UNICEF Mongolia Celebrates 75th Anniversary with TED Online Event
UNICEF Mongolia organized the online TED event Future Through the Eyes of Children co-hosted by TEDxUlaanbaatar to celebrate UNICEF 75th anniversary.
Given the pandemic situation, the event was successfully broadcasted online through TEDxUlaanbaatar social media channels reaching over 46 000 live viewers.
The speakers were children aged 15 to 18 years who talked about their own experiences in relation to water hygiene and sanitation, ethnic minorities, mental health, climate change, cyberbullying, and child protection. Throughout their stories, UNICEF gave voice to children and youth, highlighting some of the challenges they face and proposing solutions to develop a brighter future for Mongolian children.
Dariga (17), a student from the western Bayan-Ulgii province, shared unique customs and traditions of her ethnicity and religion, providing excellent insights into daily life of ethnic minorities in Mongolia. “We can’t choose where to be born, which parents to be born to, or whether we’re in a rich or poor family” she argued, while emphasizing how lucky she felt to be born in a Kazakh family in Mongolia. The girl furthermore explained that since very young, she learned the importance of preserving her native language and traditions to pass them down to the next generations.
Tergel (16), a high school student in Ulaanbaatar, shared his experience after volunteering for a 10-day mental health campaign. His engaging speech focused on the importance of mental health for children and adults explaining how the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on most people’s mental well-being. As a teenager, Tergel deals with his insecurities daily, but he recently discovered that whereas things influenced by external factors are hard to change, he can focus on how he reacts to external events and “steer his own wheel”.
Anu-Ujin (16), a student from Gobi-Altai province, invited everyone to reflect on how we could all contribute in creating a better world by embracing simple eco-friendly habits everyday. “Our wrong actions are causing damage to ourselves” she explained, emphasizing the importance of “educating young children on air pollution and teaching them effective preventive measures that we should all put into act”.
Sanchirdamba (18), a student from Orkhon province, shed light on a threat that affects children worldwide: cyber-bullying. His speech was a call to action for all those parents, brothers, sisters, and friends unaware of the terrible risks their children are exposed to on social media. As a cyber-bullying survivor himself, Sanchir gave voice to all those “children with invisible wounds” because “deep inside, they’re in desperate need of help”.
Ariunbeleg (17), student from Ulaanbaatar city, shared her story explaining the several challenges that a child with disability faces when it comes to access to education. Due to lack of wheelchair ramps, her mother used to carry her through the stairs of her school; her words “I am afraid to grow up”, touched many hearts. Nonetheless, growing up, Ariunbeleg realized that her dream was no longer to receive from others, but to help others, because life as a giver is a life worth living.
Mandukhai (15), another student from the capital city, discussed the importance of access to clean water and improved sanitation facilities for children in school. She urged children and adults to consider the importance of having access to WASH facilities explaining how “a small change can impact your family, friends, school and even your community”.
The six young speakers who participated and shared their stories received a Letter of Appreciation from UNICEF Mongolia in recognition of their contribution to the Future through the Eyes of Children event. “I hope that today’s speakers have set an example for young people and I hope that our stories will help children learn something new” said Sanchirdamba (18), after receiving his Letter of Appreciation.
The recording of the Future through the Eyes of Children event organized by UNICEF Mongolia and TEDxUlaanbaatar is available here.