“Sharing Hopes and Dreams: a Ground-Breaking Web Initiative to Mark the Twentieth Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child”

 

To Editors and Correspondents

 

Jerusalem, 19 November 2009

 

This Friday sees the twentieth anniversary of the historic United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in which governments set out their vision of a dignified future for the world’s children. But twenty years on, what difference has the convention made in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestine refugee children?

 

To mark the anniversary, the UK-based NGO, the Hoping Foundation, in partnership with the UN’s Relief and Works Agency is unveiling a project in which Palestine refugee school leavers across the Middle East will create the region’s first ever on line video yearbook. The “Hopes and Dreams” project encapsulates their aspirations and brings together on line a community divided and scattered by decades of statelessness and exile. 

 

Hundreds of flip cams have been distributed to tens of thousands of students in UNRWA schools in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. On Thursday they will each be lining up and recording a 30 second message, sharing with their peers their hopes and dreams. Using the latest technology from the video communications company, “Winkball”, these messages will be posted in an on line yearbook and will form the basis of  a living network that will be enriched in years to come with similar messages from the next generation of school leavers.

 

A Hoping team led by fashion designer and Hoping co-founder, Bella Freud are in Gaza organising this event at the Beach Camp Preparatory “A” Girls School on Thursday 19 November. The Yearbook filming will be taking place simultaneously in over 400 schools in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria throughout the day on Thursday, the 19th of November, marking the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  

 

We wish to inform editors and correspondents at TV networks that news footage from the events in Gaza and in Ramallah will be transmitted on APTN:s Global Video Wire on Thursday 19.11.2009 at 16:50 GMT (18:50 Jerusalem Time)        

 

If TV editors want further pictures, world renowned novelist and childrens' storyteller Philip Pullman, musician and writer Nick Cave, and other prominent individuals have recorded video messages in support of the HOPING-UNRWA initiative, and these will be available online on November 19th at www.hopingfoundation.org.  

 

For further details please contact Adnan Abu Hasna on 0599 428 061, Chris Gunness on c.gunness@unrwa.org, Sami Mshasha on s.mshasha@unrwa.org  

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