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Burkina Faso

At a children’s festival in Burkina Faso, a ‘heartfelt cry’ to fight AIDS

UNICEF Image: UNICEF image
© UNICEF Burkina Faso/2006/Tarpilga
Children performing a play at the Deni Show, an annual cultural festival celebrating children’s rights in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso, 28 April 2006 – The First Lady of Burkina Faso, Chantal Compaoré, joined over 130 boys and girls here for the ‘Deni Show’, a yearly cultural festival celebrating children’s rights.

Youths from Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso took part in the show, which allows children to advocate for their own rights through performances of folk songs, plays and dances. The show’s theme this year was ‘Unite for children against AIDS’, and throughout the festival children pleaded for much stronger support toward HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment.

“I strongly encourage children to keep on caring about various ways of fighting AIDS,” said UNICEF Representative in Burkina Faso Joan French. “This shows that they are concerned not only about their future, but also that of the world they live in. UNICEF will continue to support editions of the Deni Show.”

At the end of the show, prizes were awarded for the best performances, making it the most popular event of the five-day festival.

UNICEF Image: UNICEF image
© UNICEF Burkina Faso/2006/Tarpilga
First Lady Chantal Compaoré of Burkina Faso delivering a speech at the closing ceremony of ‘Deni Show’ in the capital, Ouagadougou.
AIDS takes a heavy toll

In her closing remarks, Ms. Compaoré, who also chairs Synergie Africa – an association of African First Ladies who are actively involved in AIDS prevention – spoke directly to the children.
“Your heartfelt cry in the face of disasters caused by AIDS touched me deeply,” she said. “Today, I commit to echoing it to right persons at the international level.”

HIV/AIDS continues to take a heavy toll in Burkina Faso, where half of those newly infected are young people and more than 260,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS.

In addition to sponsoring efforts like the Deni Show, UNICEF has been supporting the African Network of Young people against AIDS, a leading force in fighting the disease in Burkina Faso.



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