OPPORTUNITIES: 2010 International Essay Contest for Young People

February 23, 2010

Young people from around the world are again invited this year to enter the 2010 International Essay Contest for Young People organized by the Goi Peace Foundation and UNESCO.

The theme of the 2010 International Essay Contest for Young People is:

“MY ROLE IN CREATING A PEACEFUL WORLD.” What is your vision of a peaceful and harmonious world? What can you and the young people of the world do to realize that vision?

The deadline for entry is June 30, 2010.

First prize winners will receive a cash award and a trip to Japan. Please see the complete guidelines on http://www.goipeace.or.jp/english/activities/programs/1001.html

The 2010 International Essay Contest announcement is also prominently highlighted on UNESCO website at http://portal.unesco.org/shs/en/ev.php-URL_ID=10993&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html.

You can also find the official 2010 Essay Contest flyer on the link below: http://www.goipeace.or.jp/pdf/2010/Essay_2010_E.pdf

To read winning essays from last year’s contest, please kindly visit the websites at http://portal.unesco.org/shs/en/ev.php-URL_ID=10993&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html and http://www.goipeace.or.jp/english/activities/programs/2009/.

Sumate a la 3° edición de la Carrera por la educación que organiza UNICEF

February 23, 2010

Buenos Aires, 16 de febrero de 2010. – El próximo domingo 14 de marzo los bosques de Palermo serán el escenario de la tercera edición de la CARRERA POR LA EDUCACIÓN organizada por UNICEF. 

Esta iniciativa busca movilizar a las familias a favor del derecho a una educación de calidad para todos los niños, niñas y adolescentes de la Argentina.

Próxima a la “Vuelta al Cole”, la carrera incluye un recorrido que atraviesa simbólicamente el ciclo de la educación, desde 1° grado hasta 5° año y concluye cuando los corredores se “reciben” en la llegada.

La inscripción tendrá un costo de $50 y los interesados podrán anotarse en los siguientes centros:

• CLUB DE CORREDORES: Av. Monroe 916 Cap. Fed. de lunes a viernes de 09:30 a 20:00hs y sábados de 10:00 a 14:00hs. Más información: 4780-1010 www.clubdecorredores.com

• UNICEF: Junín 1940 PB. Cap. Fed. de lunes a viernes de 12.00 a 19.00 hs. Más información en el 0-810-333-4455
http://www.carreraxlaeducacion.org.ar

Julián Weich será el conductor de esta nueva edición y reconocidas celebridades estarán corriendo y alentando a todos los corredores.

Los participantes recibirán una remera especialmente diseñada para los corredores, contarán con servicio de chip para la clasificación del circuito de 7K, hidratación gratuita, servicio médico, baños químicos y guardarropa. Entre todos los participantes se sortearán $15.000 en órdenes de compra de Carrefour. El evento no se suspende por lluvia.

Al igual que en la edición pasada, los fondos recaudados serán destinados a los proyectos de educación que UNICEF realiza en el país.

El objetivo de esta carrera es alcanzar los 5.000 corredores. ¡Sumate!

Se interesan por la educación en la Argentina y apoyan esta iniciativa: Ace Seguros, Bazooka, Cablevision, Carrefour, Coca Cola de Argentina, Disney, Edding, Gobierno de la

Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Mimo & Co, Oca, NavegaProtegido.org, Procter & Gamble, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Acerca de UNICEF:
UNICEF trabaja sobre el terreno en más de 150 países y territorios para ayudar a los niños y las niñas a sobrevivir y avanzar en la vida desde la primera infancia hasta la adolescencia. El mayor proveedor de vacunas para los países más pobres, UNICEF apoya la salud y la nutrición de la infancia, agua y saneamiento adecuados, educación básica de calidad para todos los niños y niñas, y la protección de los niños y las niñas contra la violencia, la explotación y el SIDA. UNICEF está financiado en su totalidad por las contribuciones voluntarias de individuos, empresas, fundaciones y gobiernos.

Para más información: http://www.unicef.org/argentina
Prensa: María Jose Ravalli / mjravalli@unicef.org  / 5093-7100
Soledad Galletti / unicef.arg@gmail.com / 15-5051-0112

The International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media

February 11, 2010

An International Knowledge Centre

The Clearinghouse collects and documents research and other information on children, youth and media across the world. By means such as yearbooks, newsletters, joint projects and databases, the Clearinghouse aims at broadening and contextualizing this knowledge, thereby increasing awareness and media literacy. A global network is fundamental to the work of the Clearinghouse, which is carried out in co-operation with UNESCO.

The Clearinghouse informs various groups of users about-
Research on children, young people and media research and practices regarding media education,
media Literacy and children’s/young people’s participation in the media

Measures, activities and research concerning children’s and young people’s media environment.

For more information
http://www.nordicom.gu.se/clearinghouse.php

The year behind a 30-second TV ad

February 9, 2010

February 07, 2010

Leslie Scrivener

It took 90 ideas, 30 scripts, one big rejection, two red couches, nearly four hours of raw footage, one untried child actor and a baboon in a police hat to make a commercial that airs for the first time on Monday. The public service announcement lasts 30 seconds; making it took a year.

That’s the short story. The long story is a road trip through the creative and corporate missteps and imagination behind every commercial you – and your children – see on television.

The Star watched almost every step in the process once the client, Concerned Children’s Advertisers, hired the Toronto advertising agency Bensimon Byrne to create its public service announcement exhorting children to beware of the media’s manipulative messages. We joined brainstorming sessions, auditions, presentations to the CCA and filming in an Etobicoke house, where we kept a distance from Sammy, a baboon from the Bowmanville Zoo. He is three years old and wearing a diaper.

The public service announcement is badly needed. A new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation and Stanford University shows that entertainment media use among children aged 11 to 14 has jumped by three hours a day in the past five years, up to eight hours and 40 minutes. If multi-tasking is taken into account – listening to an iPod while surfing, for instance – kids consume 12 hours of media a day.

The new commercial, called “Media Monkey,” airs on several networks, including CTV and Canwest properties, and on the Concerned Children’s Advertisers’ website, www.cca-kids.ca.

You may be sensing the irony. The world is saturated with ads. An ad agency, one whose clients include Hyundai and Scotiabank, in the business of persuading us to buy, is called upon to encourage children to look critically at advertising media.

But who else to turn to?

David Rosenberg, Bensimon Byrne’s vice-president and creative director, sees the ad business differently. “For me there isn’t much irony,” he says. “I’m in the business of telling the truth in a persuasive way. It can be a product or a service or a message in the public’s best interests.”

If his latest campaign, which was done pro bono, succeeds, it may well make his other work harder.

MEET THE KIDS

John McDougall, 39, and Joe Musicco, 37, associate creative directors for Bensimon Byrne, meet with a focus group of children in grades 4 to 6 at Youthography, a marketing and research firm, on June 3. What would the kids like to see in an ad? “My ad would have nothing offensive to anyone,” says Allison. “Media literacy teaches there’s implied messages and then there’s right-out-front messages, the one that tells you what they want,” adds Oren, a sophisticated kid from Scarborough.

BLUE SKY

Musicco and McDougall have worked together for seven years. One spools the ideas while the other critiques. Long limbed, they stretch out on two red couches on a second-floor hallway in Bensimon Byrne’s Wellington St. W. office. It’s mid-July. They’ve got a Simon Says scene in mind: What if a kid is watching TV and the TV starts talking, saying “touch your head” or “don’t be such a loser.” New idea. What if you moved the scene into the classroom where a teacher asks her students the formula for the area of a circle? As each child puts up a hand, she says things like “Yes, you, Fatty” or “Okay, you, Training Bra.” Each child turns away humiliated.

The idea of the inappropriate teacher has punch. The educational message: It’s wrong for people to make you feel this way, so why is it right when the media does?

They really like it.

The youth panel meets again Aug. 5 and listens to five scripts from Musicco and McDougall.

Oddly, since some had earlier said they didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, their favourite is the one where kids’ feelings are crushed by the cruel teacher.

THE BIG PITCH

A turning point. On Aug. 12, Musicco and McDougall pitch the five scripts to Concerned Children’s Advertisers’ creative committee. Its seven members work for corporations including McDonald’s, Nestle Canada and Loblaw. The creative team recommends the mean teacher ad. But Linda Millar, CCA’s educational consultant, dislikes the idea of a bullying teacher representing a bullying media. Someone says, “Good point.” The committee nonetheless seems impressed. Strange, though, no one applauds at the end of the presentation.

Later, Millar, a teacher with 33 years experience, says the script leaves a lumpish feeling in her throat. “I thought, `I don’t want to do this ad.’” But she holds back. She’s in a room with experts in creative media. She’s second-guessing herself.

The script goes to the CCA’s board of directors for approval.

SECOND THOUGHTS

Bev Deeth, CCA’s president, telephones Rosenberg with bad news on Sept. 8. It turns out Millar wasn’t the only one feeling squeamish about the ad. It’s provocative, it will get attention, but it could offend.

Rosenberg pauses. “I don’t understand,” he says.

CCA, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last week, has never shown an adult in a negative light, Deeth explains. The organization didn’t like the harsh language or the mean teacher.

The creative team takes a six-week break until Nov. 23. There’s a shift in focus. Instead of, “Don’t let the media tell you who you are,” it’s now, “media can’t think for you, but you can think for yourself.”

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD

“We know we’re dealing with a board and everyone has got to approve this thing,” says McDougall, as he and Musicco begin anew. “I think in the end we made everybody nervous. The reality is (we have) more constraints and more worry.” It’s noted that CCA partners with several media companies, including CTV and Canwest. The agency has to emphasize “healthy choices” not “watch out the media is going to get you.”

Getting shot down by the client is common in the ad business. But this one hurt. “We fell in love with the spot we were close to making. … When they said we couldn’t do it, we lost heart for the other ones,” says Musicco.

They begin again, surprisingly energetic. “What about something like a tidal wave of media messages? You have to be clever and fast enough to dodge them.”

“They could be arrows.”

“You could make words into the shape of arrows.”

Musicco and McDougall work through the weekend Nov. 28. They are looking for metaphors, something to serve as the central character’s conscience. Say, a girl is at the centre of the ad, do you get a second girl? How would viewers know it was her conscience, not her twin? An angel on her shoulder? That’s been done to death. What would be funny? What if it were an animal? What if it were a chimp? But chimps aren’t monkeys and they want alliteration – Media Monkey. They need a baboon.

MONKEY BUSINESS

The new scripts are presented to the clients in a boardroom in Bensimon Byrne’s offices. Of three new scripts, “Media Monkey” is an instant hit. This time, the creative team leaves the boardroom, so the client can talk more freely. “Have we nailed healthy choices?” Deeth asks. “Media Monkey is so catchy,” someone says. The creative team comes back in the room, and are met with applause.

A BABOON IN THE BASEMENT

Auditions are held Jan. 14 at the studios on Sumach St.

The last to audition is 13-year-old Stephanie Zoulaf. She’s from Thornhill, has an intelligent face and shiny hair and looks like the “natural kid” the director David McNally is looking for.

Four days later, a crew of 35, including 10 from Bensimon Byrne, take over a home in Etobicoke. The walls are covered with corrugated cardboard, the floors with protective carpeting. A smell fills the basement as Sammy’s diaper is changed. In the evening, the crew moves to the Elizabeth St. bus terminal for final shots of Stephanie walking by a transit ad.

ALL TOGETHER NOW

Editor Aaron Dark at School Editing reduces almost four hours of raw footage (much of it the baboon) to 30 seconds. At Pirate Toronto sound studio on King St. E., Jan. 29, sound engineers rip magazines and newspapers – each has a different timbre – to fit the scene where the baboon tears up a magazine. They add the tapping sounds of a keyboard and baboon cries. Pirate’s receptionist, Justice Darragh, steps in to do the voice over. They choose music with a delicate circus feel that suits the ad’s whimsical tone.

Daryn Sutherland, an account director at Bensimon Byrne, calculates the hours it has taken to make the 30-second spot: Ruckus Film Co., 950 hours; School Editing, 65; Technicolor, 80; Pirate, 60; Lili, French adaptation, 25. Estimated production costs if full fees were applied, $260,000. Estimated fees paid, $60,000. Bensimon Byrne’s creative development, 750 hours. The agency’s usual hourly, $150. Fees paid: Zero.

Musicco and McDougall do not attend Media Monkey’s breakfast launch on Feb. 4. They’re in New York, frantically working on another ad – for Hyundai. It will be shown on the Super Bowl broadcast Sunday.

Watch video “The Art of Advertising”

13 Year-Old UNICEF Ambassador Challenges Youth to Help Haiti

February 5, 2010

Toronto, Canada Feb 04, 2010– Bilaal Rajan, the grade 9 student at Lakefield College School and UNICEF Canada Ambassador, has issued a challenge to students all over the world to raise a minimum of $100 for the relief efforts in Haiti.

“Hundreds of thousands have died, and millions are without shelter, food, running water or medical attention. Young people have to get involved and help,” says Rajan, the fundraising wunderkind who has raised millions of dollars for programs that help children in need all over the world. “I think the potential students have for raising millions of dollars throughout the globe is overwhelming.”

Rajan is adding an extra incentive for students to raise money. He will shave his head in honor of the school or student in Canada that raises the greatest amount of funds. “I’m looking forward to see what kinds of fundraising ideas young people come up with and how much money they can raise. Am I looking forward to going bald? Not so much. I hope the students are gentle,” he laughs.

At 4, Rajan began his fundraising success by selling clementine oranges door-to-door raising money for victims of the 2001 earthquake in Gujarat, India. At 7, he founded Making Change Now, an organization dedicated to heightening awareness of youth issues and raising funds for children in the developing world. In March 2005, he was chosen as an official Child Representative and Ambassador for UNICEF Canada.

In 2004, Rajan launched his first UNICEF fundraising challenge, at the age of eight, called the UNICEF Canada Kids Earthquake Challenge, through which Canadian children raised more than $1.8 million to help those who were impacted by the earthquake and tsunami of south Asia. Canada’s youth contributed again in May 2008 to those affected by the Myanmar cyclone through Rajan’s Me and You for the Children of Myanmar UNICEF fundraising campaign.

For information: www.makingchangenow.com

Source: India Journal

La contaminación es un problema que nos afecta a todos

February 4, 2010

Fundación Santa Lola

Escrito por: Stanley Delima, República Dominicana

El medio ambiente, conjunto de elementos Bióticos y Abióticos, es una de las maravillas que nos ha regalado el Señor y por eso debemos cuidar de él día a día porque al destruirlo nos destruimos nosotros mismos.

Cuando lanzamos basura a la calle, es irresponsable y estamos contaminando nuestro entorno y no lo debemos hacer. Debemos cuidar nuestro ambiente al cien por ciento tal y como cuidamos nuestros hogares, ya que si nos ponemos a pensar por un momento, el planeta tierra es de todos nosotros. Si lo destruimos o lo dañamos ¿dónde vamos a vivir?

Les recomiendo a todos los Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes de Latinoamérica que: ¡No lancemos basura a los ríos! Al contrario, contribuyamos con su limpieza porque el agua es un recurso limitado y muy necesario para nuestra sobrevivencia en nuestro planeta. Tenemos un 75% de agua y un 25% de tierra. Si desperdiciamos este 75% de agua estamos agotando unos de los recursos que tenemos para llevar una vida cómoda.

En otra vertiente, comencemos a utilizar el reciclaje. Poner en la bsaura el metal con el metal, los plásticos junto con los plásticos, los papeles junto con los papeles. Para así aprovecharlos y no agotar los recursos de manera tan acelerada y así tendremos menos contaminación en el ambiente y no tendremos un ambiente contaminado.

Unámonos todos a una misma voz y digamos no a la deforestación de nuestros árboles, no a la deforestación de nuestros bosques tropicales etc. Los árboles contribuyen mucho con nosotros los seres humanos, por muchas razones. Nos proporcionan alimentos, sombra y oxigeno. Si lo dañado nos dañamos a nosotros mismos, si matamos un árbol estamos matando una vida y no debe ser así.

Apoyemos nuestro planeta tierra y tu y yo vamos a unirnos para cuidar nuestro entorno como nos cuidamos cada uno de nosotros/as.

The view: Haiti’s Ciné Institute proves that film still matters

February 1, 2010

Haiti’s only film school was destroyed in the earthquake, but the mini-movies that its students have made since are a living chronicle of the still-unfolding crisis and will serve as enduring testaments to the power of cinema to inform and move

In recent days it’s been possible to see the medium film at its most vital and powerful, the results hard and often heartbreaking viewing but hinting at one possible future for the whole shooting match. That glimpse has come through the work of the Ciné Institute – Haiti’s only film school, whose students have spent the last ten days using its equipment to record and bring to the world high-quality documents of the fresh hell unfolding in the country.

Tracing a visual line from the aftermath of the first quake to the chaos which then consumed all in sight to the current queasy mix of despair and erratic aid deliveries, the short films of the Ciné Institute students carry with them a uniquely raw authority. These, after all, are mini-movies made by the same people whose own homes and families have been laid waste, not western news crews who will, sooner rather than later, pack up their kit and catch the plane home. Shot by shot, moment by moment, the footage builds into a living chronicle that leaves you unclear of what the point of film in the 21st century could be if it doesn’t at least partly involve ordinary people taking up cameras in times of crisis. (A precedent here is Burma VJ, the documentary of the crushed Burmese uprising of September 2007 built around handheld video footage filmed by “citizen reporters”).

But there is an uncomfortable irony here, in that this should be happening while in numberless western Multiplexes, cinema is apparently being “revolutionised” by the age-old means of a showman-type shouting at a large cast and crew through a megaphone (or whatever the space-age equivalent might be). Because the ongoing triumph of Avatar is also a triumph for the whole idea of films as three hour sagas made with technology so expensive as to be inaccessible to all but film-makers with the clout of James Cameron, purpose-built for the audience to almost literally get lost in – to wilfully disconnect from reality.

And the chasm between the world in which we grow misty-eyed at the uncorrupted beauty of the Na’vi and the one where women give birth by the side of the road in Port-au-Prince remains horribly wide from whichever angle you look at it. The same sense of unease crops up when considering the vast, near-abstract sums being stacked up by Cameron’s film (not to mention what it cost to make) compared with the impossible poverty of Haiti even before the earthquake (quite aside from what it would now cost to bring anything halfway like stability to the country).

The contrast is especially glaring not because Avatar revels in its role as cinematic spectacle – that’s a noble tradition responsible for many films I myself hold dear. The problem is the attempt to make that spectacle more “meaningful” with the worst kind of self-serving Hollywood message – a brick-over-the-head affirmation of things no-one watching would conceivably argue with (militarism bad, nature nice), designed so as to mean we can all feel good about ourselves for agreeing, as if that in itself was enough. It is, in other words, all all right really; whereas as Haitit has proved, for much of the world, it’s really not.

The fine American short story writer Deborah Eisenberg once wrote of 9/11 as having ripped open the “heavy painted curtain” that we in the west had looked at as if it were the real world while the actual real world with its harsh inequities was kept safely on the other side – so that even once the curtain was repaired, it was now impossible to forget what was going on behind it. I’d venture that a similar curtain still exists – with on one side 2010 as it is, and on the other those things sold to us as radical and thought-provoking but which are actually just made to keep us in our seats with our gobs hanging open. I leave it up to you to decide on which side you’ll find Avatar, and which the films of the Ciné Institute. In the meantime, you can watch the latter here.

Ciné Institute website

Ciné Institute videos on Vimeo

Ciné Institute on Facebook

Ciné Institute on Twitter

Ciné Institute Jacmel Film Fest

Pictures of Jacmel

New Eyewitness Video from Ciné Institute Student in Jacmel : by Fritzner Simeus

Eyewitness report of destruction in Port Au Prince from Ciné Institute director David Belle

The Victims in Jacmel: Keziah Jean Reports From the Field

Jacmel severely damaged in earthquake

Source: Guardian.co.uk