|© UNICEF Norway/2007/Hanssen|
|Front left to right: UNICEF Norway Goodwill Ambassadors Kjetil André Aamodt, Sissel Kyrkjebø and Ole Gunnar Solskjær. At rear: UNICEF Norway Executive Director Kjersti Fløgstad and Board President Victor Rydgren at the 'TV-Aksjonen'.|
By David Koch
OSLO, Norway, 23 October 2007 – UNICEF Norway was the beneficiary of 'TV-Aksjonen', an annual televised fundraising event and volunteer-driven collection drive in Norway. The 21 October event was dedicated to UNICEF’s work with children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
The gala raised over 220 million kroner (US$40 million), an all-time high for TV-Aksjonen, surpassing last year's record of 206 million kroner.
“This is the most fantastic thing to have happened to UNICEF Norway in our history,” said UNICEF Norway Executive Director Kjersti Fløgstad. “The funds raised are of vital importance to children everywhere and will help raise awareness about UNICEF’s work at home and around the world.”
TV-Aksjonen, a tradition in Norway, has been broadcast by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation since 1974. This year's collected funds will benefit UNICEF Norway in collaboration with Right to Play, the Norwegian Olympic Committee and the Norwegian Confederation of Sports.
Celebrities show their support
The days leading up to TV-Aksjonen are filled with press coverage and televised programming about the chosen organization. Across the country, there are community events and a huge coordination effort, as volunteers will go door-to-door to every Norwegian household to collect funds during the drive.
|© UNICEF Norway/2007/Koch|
|Two community volunteers in Oslo display their 'TV-Aksjonen' collection boxes and maps of the area.|
This year’s gala included an appearance by Her Majesty Queen Sonja as well as many celebrities and UNICEF supporters, such as Goodwill Ambassador Harry Belafonte and UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam Jesper Mørch. Also on hand to talk about their passion for protecting children from the ravages of HIV/AIDS were Right to Play President and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Johan Olav Koss, and UNICEF Norway Ambassadors Sissel Kyrkjebø and Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who took to the streets with a collection box of his own in the capital.
During the programme, celebrated alpine skier Kjetil André Aamodt was appointed as the latest Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Norway.
Funds to benefit HIV/AIDS programmes
AIDS has orphaned more than 15 million children worldwide. Every day, 6,000 children lose a parent, and 1,400 children die from AIDS.
UNICEF Norway will use the funds raised during TV-Aksjonen to support projects in Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ukraine, Jamaica, Kenya and Viet Nam. These projects aim to stop mother-to-child transmission, prevent the spread of HIV and provide medicine and care for orphaned and vulnerable children.
“We cannot thank the people of Norway enough for taking our message to heart,” said UNICEF Norway’s Kjersti Fløgstad. “There is hope for children affected by HIV and AIDS, and urgent action is needed now. This is a tremendous step in helping children realize their right to survive and thrive into adulthood.”