Children across the Pacific islands “takeover” in a sea of blue on World Children’s Day



SUVA, 20 November 2018 – Today across the Pacific islands, children united to “takeover” and raise their voices on issues that matter to them. Joining the millions of children around the world on World Children’s Day, children from Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Tonga and the Federated States Micronesia, joined parliamentarians, Ministries and communities to ‘go blue’ for children everywhere.

World Children’s Day – celebrated on 20th November – is a global day of action ‘for children, by children’ to raise awareness and funds for the millions of children that are unschooled, unprotected and uprooted. UNICEF is inviting the public to go online and sign a global petition asking leaders to commit to fulfilling the rights of every child now and for future generations, so that every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potential.

As part of the day, UNICEF is asking supporters to raise their voices in solidarity with the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children by helping ‘turn the world blue.’

“World Children’s Day is more than a day to celebrate children everywhere. It is an annual opportunity to recommit ourselves to protecting the rights of every child – in the Pacific and throughout the world,” UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett, said. “The current and potential well-being of all societies depends not only on how these rights are recognized but also on how they are acted upon.”

Across the Pacific islands, there are several events taking place:

-               In Fiji, more than 300 students at Stella Maris Primary school hosted UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, as well as community members, for a student-led assembly. The winners of the Fiji superhero comic contest to end violence in schools were announced: First place CMF Primary School student, Lusyel Rayawa Vuataku, 13 years, with her superhero “Tarmahqu Man (father),” Second place Holy Trinity Anglican School student, Viliame Uate Morrell with his superhero “Mindreader” and in third place Yat Sen School student, Chantelle Choo, 13 years, with “The Blur”;

-               In Vanuatu, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education will join 1,200 Vila North School students on 21 November to help end violence around the world with a focus on bullying in schools in a child-led advocacy event within the Speech Day Programme;

-               In Solomon Islands, a community event was held in Visale with primary school and secondary students, together with the Ministry of Health. The “First 1000 Days” national campaign was launched. School students and community members saw themselves on the big screen, teaching others about healthy eating and good hygiene;

-               In the Federated States of Micronesia, youth have written, produced and filmed a song to world leaders, calling on them to take action to achieve peace for children around the world. They went live on air today singing on radio Pohnpei Broadcasting Service.

-               In Kiribati on 21 November, children will “takeover” the Parliament to present President Taneti Mamau with the global petition to sign;

-               In Tonga, youth are gearing up to “takeover” Parliament in the first ever youth parliament held in the country