes will be added.
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