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Nickelodeon and UNICEF launch a new initiative aimed at motivating children in Latin America

“VERDITO” Nick’s new character, will help children relate to their environment, and motivate them to make positive changes in their daily lives in order to build a better world

MIAMI / FLORIDA, 25 January 2008 – UNICEF and Nickelodeon Latin America announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at bringing about positive changes in the daily lives of children throughout Latin America.

Nickelodeon and UNICEF’s global initiative strives to educate children about their rights, options, and  provide them an opportunity to share their opinions as well as take action on issues, such as climate change, caring for the environment, water conservation and recycling.

“Children are a fundamental part of building a better future, and providing them with the tools to become more aware of their environment is one of our goals. It is important to reach children in a fun and creative way that they can identify with. We at UNICEF are happy to be part of this initiative with Nick, and to have Verdito as a character we can count on to motivate children to contribute to and be a part of a better planet,” said Nils Kastberg, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Verdito is a green square-shaped animated character. Being green means being aware of your surroundings; especially caring for the world around you in order to become a better and more compassionate adult. Verdito, who symbolizes that common sense that is innate in every child, always expresses his opinions in a way children find fun and exciting. He is the voice of reason, and his unwavering and powerful smile illustrate his commitment to living a happy life.

“Today more than ever children express their opinions and concerns and want to contribute their ideas and initiatives,” said Tatiana Rodríguez, VP of Programming for Nickelodeon Latin America.  “Nick is a network recognized for listening to its audience. Acknowledging our audience’s concern for the environment, the idea was born to partner with UNICEF for a green campaign that goes beyond the television screen.”
Among the concepts presented by Verdito are:

  • Being kind to others
  • Respecting differences in others
  • Caring for nature and the environment to address climate change
  • Eating well and staying active
  • Finding and pursuing things that bring you joy
  • Having the freedom to be yourself
  • Helping others
  • Planting a tree

Starting Monday, 28 January, Nick’s new character, Verdito will make daily on-screen appearances encouraging change with brief, direct and age-appropriate messages that appeal to the Nick audience. Verdito will offer suggestions, challenges and ideas to motivate children to do their part to make the world a better place.

As a side note, Verdito is the cousin of none other than Cubito, the orange square-shaped animated character that provides on-air programming information on Nick.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 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:
Marimar Rivé / marimar.rive@mtvstaff.com
Wivina Belmonte, Regional Chief of Communications, Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office; Tel +  (507) 301-7484; Email wbelmonte@unicef.org
Patricia Cervantes, Communications Officer, Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office,  Tel +  (507) 3017480; E-mail pcervantes@unicef.org




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