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At a glance: Uruguay

UNICEF Representative to travel on horseback ‘1,000 km for Uruguay’s Children’

© UNICEF Uruguay/2007
UNICEF Representative in Uruguay Tom Bergmann-Harris plans a series of visits to education facilities throughout the country, travelling entirely on horseback.

MONTEVIDEO, 30 October 2007 – A group led by UNICEF Representative Tom Bergmann-Harris will soon embark on an extensive programme of visits entirely on horseback – a trip he calls ‘1,000 km for Uruguay’s Children’ – to gain firsthand knowledge of the education situation for children living in the interior of the country.

“I decided that this year I would visit schools, especially rural schools,” he told UNICEF Radio.

On his four-week journey, Mr. Bergmann-Harris said, he will cross the country from north to south, visiting schools and institutions along the way. “And because of the reality that many children still go to school on horseback in the interior, I decided to visit the schools and children on horseback,” he added.

‘Unfiltered information’

In the course of the school visits, Mr. Bergmann-Harris and other participants in the ‘1,000 km’ project will speak with children, teachers and parents about the dreams and aspirations of young students – as well as the problems they face and possible solutions to be found.

“The goal of the trip is to gain direct unfiltered information about the reality of children,” says Bergmann-Harris. He’s interested in “how children see themselves in their environment and how they see their future.”

© UNICEF Uruguay/2007
‘1,000 km for Uruguay’s Children’ trip itinerary.

The project also aims to bring to light the progress that has been made – and issues that still must be addressed – with regard to ensuring the rights of Uruguay’s children under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Pledge on education and child rights

The trip will begin in the northern village of Bella Union on 11 November and head south. It will culminate on 9 December, when the participants are scheduled to arrive in the capital, Montevideo. There, representatives of a wide range of social sectors will sign a pledge stating concrete goals to be achieved in education and child rights in the years to come.

Mr. Bergmann-Harris and the rest of the participants hope to check in regularly with UNICEF Radio from the road, giving updates on the progress of their trip and the experiences of children they encounter.

Upon the travelling group’s arrival in Montevideo, government officials, civil society and private sector representatives, and ambassadors and UN officials from around the world will be in attendance to witness the signing of the pledge.




25 October 2007: UNICEF Radio correspondent Blue Chevigny presents correspondent David Warner’s interview with UNICEF Representative Tom Bergmann-Harris about visiting rural schools throughout Uruguay.
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