San Marino-UNICEF Awards honour youth participation in community programming
By Susan Markisz
NEW YORK, USA, 4 February 2008 – Last Friday, the Republic of San Marino hosted the second annual San Marino-UNICEF Awards dinner in New York. The focus of the award was active youth participation in community-based programmes as a means to strengthen and protect children’s rights.
The event was hosted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Economic Planning of San Marino, Fiorenzo Stolfi, and the Permanent Representative of the Republic of San Marino to the United Nations, Daniele Bodini.
The 2007 awards – consisting in part of two cash grants of $20,000 from the Alexander Bodini Charitable Foundation – recognized the positive contribution of two UNICEF-supported, child-based organizations: the Burkina Faso Environment and Sanitation Club from Boussouma High School and the Children and Adolescents Communication Agency of Ecuador.
The winning organizations were chosen for their dedication to promoting child rights and for acting as role models and agents of change for children around the world.
“I am extremely pleased to award this prize to two projects,” said Mr. Stolfi. “Indeed, these projects were developed thanks to a synergy between NGOs and UNICEF, which has been operating for more than 60 years in close contact with communities and governments in order to improve children’s living conditions.”
‘Children have a voice
The Children and Adolescents Communication Agency of Ecuador was honoured for its televised reports, which are produced by children and broadcast on national television.
The broadcasts aim to give Ecuadorian children a voice and raise awareness on such issues as child sexual abuse and the situation of marginalized children in urban areas and handicapped youths. In the two years since the inception of the programme, it has produced over 200 stories of children from eight provinces.
“It is our way of telling people we have a voice and our own ideas,” said one youth participant in the programme. Others commented: “This work opened our eyes” ... “It showed us who we are” ... “We want people to see what we see.”
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