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Hundreds of children attend educational workshops and plays at UNICEF-supported Kid's Festival

© UNICEF BiH / Almir Panjeta / 2011
Children's drawings and messages

SARAJEVO, BiH, 15 June 2011 - During four days of this year's Kid's Festival, held in Sarajevo between 10 and 14 June, hundreds of children attended educational plays and workshops at the UNICEF/EU Corner. Through interactive activities and games at the workshops, children learned about important topics in a child-friendly manner.

Children from all over BiH also had a chance to write on the Wall of Wishes “The kids are great! They come from different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and no matter where they come from, their response to the idea of the Wall of Children’s Wishes is excellent and they are glad to participate and write down their wishes. Often you find there some wishes that in reality it’s difficult to fulfill, but there are also those that can be fulfilled. Sometimes we see the wishes that clearly indicate some of the children live in rather difficult conditions. For example, we were all shaken when we saw that one boy wrote he wished he had a whole egg for breakfast every morning”, said Thorsten Peters, Coordinator of the UNICEF/EU Corner.

Before they arrived to the Wall of Children’s Wishes, in the other part of the UNICEF/EU corner, children had a chance to draw on the topic Europe for Every Child, and write about their associations for the meaning of “European Union”. “Children participate in the workshop gladly, respond to the topic willingly and give us truly wonderful drawings on these topics.

© UNICEF BiH / Almir Panjeta / 2011
Children writing and drawing their associations with the EU

We arrived to the other side of the hall just before the beginning of the play I Am the Most Important One performed by the actors from the NGO Genesis Project. That is the fourth play performed at the Kid's Festival and it talks about embracing differences. During these four days, the plays were performed twice a day and were seen by about 500 children.

“We can’t point out one, because the children reacted to all plays with smiles and participated in them, and it’s certain they understood and accepted the morale of the plays. We don’t see any significant differences in acceptance of different topics, but it did happen, and it was totally by chance, that the majority of audience of play “Welcome Hygia”, were Roma children and they really liked the topic”, the group of actors told us.

While they were talking to us, children had already gathered waiting patiently for the beginning of the new play in which the numbers and colors explained why each of them was the most important one and that only together they could function and make the world a better place. “This is excellent! Especially because this is the first play our children have ever seen, unless some of the parents have taken their children to Sarajevo or some other big city to see a play. As far as I can see, the play is perfectly adapted to their age and from their reactions, laughter and applauding you can tell it was excellently received”, Sabina Hrvat, a teacher at the Alija Nametak Elementary School from Begov Han, told us.

Children who did not manage to see the live plays could get a CD in the Genesis Project workshop at the UNICEF/EU Corner. According to Azra Talić, the Genesis coordinator, at the workshops dedicated to cooperation, coexistence, Europe, children’s rights and other topics, children had a chance to spend time together, draw and leave messages related to the previously set topics.

Children were told to draw their hand on a large peace of paper and then write a message for their peers or adults on it. “What is important is that children responded to the topic, and over the coming period we will review all messages and then include the best of them in a publication we intend to issue. We are also thinking about organizing an exhibition in order to show as many as possible of these simple but wonderful pieces by children of different ages.

After the workshop, we gave them appropriate brochures where, in addition to the topics I have already mentioned, we also warn them about mine risks, and they also got a CD with our plays which talk about very important issues in a manner appropriate for their age”, Azra told us adding that more than 800 children got the CDs before the closing of the Festival.



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