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Photo: Kurdish girl. Iraq, 1997. Copyright Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas
Photo: Kurdish girl. Iraq, 1997. Copyright Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas

This page is background information, last updated in May 2002 and still available for reference. For the latest on the Special Session on Children, please go to the Special Session index.

Under-18 zone: Profiles

Kenya's Yvonne speaks for Africa

© Copyright UNICEF/DHQ031/Susan Markisz

Yvonne Maingey, 13, of Kenya

With her Maasai bead headdress, Somali skirt and Kamba shawl, Yvonne Maingey radiates the style and harmony of Kenya's 40 different communities in one outfit.

"I call this my 'United Nations of Kenya' outfit," she says with an infectious smile.

The 13-year-old from Nairobi is in New York representing Child Life Trust, an organization that provides assistance and education to thousands of children living on the streets of the Kenyan capital.

She was elected from among 64 young delegates attending the regional preparatory committee meeting in Cairo in May to present a position paper to government delegates and non-governmental organizations at the third Preparatory Committee meeting for the UN General Assembly's Special Session on Children. The Prepcom is being held this week.

"I was voted for by the children in Cairo, but only after a reading test and a question and answer session to see who would be the best spokesperson," she said.

She honed her presentation skills in Nairobi where she hosts a children's television show on Saturday morning called Club Kiboko.

"In an ideal world, I would like children to be taken seriously," she says.

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