How many people have pledged
Efforts to mobilise the society around the issues behind Say Yes,
promote the campaign and encourage pledges included groundbreaking
Say Yes workshops in February; a wide distribution of pledge forms
during the Tehran Book Fair, 818 May; 6 seminars on the GMC
and Say Yes held between March and June, attended by a cross section
of media, government officials, NGOs young people, families and
academics; an appeal to Mayors asking them to act for children;
a kite competition, and a week-long tree planting exercise to promote
Say Yes. Famous football player Ali Daie was appointed as the GMC
Say Yes was launched in the three governorates of Northern Iraq
on 1 June, to coincide with Childrens Day. The hallmark of
the event was the participation of the highest level of political
leadership, local authorities, NGOs, CSOs, mass media and children
themselves. In Suleimaniyah, Jalal Talabani, head of the ruling
party PUK, inaugurated the campaign by signing the first pledge
and committed himself to efforts to protect the rights of Kurdish
children. In Erbil, the campaign was launched in an open public
square by the Chairman, public organizations of the ruling PDK,
the Governor, cabinet members and the Secretary-General of the Kurdistan
Womens Union. In addition to hundreds of parents, more than
300 children of internally displaced persons attended the launch.
The Governor and senior leadership of the ruling party launched
Say Yes in Dohuk. Pledge forms were distributed and signed at all
three events. An official launch on 20 August marked the beginning
of an intensive door-to-door campaign, coordinated by the Ministry
of Information in collaboration with several partners, which collected
millions of votes in Iraq.
Queen Rania Al-Abdullah invited the nation to begin pledging as
she launched Say Yes from the Jordanian Badia desert on 16 May.
Just 21 days after the launch, Say Yes had gathered 1 million pledges.
Pledges and tremendous support continued to come in from all sectors
of society including the media, top leaders, NGOs and from children
and adults of the country. The Ministry of Education was instrumental
in distributing and collecting pledges. Regular pledging events
to mobilize communities ranging from football matches to
mobile puppet shows and environmental workshops for housewives and
rural farmers were organized around different Say Yes points.
Pledges were collected at annual milestone events, including the
Arab Childrens Congress and the Jerash Festival for Culture
and Arts. Hundreds of student volunteers tallied results at Jordans
University Community Service Office. Among the numerous notables
who endorsed Say Yes were King Abdullah II, Queen Noor, the Senate
and the Prime Minister. With well over 1 million pledges collected,
at least one person in each household in the Kingdoms population
of five million said Yes for children. Read
more... To help in the drive for pledges, Jordanians can also
Say Yes directly on UNICEF Jordan's recently launched website: www.unicef.org/jordan.
Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs was the first to Say Yes for
the region of Middle East and North Africa. Held on 26 April in
Beirut, the launch coincided with a regional symposium on children
that brought together some 130 participants from 16 countries to
examine the situation of children in the region. Ten children called
upon those in positions of responsibility to pledge their support
for the campaign and help to bring Say Yes to life through action
on each point of the pledge.
In launching Say Yes from the Presidential Palace in Beirut on 16
May, before a gathering of 180 people, the First Lady of Lebanon
appealed to all political, social and intellectual leaders to step
forward to help children. Various Ministers from Foreign Affairs
to Youth and Sports all filled out pledge forms and vowed to support
the work on the issues behind the campaign, as did several other
government officials and a large number of attending NGOs. The Minister
of Social Affairs called for Lebanon to boost the protection of
children from all forms of violence and encourage the participation
of children in all issues concerning them and their country. The
pledge form has been made accessible for all Lebanese Internet votes
The Organizing Committee for Say Yes - comprised of focal points
from several Government Ministries and NGOs - and the Community
Support Group Volunteers made significant efforts in the distribution
and collection of pledges. Say Yes was tied in to several events,
including summer camps organized by GOYSCA, the National Organization
for Scouts & Guides and the Omani Womens Association;
role plays done by children during special orientation sessions;
Breast Feeding Week celebrations in all the regions, and Muscat
Municipalitys Public Awareness Programme at prominent commercial
centers. In September, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education
and the Ministry of Health, extensive mobilisation of students covered
80 public and 7 private schools in the Muscat region. Training sessions
for visiting educators were held prior to the initiative, which
collected 45,000 pledges.
Syrian Arab Republic
Following the campaigns launch over 24-29 April, overwhelming
support for children came in from all regions in Syria through Say
Yes. On 24 April, hundreds of children participated in the opening
festival of the Pioneers Annual Festival. On 26 April, children
supervised the pledging as several representatives of UN agencies
were invited to Say Yes. On 28 April, some 300 children, wearing
Say Yes T-shirts, took off for an 8 km marathon for the national
launch of Say Yes. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education started
a pledging campaign right in its building.
Partners contributing to Say Yes included the Ministries of Justice,
Education, Health, Information and Social Affairs, several women
and childrens NGOs, universities, private sector companies
and UN agencies. Round-table discussions on national television
helped to create widespread awareness; campaign promotions included
distribution of Say Yes T-shirts, and pledging stations were set
up in various areas such as schools, health centers, mosques and
All Tunisians were asked to join the campaign at a National Scout
Forum on 26 June. Say Yes organizers, with support from key Ministries,
the Committee for Mediterranean Games and the National Womens
Union, worked to engage various sectors of society to take action
for children, disseminated key messages of Say Yes and encouraged
private sector involvement. The Scout Movement collected thousands
of pledges, while Kodak and the hypermarket Carrefour distributed
thousands of pledge forms within the countrys commercial center.
During the Mediterranean Games held in Tunis in September, 100 volunteers
distributed 20,000 pledges. The Ministry of Youth, Childhood and
Sport led a programme to mobilize educators and youth associations
around Say Yes.
West Bank and Gaza
Say Yes was launched by the Deputy Minister of Planning and International
Cooperation and Chairperson of the Secretariat for the National
Plan of Action for Palestinian Children and the President of the
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, during the national workshop
on Palestinian Children held on 30 May. Over 300 participants were
involved, including top Palestinian Authority officials, ministries,
NGOs, young people and the media. The Secretariat for the National
Plan of Action for Palestinian Children was instrumental in promoting
the campaign as well as in the distribution and collection of pledges
Say Yes was launched on 30 May, at a National Forum for Children
the first of its kind under the auspices of the Yemeni
President, represented by the Prime Minister. The Forum was well
attended by Ministers, Ambassadors and other high-ranking officials,
and hundreds participated in the working sessions, with discussions
that reflected real commitments towards childrens issues.
The Say Yes campaign in Yemen engaged key sectors of society, particularly
children and young people, in discussions and action on the issues
behind the campaign, while encouraging all citizens to pledge. Key
partners in the campaign include several Ministries, the National
Coalition on the Rights of the Child, the National Womens
Union and the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
UNICEF, in collaboration with the Save the Children Alliance and
other partners, set up a Global Movement for Children Working Group
in Afghanistan. The GMC working group prepared, tested and finalised
a GMC consultation kit that was used to get ideas from Afghan children
through various forms. The GMC Working Group added an explanatory
note at the back of the form of the international Say Yes campaign
and translated it in Dari and Pashto. The month of June was used
for the Say Yes campaign, resulting in over 40,000 people pledging
- choosing Educate Every Child as the top priority for Afghan children.
Say Yes in Bangladesh took an encouraging start on 27 April, with
the President, the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition signing
pledge forms signalling a consensus to bring the cause of
children to the very forefront of the national agenda. Leaders from
the public and private sector, professional groups, NGOs, artists,
writers and media representatives were among the large audience
attending the ceremony, which was led and managed by children, over
1,500 of whom came from all over the country to be heard by their
The campaign steadily gained momentum with strong backing from the
Bangladesh government and with the involvement and support of NGOs,
the media, university students and citizens of various ages and
backgrounds in the distribution and collection of pledges via person-to-person
drives, the Internet, mail, and phone lines provided by a corporate
The Global Movement for Children and the Say Yes campaign were launched on May 5th by the Minister of Health and Education, Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup, before high-level government officials, civil society and a host of international community representatives. Bhutan's focus will be on "Wholesome Education". A nationwide competition to elicit children's artistic impressions of matters that affect their lives will culminate in a September exposition. A booklet and video in which children speak out will also be published.
On 26 April, Say Yes was launched in one busy day of simultaneous
activity. At the same time the official launch took place in a local
school, over 1,500 children took the oath to Say Yes by signing
their names on a cloth banner, along with a host of local leaders.
By the end of the evening, high-level government, UN and NGO representatives
had logged 150 pledges.
The Education Ministry and a large youth union teamed up on Say
Yes for Children to distribute promotional material to children
and young people, while the Tara Punjabi channel helped to collect
60,000 pledge forms. All throughout India, people at all levels,
from Chief Ministers to local celebrities, have pledged and supported
the campaign, while collaborative efforts to distribute and collect
pledge forms have been made by NGOs, youth clubs and others.
--- Nagaland ---
In the Indian state of Nagaland, UNICEF India pioneered a fascinating
project to help the country join the international community's efforts
for children. In the first phase of the innovative "Imagine
Nagaland", children and young people came together for "72
hours of positive thinking" on enabling action on the Rallying
Call in Nagaland. The group collected "dream stories"
from thousands of residents, related to five themes: peace, unity
and respect for all, education and employment, equitable development,
ecology and development and strengthening the rule of law.
by the Ministry of Womens Affairs, Say Yes was launched on
26 April by the First Lady, Madame Nasreena Ibrahim, at the Maldives
Center for Social Education. Ministers and their spouses, members
of the National Council on the Rights of Children, Parliament Members,
representatives of UN agencies and other invitees all signed pledges.
Influential individuals in the community launched a media campaign
to appeal for support for the 10 points of the pledge. On 10 May,
the programme to celebrate National Childrens Day included
signing of pledge forms. A local artist wrote and performed a theme
song for the campaign.
A 14 year-old-girl inaugurated Say Yes for Children by making the
first electronic pledge on 25 July at a ceremony in Lalitpur. A
consortium of organizations working with child clubs in Nepal and
key Global Movement for Children founding partners have been the
driving force of the campaign. Street theatre and focus group discussions
are among the ways people were mobilised for the campaign, while
pledges were made on paper forms, on the Internet, on stamped aerogrammes
and on forms published in local newspapers.
Say Yes was launched on 26 April, at the closing ceremony of a five-day
Child Rights Festival held in Lahore, by then President of Pakistan
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar. Organized by a consortium of NGOs, the Festival
gave some 5,000 children, parents and teachers an opportunity to
get involved and learn more about childrens rights - where
an estimated 3,000 children and adults used this chance to Say Yes.
At a rally of the Pakistan Boy Scouts, more than 2,000 scouts and
adults also said Yes.
Considering the low levels of access to the Internet, Say Yes in
Pakistan was marked by innovative approaches to reach marginalized
populations of people. Volunteer teams took pledge forms out to
rural areas, while others led outreach to children in jails, orphan
homes and those engaged in labour. The National Commission for Child
Welfare and Development organized a dialogue on rights awareness
among children from different schools. 20 childrens magazines
published the Say Yes pledge forms. On 10 August, over 5,000 girls
and boys participated in a walk in Karachi to demonstrate support
for the Global Movement for Children and child rights, led by the
wife of the Governor of Sindh province Mrs. Khadija Muhammadmian
Soomro and internationally renowned social worker and artist Jimmy
Engineer. At the end of the walk, thousands of children filled out
Say Yes pledge forms and a collective prayer was held for the better
future of Pakistani children.
From her official residence, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge
officially launched the campaign on 25 June, by making a ceremonious
pledge before a group of children who came from all 9 provinces
of the country and from deprived communities. President Kumaratunge
reiterated both her personal and her governments commitments
in upholding childrens rights.
Beginning with a unique partnership formed by three advertising
giants who came together to design a communication campaign for
Say Yes, people and organizations from all levels of society were
mobilised around Say Yes for Children. The Sarvodaya Shramadana
Movement the largest NGO in Sri Lanka and a partner in the
Global Movement for Children used their volunteer network
of 7,000 strong to pledge publicly. Over 5,000 religious leaders
also made public endorsements of Say Yes. Support from celebrities
and notables included pledges from world-renowned filmmaker Dr.
Lester James Peiris and award winning music personality Sangeeth
Vizharath. Thousands of children and adults pledged at events including
a Peace Camp for children in April and a National Science Exhibition.
The media ran free coverage of the campaign and corporate sector
agencies joined to spread the message and secure pledges. In a special
outreach initiative carried out with the support of student representatives
and teachers, school children in over 50 urban schools across Colombus
rallied their fellow students and teachers around Say Yes, while
initiating their own projects to actualize the points of the pledge.
Their efforts included the provision of basic services, toilets,
safe water and furniture topoor and needy schools and children in
rural areas. Hundreds of school children were involved in tallying
and entering the results of the campaign for Sri Lanka.
East Asia & Pacific
Cambodia (Kingdom of)
During a special prime time television broadcast before a potential
6 million viewers in both rural and urban areas, Prime Minister
Hun Sen officially launched Say Yes on 26 April. Filling out the
first pledge form, he emphasized the importance of the campaign
and urged all Cambodians to follow his example.
In the last week of May, the Cambodia National Council for Children
visited 24 provinces where they explained the campaign to governors
and heads of provincial departments, briefed more than 3,000 teachers,
and started a pledge outreach program that asked each child to get
five adults in their neighbourhood to sign pledge forms. On 1 June,
in provinces all over the Kingdom, more than 125,000 schoolchildren
were mobilised in a massive one-day drive to collect those pledges.
More than 500,000 pledges were collected that day. Also on 1 June,
Prime Minister Sen joined 3,000 children on a march around the Independence
Monument in Phnom Penh as part of the celebrations for International
Childrens Day. In August, the campaign results were presented
to the King, the National Assembly and the Senate in a letter from
the Minister of Social Affairs.
Say Yes was formally launched in Beijings Great Hall of the
People on 28 April at a banquet in honor of visiting delegates of
the World Trade Centers Association. Guests added their handprints,
signatures and goodwill messages to an artistic Say Yes display.
Attendants at the Fifth Ministerial Consultation for the region
of East Asia and Pacific, titled Shaping the Future for Children,
held between 14-16 May, were invited to sign on to a large Say Yes
banner. Media coverage of the important meeting helped to bring
the messages of Say Yes into homes across China. At a press conference
on the eve of benefit concert for children on 1 June, top Chinese
singers were among a host of personalities adding their handprints
in paint to a Say Yes sheet. A leading Asian photographer used the
occasion to create a series of studio portraits of the stars for
a special Say Yes poster series.
In Hong Kong, one of the innovative ways of spreading the message
of Say Yes was through the publication of pledge forms in in-flight
magazines. Pledge forms also went out to NGOs, government departments
Say Yes in Indonesia was co-ordinated by 7 UNICEF offices, the Ministry
of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Police Department, several
NGOs, students and others. Pledge forms were distributed and collected
throughout the provinces by the coordinated efforts of NGOs, governmental
organizations, Internet companies and young people. Detik.com, one
of the largest website companies in Indonesia, gave free space to
promote Say Yes and the GMC for two months.
In a targeted effort to help realize specific points of the pledge,
Say Yes in Japan aimed to raise public support for the campaign
as a springboard to urge the signature and ratification of two optional
protocols of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Rome
Statute. With support from the National Committee for UNICEF in
Japan, over 1,000 Japanese children, members of the UNICEF Childrens
Net, took the lead in designing the overall strategy, pledge form
and campaign material. Nickelodeon Japan aired Say Yes appeals featuring
members of the Childrens Net as well as Dr. Agnes Chan, Ambassador
for UNICEFs National Committee.
Korea (Democratic Republic of)
Choe Su Hun, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs officially launched
Say Yes on 25 April, signing the first pledge form as a symbolic
gesture of DPRKs commitment to the welfare of children. President
Kim II Sung called children the kings of the land and
confirmed that investing in children now is the best way to secure
a brighter future for the nation even through difficult times
in the country. The Minister emphasized the need to provide quality
education to all Korean children by making the best use of available
information technology. Later that evening, the international humanitarian
and donor community representatives in the DPRK signed their support
for Say Yes.
Say Yes was a part of the International Childrens Day celebrations,
at An Evening with and for Children. Children talked
about problems facing the world today and shared their views on
solutions for the issues affecting children and young people. They
all enthusiastically added their names and nationalities to a large
Say Yes for Children banner.
1,2000 students turned out for a walkathon to support Say Yes on
3 May. At the end of May, the Global Village Club distributed pledge
forms to primary and secondary schools. On 6 July, a family pledging
event was held at the Kensington Hotel in the Mt. Sorak resort area.
Commemorating its 2nd anniversary, the Hotel hosted a special donation
event where celebrities and their families pledged their support
for Say Yes.
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Minister of Information and Culture, the Vice President of the National
Committee for Mothers and Children and the Vice Minister of Education
launched .Say Yes on 26 April. The launch coincided with a national
conference for 200 media, information and cultural officials from
all 17 provinces, organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture.
A childrens launch took place two days later in the National
Cultural Hall, involving more than 300 children. Provincial launches
began in June and continued through September. Each launch involved
a training session and quiz on the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, and a presentation of the ten points of Say Yes by children.
The GMC and Say Yes were themes of the International Childrens
Day concert and of a series of three concerts in September to support
child rights. The concerts were designed to showcase UNICEFs
work with children through puppetry, song and drama.
As Mongolians celebrated their national Mother and Childrens
Day on 1 June, they were also asked to Say Yes for Children at an
official launch of the campaign. Among the high-profile attendants
were Mongolias President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Parliament
and the Chairman of the National Council for Children. After their
official signatures, signing continued at several locations on the
Sukhbaatar Square where members of the Mongolian Scouts Association
were in charge of collecting signatures. During the launch, Mongolian
pop star Ariunaa and child-rights advocate T. Ariunaa was named
UNICEF Special Envoy for Children. A Say Yes for Children song she
and other artists have composed hit number one on the Mongolian
Promotions and pledge drives were led by the Ministry of Education,
the National Committee for Children, the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce,
the Mongolian Scouts Association and national media. Numerous Mongolian
leaders demonstrated support for Say Yes, including members of Parliament,
Cabinet member and the Governors of all 21 provinces. Activities
conducted nationwide in support of Say Yes and the GMC moved beyond
the collection of pledges towards concrete action to realize childrens
rights. In Uvurkhangai aimag, the local government issued a special
resolution on promoting and supporting Say Yes. 12 million tugrug
were allocated for the publication of a newspaper for children and
the establishment of a school for talented children. Ulaanbaatar
TV showed its support for Say Yes by launching a channel called
UBS Child, dedicated exclusively to children and the matters concerning
them. The Child to Child movement was launched under
the umbrella of Say Yes and has been growing in scale and scope.
Initiated by the Mongolian Child Rights Center, a childrens
newspaper and the Mongolian Adolescents Association, the objective
of the movement is to help adolescents in difficult circumstances.
Nearly 4,000 children of four rural counties have been involved
in the movement, helping children of poor families by providing
them with basic supplies.
National and international NGOs as well as religious groups helped
in the distribution and collection of pledge forms. A Global Movement
for Children Fair by all accounts the first of its kind in
Myanmar was held in Yangon, 21-23 September, organized by
Save US and UK, World Vision, UNICEF Yangon and a local NGO. Several
private sectors donated a range of products; the hosting Amusement
Park waived the entrance fee during the Fair; several local celebrities
lent assistance; 250 youth volunteers helped to manage events, and
hundreds of disadvantaged children were brought in by World Vision
and Save. The total number of visitors over the three days exceeded
88,000, the vast majority of them being children. At a follow-up
workshop held on 21 October, children were given a chance to air
their views and pledges for Say Yes were gathered.
Papua New Guinea
After weeks of preparation and build-up, the government of Papua
New Guinea formally launched the Say Yes for Children campaign in
the National Parliament House on 25 July. Several high-level attendants,
NGO and private sector representatives, civil society and a large
number of children from various primary and secondary schools joined
First Lady Roslyn Morauta and two former Prime Ministers of Papua
New Guinea. At this vibrant, participatory event broadcast
live by the national TV station the Honourable Speaker of
the Parliament interpreted and paraphrased the 10 imperatives from
a childs perspective, with a poignant appeal: I am your
flesh and blood, say yes to me. Love me in every way,
do not discriminate against me, and count me in. The Minister
of Social Welfare and Development called Say Yes the biggest
and most challenging goal in the history of our country. The
campaign was marked by a series of special drives and initiatives
with the Department of Education, the University of Papua New Guinea,
the private sector and civil society in particular.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo welcomed the Say Yes for Children
campaign to Philippines on 24 May from the Malacañang Palace
Grounds, where she led government officials, NGO representatives,
diplomatic corps, private sector representatives, media and children
themselves in pledging. Nationwide promotion and pledging was made
possible by the collective efforts and support of UNICEF Manila,
government agencies and Ministries, NGOs, schools, the Girls and
Boys Scouts, Internet Service Providers, media, business groups
and religious communities. The pledge form was revised to include
a description of the Philippines Child-Friendly Movement, as well
as a checklist of specific actions for respondents interested in
becoming more involved in the Global Movement for Children.
Following the launch of Say Yes on 27 April, the campaign was promoted
and pledges collected through special collaborations with the private
sector, and a key alliance with the Office of National Primary Education
using a network of Child Friendly Schools in drives
UNICEF and the Young Pioneers Council launched Say Yes in Hanoi
on 24 April. Some 200 street children and children from poor families
in Gia Lam signed their Say Yes pledge forms. Say Yes pledge forms
were distributed through the Committee on the Protection and Care
of Children and the Youth Union to thousands of children in need
of special protection across Viet Nam, including street children,
disabled children, child labourers, and other out of school children.
In a special initiative with the support of the Ministry of Education
and Training, pledge forms were distributed at every school in time
for National School Enrolment day on 5 September. Over 750,000 children
let their voices be heard by pledging for Say Yes.
Highlights from the Pacific Islands
Say Yes pledges were distributed at activities and events organized
by the Women, Youth and Sports Division of the Ministry of Internal
Affairs along with the District Youth Councils. Cook Islands Television,
radio and the Herald helped to promote the campaign.
Young people and others discussed the ten points of the campaign
and Say Yes for Children at a one-day workshop organized by the
Kiribati Catholic Youth Association.
Federated States of Micronesia
Peace Corps volunteers and young people worked together to promote
the Global Movement, and over 2,000 pledge forms were distributed.
Pledge forms were distributed through the National Youth Congress
of Fiji and the District andProvincial Youth Councils. Roving displays
were set up in major tertiary institutions to promote the GMC. The
group Youthemedia made a special musical performance on the ten
points of the campaign at FM 96 Rock, the largest dance competition
organized through Fiji schools.
Say Yes was promoted during the Training of Trainers
workshop organized by the National Youth Congress, followed by the
distribution of pledge forms and campaign materials by participants
through their youth organizations.
The Youth Department in Nauru distributed pledge forms throughout
schools, and organized a forum with young people for broadcast.
The Niue National Youth Council hosted a cultural festival during
which the Say Yes campaign was launched.
The Childrens National Coordinating Committee organized Say
Yes pledge activities.
Say Yes forms were distributed in schools following the national
launch on 27 August.
Support was rallied for Say Yes and the ten points of the campaign
during Whazzz Up?, a segment of Tongas popular
Juice Music Programme.
The Ministry of Local Government, Women and Youth Unit ran a one-day
workshop on the Global Movement for Children, while a door-to-door
campaign gathered pledges.
Vanuatus Minister of Health officially launched Say Yes on
3 August. Say Yes tied in with the celebrations of National Childrens
Day in Vanuatu, which centered activities on particular childrens
Young people of the Seventh Day Adventist Mission organized a Rally
to promote Say Yes in Apia. The Ministry of Youth, Sports &
Cultural Affairs helped to distribute pledge forms to all districts