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THE STEADFAST GAZE OF CHILDREN

While UNICEF and its allies keep an eye on the status of children, young people are keeping their sights on the future. They have emerged as crucial players in development, actively involved in such international movements as Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), the World Water Forum and Unite for Children, Unite for Peace.

concrete follow-up. They reminded the adults that 400 million children do not have enough safe water and stated that failure to produce results “is killing our future.” They ended their call to action with “We, the children of the world, are ready to work with you. Are you ready to work with us?”

In Angola, adolescents gathered in its capital, Luanda, during the Youth Music Festival on HIV/AIDS, the culmination of a Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS initiative. The partnership between UNICE , Angola’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, UNAIDS, provincial governments, non- governmental organizations and young people, engages secondary school students in HIV awareness and prevention. As part of HIV/AIDS and Gender Clubs, students aged 9 to18 took part in the campaign through reading, writing and drama. Throughout 2006, the clubs wrote and performed songs, culminating in representatives of 18 Angolan provinces competing in national finals on 3 December.

In Nepal, where political upheaval has disrupted everyday life, children have become crucial actors in UNGEI. In 2006, young people’s voices continued to be heard during ‘Welcome to School’ rallies, encouraging parents to send their sons and daughters to school. Along with carrying placards and chanting slogans, children alerted the public to admissions deadlines and distributed cards urging parents to enrol their children in school.

At the Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City in March, 110 young activists from 29 countries met with government ministers to share their solutions for the growing water crisis. The youngsters reaffirmed the 2003 Children’s Water Manifesto and went further, challenging world leaders about the lack of

CHILDREN AND THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

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