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Children still grow up separated from their families in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Giving form to the rights of the child – Festival of Clay Toys

Print version
23 October 2014
1 1 Photos

On the 17th of October, dozens of children from local kindergartens and preschools arrived at the bright courtyard garden of the Rakhimov’s Studio of Ceramics in Tashkent. They enjoyed a comedic performance by a national actor and puppetry performance, but the fun started when lumps of clay were passed around.

Organized by UNICEF and national artist AlisherRakhimovin celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with a focus on the right to play and develop, Tashkent’s first ‘Festival of Clay Toys’ took place from the 17th to the 19th of October.

Following a brief introduction to the ever-popular art medium, the participating children who included local students and children from residential institutions, got stuck into sculpting everything from model cars, houses and dragons, to shaping pots and bowls, building mosaics and painting beautiful tiles.

«Creation is very important because it will help children in their future life, no matter what they chose to do." Mr. Rakhimov said. «Working with clay at this festival will help them expand their intellectual potential, and at the same time feel the art which is around them.»

At the three day event, the participating children received guidance from ceramic artists who visited from the Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent regions, educated on basic skills in using clay, but were then given free rein to experiment and tap into their creativity. The planned outcome of this event was to give children an opportunity, through artistic expression, to become more aware of their rights and confident in expressing their views and opinions.

«All children like to do something with their hands, and they are very proud of the product that they have produced and made," said GauharKadirova, teacher at kindergarten number #468.«It is important for children to know they can do something, and show and present it.»

In addition to learning the basics of making ceramics, participants at the event also received child-friendly copies of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which outlined not just the right to expression, but also rights to education and health care, to protection from harm and abuse, and to grow up in supportive family environments.

«Empowering children to realize their rights, including the right to development and play, is a key part of UNICEF’s mission globally and in Uzbekistan," said Berina Arslanagic-Ibisevic, UNICEF’s Deputy Representative. «By providing knowledge about CRC, opportunities for child participation in the issues related to their growth, health and development through peer-to-peer as well as adults-children dialogues, we will contribute towards achieving this outcome.»

To follow from this festival a special Child Rights exhibition will take place in November 2014, which will feature finished items made by participating children.

Please visit the UNICEF Uzbekistan Facebook page to see more photographs of this festival, and the global UNICEF website to learn more about the CRC@25.

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UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

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