European Union holds camps for children under the slogan: “You have to be respected. Whoever you are”
Kyiv, 19 November 2010 - In the framework of the Anniversary of the United Convention of the rights of the Child under the slogan “You have to be respected. Whoever you are”, representatives of the Ministry for Family, Youth and Sports, EU Delegation in Ukraine and UN Children Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine held a series of camps for children in Kyiv, Khmelnitsky, Lviv, Vinnitsya and Zhytomyr from 19th to 21st November 2010.
The camps gather teenagers from 14 to 16 coming from different groups (disabled children, refugees, orphans, members of the Parliament of children, children coming from foster families as well as traditional families) via games and creative workshops to learn about the rights of the child, how to respect one other, and how to behave with tolerance. Over the course of the weekend, the children will create communication tools such as video clips and theatre performances to take back to their schools and family. As “peer educators” they will be able to share their experience at school and at home and encourage their classmates to continue these efforts.
During the opening of the camp in Kyiv, Ms Tolsthoukhova, Deputy Minister for Family, Youth and Sports, also highlighted the family policy of the new Government, “The policy of the new Government aims at encouraging the family unit as the place to bring up children and also to welcome those children who do not have a family. There are, indeed, different ways to create a family: through biological children, by adopting, by becoming a foster family or through a combination of different ways”.
Ms Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine added: “These camps for teenagers are very complementary with UNICEF actions dedicated to children. They are the future of Ukraine. We have to protect children and their rights. Every child has the same right. We also have to help them to become responsible adults”.
Ms. Tetiana Shulha, EU Delegation Sector Manager Regional Development and Culture stated:”I strongly believe that change on domestic violence, gender equality and child protection will be sustainable if we concretely involve children, men and women in our activities as drivers for change, Through these camps, teenagers will learn about the rights of the child, respect and tolerance. By sharing this knowledge with classmates, friends and even relatives, they will also become peer educators”.
One of the participants, Olga 15, an orphan, living in Vinnitsya: “I was worried before coming to the camp. But it was fantastic to make new friends, to discuss and to learn so much about my rights, tolerance, respect and also to have fun! We made different activities: trainings, lectures, debates and creative activities. I am happy and proud!”
The camps are organised by the “Women and Children’s Rights in Ukraine programme -Communication component” with the close cooperation of the regional administrations of Kyiv, Khmelnitsky, Lviv, Vinnitsa and Zhytomyr and the NGO “School for Equal Opportunities.
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About UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 190 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF opened its office in Kyiv in 1997.
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