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Drawing competition to highlight the rights and needs of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS

UNICEF Representative and PHI F BiH director with the most successful participants in the competition

The most successful works in the competition of drawings and photos on HIV/AIDS have been awarded with symbolic prizes during appropriate ceremonies in two entity Public Health Institutes, in Sarajevo and Banjaluka. The most successful participants by the jury's grades received rewards - cellular phones and photo cameras.

One of the winning drawings has a slogan “Fight AIDS, not people with AIDS”

“The results of this drawing competition highlight and celebrate the rich creative talent in the children of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Most importantly, it also had a very important social purpose.  Through this successful collaboration we gained insight into the perceptions, attitudes, and levels of understanding of students on HIV/AIDS and their effects on young people and society.“ – said Ms June Kunugi, UNICEF Representative on this occasion.

UNICEF’s intention by initiating this competition was to break the silence and stigma around the issue, and to highlight the rights and needs of children and families affected by this disease. 
“Although many children used negative, scary images such as monsters and drug syringes to show the dangers of the disease and its spread, what was very moving was to see images where children, through their own initiative and artistic expression, demonstrated compassion for people affected by HIV/AIDS, and showed the need to protect women and babies in particular.  One of the winning drawings had a very nice slogan: “Fight AIDS, not people with AIDS”.  – added Ms Kunugi
The initiative of this project has involved over 80 primary and secondary schools in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and all primary and secondary schools in the Republika Srpska. The participants had the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and to express their attitude on the HIV/AIDS issues as well as on lives of people living with HIV and on the existing dogma and discrimination that are linked to AIDS in our society.

“We were happy to see an active participation of children in preparing the works for this competition. Apart from creation of works, it involved discussions and gathering information about the topic through info materials. That way young people have increased their knowledge, life skills and are more aware about the protection of HIV.” – commented Dr. Alma Skopo, the co-ordinator for this competition in the PHI in one of the BiH entities

Organizers of this action were entity Institutes of the Public Health with the support of the relevant Ministries of Education. UNICEF has provided financial support with the funds of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

“This kind of action should become traditional in the forthcoming years, and we hope to assure its sustainability with an active involvement of relevant ministries and government institutions, such as Public Health Institutes and Pedagogical Offices. Although HIV prevalence is still low in Bosnia and Herzegovina, recently conducted Bio-Behavioural Study showed that in this country high-risk behaviours exist, including the early use of drugs and unprotected sex among young people.“ – said dr Ranko Petrovic, HIV/AIDS Specialist in UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Central and Eastern European region and the Commonwealth of Independent States have the highest rate of increase in HIV infection in the world—prevalence rates increased 150% over the past 6 years, and had in fact increased twenty-fold in less than a decade. 

Mirza Islamovic VI e Prva OS Srebrenik
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Sinanovic Aldina V b Prva OS Srebrenik
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Katarina Pejic 7 c (14 god) OS Stjepana Radica Ostra Luka-Bok ORASJE
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Speech by June Kunugi, UNICEF Representative in BiH

Remarks by June Kunugi, UNICEF Representative,
at the FBiH Awards Ceremony for the
“Unite for Children Unite Against AIDS” Drawing Competition
Sarajevo, 10 July 2008

(PDF documents require Acrobat Reader to view.)

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