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In Algeria, UNICEF Ambassador and football star Madjid Bougherra inspires young people

© UNICEF Algeria/2011
During his trip to Oran, Madjid Bougherra said he had been inspired by the commitment and and potential shown by Algeria's young people.

By Fayçal Oulmi

ALGIERS, Algeria, 7 June 2011 – UNICEF Algeria Ambassador Madjid Bougherra recently visited the country’s second largest city, Oran, where he met with adolescents, youths and representatives of civil society and local authorities.

Inspiring youth involvement

The international footballer, who plays in defence for Glasgow Rangers, visited the headquarters of local non-governmental organization ‘Association Santé Sidi El Houari’, located in Oran’s famous district of Sidi El Houari.

This organization provides a forum for participation, expression and learning for children and adolescents who live neighbouring districts. "I'm surprised and pleased to discover this place and all what is done with and for young people" said Mr. Bougherra, who was accompanied on the trip by UNICEF Representative in Algeria Manuel Fontaine.

Mr. Bougherra and Mr. Fontaine also held a meeting with young people, where they discussed the problems and aspirations of adolescents and children, particularly concerning their participation in family and society.

© UNICEF Algeria/2011
Madjid Bougherra and UNICEF Representative in Algeria Manuel Fontaine (right) discuss the issues and aspirations of young people at a forum in the city of Oran.

“In general, adults often say that young people have nothing to say, but here we can express ourselves and participate in improving our environment," said Hichem, 15, an active member of the association, during the meeting.

Realizing their potential

Mr. Bougherra's visit was also an opportunity for him to increase his awareness of the situation of adolescents and youth in the city of Oran.

"This first mission as UNICEF ambassador in Algeria is very important for me, it allows me to face the realities that affect children and young Algerians," said Mr Bougherra, who stressed that he was impressed by young people's commitment and potential.

During the trip, UNICEF and Mr. Bougherra called upon civil society in Algeria to play its role in helping safeguard the rights of the country’s most vulnerable children and youth.



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