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New child-friendly MDGs launch and youth writer competition

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 22 October 2004 – As part of the UN week celebration, UNICEF Representative, Bjorn Ljungqvist, today launched UNICEF’s child-friendly version of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a young artist/writer competition promoting how Ethiopian youth can achieve the MDGs.

“If we are to meet the Millennium Development Goals here in Ethiopia, we must enlist the support and energy of this country’s greatest resource – its youth,” said Ljungqvist at a press conference Friday to mark the launch. “The young people of this country are an inspiration. We must harness their energy and vitality and actively support their efforts so that we can meet the goals by 2015.”

Each of the eight MDG goals in the booklet is translated into four local languages: Amharic, Orimifa, Tigrinya and Somali. Colourful illustrations by local artist Dereje Demissie capture the essence of each, giving it a truly Ethiopian flavour. UNICEF plans to distribute the booklets nationally through schools, Anti-AIDS clubs and other youth networks.

In addition, UNICEF is launching an artist/writer competition asking young people 30 and under to submit their work depicting how the youth of Ethiopia can achieve the MDGs. Artists and writers are free to express themselves however they feel appropriate. However, all participants must submit an application to UNICEF in writing, in either English or Amharic, on how their artworks relate to the MDGs and youth. Applications are available through the UNICEF Communication Section.

A first prize of 3,000 birr, a second prize of 2,000 birr and a third prize of 1,000 birr will be awarded to the artist that most effectively communicates their MDG messages through their paintings, sculptures or artwork. A similar award will be given to the best writer for their poetry, essay, short story or other written work.  

“Using youthful artists and writers is a simple and effective means of engaging young people,” said Ljungqvist. “Youth don’t want to be told about the MDGs. They want to discover them and own them. These creative works will speak to them more effectively than any pamphlet or brochure. We hope these powerful and hopeful images will generate discussion and awareness among youth and inspire them to get involved in making the goals a reality here in Ethiopia.” 

UNICEF will accept submissions through 1 January 2005. All interested artists must fill-out an application form and submit their artworks by appointment only.

For more information, please contact:

Angela Walker, UNICEF Ethiopia, awalker@unicef.org




Related links

Child friendly Millennium Development Goals [PDF]

At a glance: Ethiopia

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