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29th January, 2010 - UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ricardo Montaner Visits Juba

Juba, Sudan - UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador Ricardo Montaner took part in a peace workshop in Juba, Southern Sudan yesterday.

The event, called Pathways to Peace, was also attended by a diverse group of community and government leaders, including representatives of the Sudan Council of Churches,  the ministries of Gender, Social Welfare, and Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the Peace Commission of Southern Sudan, youth and women's groups, students, Southern Sudan artists, and local media. The one-day workshop was designed to explore and reach general consensus on the value of peace and ways to promote and sustain harmony in Southern Sudan.

Mr Montaner, a singer and songwriter, is in Sudan for a visit with his wife, Marlene Rodriguez and their three children Ricky, Mauricio, and Evaluna. Mr Montaner told workshop participants that everyone has a responsibility to believe in and actively promote peace.

During the three-day trip to Sudan Mr Montaner has focused on two central themes: children with special needs and peace and conflict-resolution. Mr Montaner runs a foundation with his wife called Windows to Heaven which helps children with disabilities.

“Ricardo’s visit here has helped to raise awareness about children with special needs who are often the most overlooked around the world,” said UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan, Nils Kastberg, who also participated in the event.

He added: “We are delighted that he came on this three-day mission with his family to focus on this and the need to promote long-lasting peace in Sudan.”

On Tuesday January 26th Mr Montaner and his family spent the day visiting schools for children with special needs in Khartoum. On Wednesday January 27th he attended an event at a school in Khartoum focused on promoting peace in Sudan.

Background notes:

Ricardo Montaner is an Argentinean-Venezuelan singer and song-writer.  He started his career in the early 1980s. Since then he has released more than 15 albums and has sold 22 million units worldwide. Mr. Montaner became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in November 2007. Mr Montaner and his wife run a foundation called "Windows to Heaven", which helps children with disabilities.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:

Douglas Armour, Communications Manager UNICEF Southern Sudan Area Programme, Juba Mobile+ (256) (0) 477 256 717, + (249) (0) 913 143 481, Email:

Swangin Bismarck, Communication officer UNICEF Southern Sudan Area Programme, Juba
Mobile: +249 (0) 919 261 580, +256(0) 477 103 390: Email:



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