|The China Blue Sky Children performing ‘Hello New York’ at UNICEF headquarters.|
By Jane O’Brien
NEW YORK, USA, 27 February 2007 – Resplendent in red and bursting with energy, 21 Chinese children took to the stage at UNICEF headquarters today to celebrate more than half a century of partnership for children.
The China Blue Sky Children performed a variety of Chinese folk songs and English nursery rhymes as part of a tour of the United States to promote next year’s Beijing Olympics – and they said visiting UNICEF was one of the highlights of their trip.
“UNICEF is every child’s home,” said group leader Li Yihong. “Since the 1940s UNICEF has worked very closely in China, and this is a great opportunity for the children to see what the organization does and to say thank you.”
Added the Minister-Counsellor at the UN Chinese Mission, Yao Wenlong: “UNICEF is the most important organization in the hearts and minds of the people of China. The children all know what UNICEF is and what it is trying to do for the world. Coming here makes them feel part of that world.”
|The children’s group from China is in the US to promote the 2008 Beijing Olympics.|
Ambassadors for Beijing Olympics
The children, mostly girls, range from five to eight years of age and attend Beijing’s prestigious Blue Sky Kindergarten. As ambassadors for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, they will travel to Los Angeles to take part in the city’s fifth annual Chinese New Year parade.
“But I like New York very much!” said Fang Yuke, 8. “And I really enjoyed singing our song, ‘Hello New York!’ Everyone is so warm, and it’s just like being at home.”
The children also met UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman and presented her with gifts from their school and mascots of the Beijing Olympics.
The 2008 games are likely to focus even more global attention on China, which has experienced rapid growth in recent years. UNICEF’s continuing work there addresses the needs of children and women left vulnerable by social and economic disparities that have also grown. Priorities include HIV/AIDS education and prevention; protecting street children and those from ethnic minority and migrant groups; and reducing infant and maternal mortality in remote rural areas.
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