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“As the year renews, so does UNICEF support for Children in Iran”: New Year Message by UNICEF Iran Goodwill Ambassador, Mahtab Keramati

12 March 2012- In the final days of the current year, as most of us review what we have done so far and what we plan to do next year, I would like to review UNICEF actions for children and our future plans.

UNICEF has always emphasized the key role of celebrities and artists in promoting its goals and mission to the benefit of children.  This year UNICEF was lucky to have had the chance to work with a number of celebrities to support children programmes.

On World Breastfeeding week and in cooperation with the Children’s Health Department of the Ministry of Health, I organized an intimate chat with my dear friend and cinema actress, Ms. Leila Hatami who shared with us experiences of breastfeeding her children. This interview was an innovative and different method of awareness- raising on this issue.

On Children’s Day, 8 October, held with the theme of “Positive Parenting and a Safe Community”, a group of celebrities kindly provided us with messages on how they treated their children within the principles of positive parenting which, after approval of the mental health department of the Ministry of Health, were shared and hugely welcomed by audience. Here I would like to thank these friends and their children for this great team work:” Dear Bahareh Rahnama and Paria, Dear Pejman Bazeghi and Nafas, Dear Alireza Khamseh and Golsa, Dear Amir Jafari, Rima Raminfar and Aein, Dear Vishka Assayesh and Geev, Dear Ladan Tabatabee and Soha, thanks for your support. Our team work has been praised by UNICEF Regional Office as a good example of joint cooperation between UNICEF and celebrities.

This year, we also benefited from the generosity of famous film director, Mr. Hassan Fathi who visited UNICEF Iran Office and donated to the children of Somalia the cash prize he had won in Jame-jam film festival to Children; a valuable humanitarian act both materially and spiritually given the situation of children and families in that country.

Apart from the participation of celebrities in children events, there were many more famous people and celebrities who participated either individually or as groups to improve the wellbeing  of children, which is quite worthy of praise.

This year, programme makers from the Islamic Republic of Iran won awards in two major UNICEF media festivals.  An animation on corporal punishment of children by Mr. Aslan Shah-ebrahimi won the UNICEF MENA Regional Media Award, and a radio programme from Radio Salamat, IRIB, produced by Ms. Mitra Ziaee, with facilitation and participation of Children, won the MENA award for International Children’ Day of Broadcasting, which had its last year as a global festival.

And the most recent good news was the revisions the provisions related to children in the Islamic Penal Code which will hopefully lead to more protection for children in contact with the law.

With the start of the New Iranian Year, UNICEF Iran Office will also launch a new country programme of cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran for five years (2012-2016). The New Country Programme will focus on  Early Children Development; Nutrition and Food Security; Child Friendly Schools; Protecting Children in Contact with the Law; Prevention of high-risk behaviour such as drug abuse and HIV among adolescents and youth; and promoting social healthy life-styles.

I wish for lots of happiness for all children in the New Year. I believe each of us, in any capacity, can act as a goodwill ambassador for children and take a step towards fulfilling the capacities and talents of all children of Iran.

Thank you and Happy New Year to all friends and supporters of children.




UNICEF is on the ground in over 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

 For further information, please contact:

Bahareh Yeganehfar, UNICEF Iran Communication Officer +98 21 22594994 ext.113,

For more information about UNICEF and its work in Iran please visit:  or   










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