UN plants Trees of Peace
OSH, Kyrgyzstan, 16 March 2012 - To celebrate the 20th anniversary of United Nations in the Kyrgyz Republic, Trees of Peace were planted in Alymbekov and Tolstoy schools, Osh province.
On behalf of the United Nations in the Kyrgyz Republic, UNICEF Representative Mr. Jonathan Veitch and Deputy Head of the Regional Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bishkek Ms. Fiona Frazer accompanied by the local administrations’ representatives planted the trees of peace in Alymbekov and Tolstoy schools, Osh province.
“This year marks not only the 20th anniversary of the UN presence in Kyrgyz Republic, but also the 20 years of Kyrgyzstan’s independence, as well as the country entering the United Nations. Hence it is a remarkable cornerstone in both the history of UN and Kyrgyzstan” said Mr. Veitch.
The schools were chosen for good reason and are symbolic of the hope for peace in the region. Both schools are located in the same district and have been rebuilt from scratch after the dreadful ethnic violence that erupted in June 2010 in Osh and Jalal-Abad. The Tolstoy school with the Uzbek language of instruction was burned down in the clashes and the old Alymbekov’s school building was obsolete and hazardous for children.
Through its ‘Welcome to School Campaign’, UNICEF helped the education authorities to return children to schools in the South in September 2010. Special assistance was given to children from Tolstoy schools who continued education in the tented school and in winter were provided with free transportation to the neighbouring school in Osh. In September 2011, UNICEF together with the authorities reopened Alymbekov and Tolstoy schools and supported them by supplying school furniture, books and learning materials.
The Trees of Peace in both schools are symbolic representing growth, development, sustainability and continued effort of the United Nations to build peace, stability and ethnic accord in the South and the country. “These maple saplings, like young children, need good care in order to grow deep roots and as well as a healthy foliage to provide shelter” said Jonathan Veitch when planting the trees with children.
Similar tree planting events take place in the different regions of Kyrgyzstan in the following weeks.
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