Tuesday, 21 November 2017

UN in your language

Tiny stories have tremendous impact

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15-11-2016 - Over 200 prominent writers including novelists, playwrights and poets, have answered UNICEF’s global literacy campaign, weaving their vision of a world in which all children enjoy the right to survive and thrive, to learn and to grow up healthy and safe from harm.  The campaign invites the public to send ‘tiny stories’ of around seven lines each to highlight Universal Children’s Day and the injustice so many of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged children still face. The short story series kicks off UNICEF’s commemoration of its 70th year working to bring help and hope to every child.

The campaign was launched in Finland, when The First Lady Jenni Haukio introduced the idea, and gained global momentum with writers joining from Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. “Writers are often opinion-builders and role models”, according to First Lady Jenni Haukio in an interview with UNICEF Finland. “Therefore I thought they would be exactly the right people to open up the debate around children’s rights. Even the most basic rights of millions of children remain unfulfilled. I hope that these stories will affect people and raise their willingness to help.”

“As writers we are able to advocate through the simplicity of storytelling. With this worthy and necessary campaign, we advocate for the protection of the rights of precious children all over the world,” said celebrated Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie.

The group of writers, whose genres range from fairy tales to fiction, include one of the world’s youngest published authors, seven-year-old South African, Michelle Nkamankeng. Written in over 10 languages and varying in style, all tiny stories illustrate that the rights of many children are still neglected.

The campaign comes at a time when there are increasing threats to child rights. Over 50 million children have been uprooted from their homes due to conflict, poverty and climate change and millions more are facing unspeakable violence in their communities. Around 263 million children are out of school and last year nearly six million children under five died from mostly preventable diseases.

Chimamanda Adichie used her ‘Tiny Story’ to launch the series, which will run until November 20 - the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Join the debate with #ForEveryChild and follow the Tiny Stories on Facebook.

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