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Kazakhstan festival celebrates children's creativity

© UNICEF Kazakhstan 2005

Astana, Kazahstan, 11 November 2005. Today sees Kazahstan's first ever Festival of Children's Creativity. Taking place at the Kazakh National Academy of Music in the capital, Astana, the Festival has been organised by the National Ombudsman’s Office, with support from UNICEF and from NGOs working with and for children with disabilities.

This is the first event in Kazakhstan under the umbrella of the “Leave No Child Out” campaign -- a region-wide effort to tackle child exclusion. The Festival aims to set the stage for dialogue on the whole issue of child disability, by involving children with disabilities in the creative process. Children with talents in art, music and dance, including children with disabilities, are taking part in the Astana Festival.

An exhibition of children's drawings and hand-made toys is at the heart of the Festival, together with a concert by the winners of nationwide competitions for children with disabilities and pupils of the Kazakh National Academy of Music. At the end of the event, a jury will select winners in three categories: fine arts, applied art and artistic creativity (songs, dances).

© UNICEF Kazakhstan 2005
Alexandre Zouev, UNICEF Representative, opens the event

Beyond the Festival

A mobile exhibition of the works featured at the Festival will tour Astana schools for the rest of the academic year, demonstrating the skills, creativity and talents of children with disabilities.

The Festival aims to reveal the talents of children with disabiliites, support  their creativity; and to involve leading artists and musicians in their rehabilitation through cultural activities. The broader aim is to advocate for the integration of children with disabilities into society, to focus attention on the obstacles that they face, and to inform society about the social responsibility of parents, teachers, authorities, the private sector and NGOs to future generations.

Alexandre Zouev, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan, comments:

"We are working to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including equal access to health, education and recreational services, by children with disabilities and children with special needs. We  recognise their dignity, promote their self-reliance and facilitate their active participation in their communities. It is vital that national goals for children include targets to reduce disparities, particularly those resulting from discrimination based on disability, race, gender or poverty.”

"This Festival is a positive move, helping children with disabilities to declare themselves as citizens of their country. And through their creatitiy, they can tell adults about their attitude to the world, and share their dreams for the future."

For more information:

Torgyn Mukaeva, Communication Assistant, UNICEF Kazakhstan, Tel (cell): (+7 3339) 213 06 55,



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