CHILDREN AND CELEBRITIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD UNITE IN CONVERSATION FOR WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY

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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors David Beckham, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Millie Bobby Brown, Orlando Bloom, Ishmael Beah and UNICEF USA Ambassador Halima Aden join Unicef UK supporters Liam Payne and Gemma Chan in hosting conversations on social media platforms with children in the lead up to Friday 20 November  

Children from the UK and around the world prepare to stand up and make themselves heard as the @voicesofyouth for Unicef UK’s World Children’s Day 

Video and imagery available to download  here 

Friday 13 November – Children and young people from the UK and around the world are set to join in virtual conversations with some of the world’s biggest celebrities in celebration of Unicef UK’s World Children’s Day, a day for children, by children on Friday 20 November.  

Famous faces set to host conversations on Instagram TV for @voicesofyouth include UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors David Beckham, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Millie Bobby Brown, Orlando Bloom and Ishmael Beah; Unicef USA Ambassador Halima AdenUnicef UK supporter Liam Payne and Unicef UK High Profile Supporter Gemma Chan 

In the week leading up to World Children’s Day, where the voices of children are celebrated and uplifted around the world, celebrity supporters of Unicef will share their social media platforms with children and young people, giving them the unique opportunity to stand up and be heard on issues that matter to them, including the Coronavirus pandemic, climate change and education, and their hopes for the future. 

Kicking things off today (Friday 13 November) is UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, David Beckham, who will share his conversation with Sebabatso, an 18-year-old from South Africa who has a keen interest in science, gender equality and human rights. Speaking about the series, David Beckham said: “Sebabatso is such an impressive young woman. I loved speaking to her about her life in South Africa and her dreams for the future. I’m so pleased she will be one of the Voices of Youth sharing her voice and inspiring message this World Children’s Day. This day is an important reminder that we all have a duty to protect children everywhere. It’s an honour to be part of the conversation again this year.” 

Following on from the weekend’s activities, and due to go live on Monday 16 November, singer-songwriter and Unicef UK supporter, Liam Payne talks to Areej, a 13-year-old girl from Yemen, on Instagram TV, about the challenges faced by children in her home country.  

Areej, 13-years-old from Yemen said: “I really wish that in the future all children have the opportunity to make their dreams come true, have their right to education, the opportunity to go to school, and that the schools have bathrooms, chairs, everything! I want this generation to be the reason for the happiness of the next generation.” 

Unicef UK supporter Liam Payne said: “It was a pleasure to host Areej on my platform, and I’m grateful to Unicef UK for giving us the opportunity to take part in @voicesofyouth together. World Children’s Day is all about celebrating children speaking out and standing up for their rights, and Areej is the perfect example of a determined, inspirational young girl doing all she can to lift the voices of children living in Yemen. The coronavirus pandemic has showed us that now, more than ever, we need to care for each other. Areej’s wish for a future where every child can fulfill their dreams and potential was inspirational, and I’m glad I was able to share it on my platform.” 

Actor and Unicef High Profile Supporter, Gemma Chan is due to share her @voicesofyouth conversation with Claire, an inspiring 16-year-old youth advocate from Manchester on Thursday 19 November. Claire is passionate about mental health, racial justice and youth social action and talked to Gemma about her hopes for the future.  

Claire, 16-year-old youth advocate from Manchester, said: “Being part of a conversation like this one gives me so much hope for the future because I know that this is just the beginning. I hope this conversation sparks a new fire, and a new desire for young people to make their voices heard. Young people’s voices matter, because when young people are able to share their views, it is the first step to creating long-lasting change in the world.” 

Unicef UK High Profile Supporter Gemma Chan said: “Claire’s determination and passion for youth empowerment is so inspiring. Her advice to young women and girls to always know their worth and make their voices heard are words to live by, and I am grateful to Unicef UK for giving us the opportunity to speak together this World Children’s Day. Sometimes people tend to underestimate young women and the power they have for long-lasting, positive change, but so many exciting and change-making movements in the world right now are led by young women activists. It is young people like Claire who give me hope for the future.” 

UNICEF’s youngest Goodwill Ambassador, Millie Bobby Brown, will end the series on World Children’s Day itself, Friday 20 November, by speaking to three children from Tanzania, Kazakhstan and USA about education, mental health and technology innovations.  

“2020 has been challenging, so this World Children’s Day it’s more important than ever for young people to speak out on the issues that affect them,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Millie Bobby Brown. “All around the world, children and young people are coming up with creative solutions to today’s problems, including climate change and remote learning during the pandemic. I’m excited to join other UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors to use our voices to help lift up theirs.” 

World Children’s Day celebrates the power of children to change the world and Unicef is here to help themUnicef empowers children and fights for children’s rights all around the world.  

For more information on Unicef UK’s work to empower children and young people in the UK, visit unicef.org.uk/working-with-young-people 

To find out more about Unicef UK’s emergency appeal for children in Yemen, and to donate, please visit unicef.org.uk/yemen  

ENDS 

For more information, please contact: 

Melanie Thienard, 0207 375 6030, mthienard@unicef.org.uk  

Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030, media@unicef.org.uk 

About UNICEF 

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK.  

For more information please visit unicef.org.uk  

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