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First UNICEF awards for youth leadership announced

BALI, 6 May 2003 - UNICEF today announced the winners of the inaugural UNICEF Award for Youth Leadership in East Asia and the Pacific.

The Award was presented to three youths from Indonesia, the host country of the conference. They have contributed to promoting or advancing child rights in their country. Sixteen children were nominated by NGO's and Government agencies.

The Award is an important acknowledgement of efforts that many children make every day for their country and their fellow children.

The winners were named at the Sixth Asia and Pacific Ministerial Consultation on Children being held in Bali.

They are:

  • Desi Gloria Arwam (DESY), a 14 year old junior high school student from Papua, is active in her community raising awareness of child rights. She lives in a village near Jayapura where her father is a teacher. She was a child ambassador at the "World Vision Anniversary" in Jakarta in 2000. In 2001, she was moderator for the "Forum of the Papuan Children". In 2002, Desy was resource person for Children's Week and a participant in the "Children Study Tour" to celebrate National Children's Day.
  • Rosadi Mulya (ROS) from Bandung in West Java is a 14 year old child labor activitist. Ros used to work fulltime in a shoe factory with his father for 10,000 rupiah. a week ($1.15US). He became involved with the ILO's International Project for the Elimination of Child Labor in 2001. From a poor family, Ros still needs to work occasionally in the factory to help support his family. Ros is involved in an outreach organization, Sanggar Kreativitas Anak Sidikara (Sidikara Children's Creative Workshop) where he played a lead role last year in a movie project on child labor funded by Microsoft Indonesia. Ros has participated in Information & Technology training. He came third in a National Prayer's Call competition for 4th grade school children.
  • Yunaidy Soventy Tuka (VENTY) from East Nusa Tenggara is a 15 year old junior high school student who was inspired by child rights' literature she found at her school. Today she is actively involved in the children's group which publishes a children's magazine promoting child rights. Since 2001, she has also been the chairperson of two children's groups coordinating Child Rights advocacy in Oesao village. Venty was a participant in the Third Indonesian National Children's Congress.

In presenting the Awards, the Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy said they are a reminder of what can be achieved if children are enlisted to help UNICEF and the Governments of the Region.

"While we can look at the big picture, it is young people like Venty, Ros and Desy who can make it happen in their communities."

She said: "I hope the Awards will grow in stature in the region and that governments will recognize that children can and should participate in decisions which affect their lives."

The Ministerial Consultation, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, drew together nearly 250 participants from 25 countries. Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri officially opened it Monday.


Note to Editors:

Media opportunities during the meeting include a pledge signing ceremony where delegates will sign a statement drawn up by the child delegates to the meeting, the Youth Leadership Awards, and a closing day press conference featuring the UNICEF Executive Director, the Indonesian Minister of Health, and the UNICEF Regional Director.

On May 6, UNICEF will release two publications. “Towards a Region Fit for Children” and “A Future for all our Children” look at the challenges facing children in the region, with the latest facts and figures. A press release will be issued.

On May 7, delegates will adopt the “Bali Consensus”, which contains the development agenda for the region’s children in the coming years. The official adoption of the Bali Consensus will be announced at a press conference on the 7th. . A press release will be issued.

A Video News Release (VNR) containing highlights of the meeting will be downloadable from the APTN video news wire. Feed times are: 17:15 – 17:30 GMT Wednesday 7 May and 03:45 - 04:00 GMT Thursday 8 May. The VNR will include a variety of pictures from the 3-day meeting, with key soundbites from those attending and UNICEF pictures which illustrate the topics under discussion.

* * *

For more information, please contact:

John Budd, UNICEF Media, Tel: (0811) 936 437
Patrick McCormick, UNICEF Media, Tel: (661) 906-0813
Kendartanti Subroto, UNICEF Media, Tel: (0815) 883 0800




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