Almost 6,000 Turkish and refugee children gathered in Ankara for the 3rdChildren’s Festival organized by ASAM in partnership with the Çankaya Municipality and with the support of UNICEF to celebrate the 23rd of April National Sovereignty and Children’s day.
The festival aimed to further foster friendship and cohesion between Turkish and refugee children in the colorful Ahlatlıbel Ataturk Park. Children enjoyed participating in numerous activities ranging from face painting to pantomime to stage performances during the entire day.
Beyond colorful balloons and story characters dancing with children on the grass lawn, the Festival also aimed to renew the commitment to Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in its 30th anniversary. The children and other festival participants signed UNICEF’s online CRC petition on computers set up in two different booths. Each child received a blue wrist band upon signing the petition and took photos in front of the CRC booth to show the world loud and clear that they support every right for every child.
When asked about the importance of the event, ASAM Coordinator İbrahim Kavlak commented:
“We continue to work in cooperation with UNICEF to support refugee children to overcome their challenges and to promote social cohesion. We believe that all these efforts are very important to prevent a lost generation.”
UNICEF Representative to Turkey, Philippe Duamelle, during his intervention said:
“Today is a notable illustration of what childhood should look like. It is as much about learning and developing as about just having fun and being happy. Almost six thousand children from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are playing, singing and having great fun together in harmony and peace. This shows that children are just children, no matter where they are or where they come from.”
During the festival, a children’s choir performed children’s songs thatpromote friendship and peace for children in the world.
Partnership for Children
Through its partnership with the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM), UNICEF has been supporting psycho social support and social cohesion activities with funding from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, United States Department of States