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National Children’s Day: 3 children receive 'Young Leaders Award 2009'

JAKARTA, 23 July 2009 - The UN agency for children and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment today honored teenagers Andi Fardian from West Nusa Tenggara Barat, I Gede Wahyu Adi Raditya from Bali and Aan Fajar Lestari from Yogyakarta with the prestigious 2009 Young Leaders Award.

 “The government acknowledges that children are able and must participate in matters that affect their lives. Their opinions, hopes and achievements must be recognized.” The Minister of Women’s Empowerment, Prof. Dr. Meutia Hatta Swasono said. “This award is the government’s recognition of the children’s achievements not just as students in schools but as active citizens.”

At the National Children Day celebration in Taman Impian Jaya Ancol on 23 July morning, the three winners received trophies from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

 “This award is an acknowledgement of the children’s achievements. One of finalists rightly said: children’s rights should not just be pretty words on posters but they should be the focus of deep reflection and a strong motivation for us to do something to ensure that children survive and thrive and are protected,” Niloufar Pourzand said on behalf of UNICEF Indonesia Country Representative, Angela Kearney.

The winners also received certificates from UNICEF and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment as organizers and prizes worth Rp 5 million from Bank Niaga at a separate afternoon ceremony at Hotel Borobodur.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Ferry Salim, who was also present at the afternoon ceremony said: ”I hope that these winners will continue to voice their opinions clearly and become leaders in the future. But most importantly, they will inspire their friends and the adults around them; at home, at school and within their community.”

This award have been given annually since 2004 to children who have been recognized as consistent, innovative and highly influential in promoting child rights in their regions and at national and international levels. A total of 170 children _ the largest number of participants since the inception of the awards_ were nominated by civil society groups from 16 provinces. The judges were selected from non-governmental organizations concerned with child rights, government bodies, the media, child jury and UNICEF.

The winners are:

Andi Fardian, a 16-year-old senior high school student, has been actively promoting child rights in West Nusa Tenggara since 2007. He focuses on campaigns to stop trafficking against children and the prevention of HIV and Aids. He has been part of high level meetings with the district heads and local parliamentarians in his bid to get them children and children issues involved in planning and budget meetings.

I Gede Wahyu Adi Raditya, a 17-year-old-student from Bali, has been involved in the promotion of child rights since 2004 with a particular emphasis on participation. A keen observer of Indonesia’s progress on Millennium Development Goals, he says that lowering child mortality and improving maternal health in all regions of Indonesia is one of Indonesia’s biggest challenges. He is about to start his studies in the faculty of medicine in Udayana University, Bali this year.

Aan Fajar Lestari, a 16-year-old student and radio reporter from Yogyakarta, has been actively promoting child rights since she was in junior high school. She founded Canau Lestari for arts and recreational activities after the devastating Yogyakarta earthquake. Canau Lestari has helped provide a sense of normalcy for children who take part in this community-based psychosocial activity for children.

The minister also awarded 49 mayors and district heads for issuing a local decree on free birth registration and 10 awards for cities and districts which have initiated child-friendly policies. This is part of the central government efforts to encourage local government to include child protection issues, including free birth registration, as part of their development plans.

For more information:
Lely Djuhari, UNICEF Communication Specialist, HP 62 811 802 338, or Pardina Pudiastuti, Assistant Deputy for Child Participation and Civil Rights, Ministry of Women's Empowerment, 62 852 1427 6385




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