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Burkina Faso students draw attention to MDGs
01 July 2003

Marking the end of Burkina Faso's academic year, 14 artistic Burkinabé students took home prizes after winning a drawing contest portraying the role of volunteerism in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Organized by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary Education and Alphabetization (MEPA) and Ministry of Secondary Education and Scientific Research (MESSRS), the drawing contest was launched on International Volunteer Day (IVD), 5 December 2002.

Five hundred primary school pupils and 200 secondary school students in the capital Ouagadougou took part in the contest, which was designed to involve young people in the MDG campaign and make them aware of the global effort towards improving people's lives.

Since January 2003, UN Volunteers met regularly with the students to discuss the role of volunteerism in achieving the MDGs. As a result of the debates, the Burkinabé youth were asked to put their ideas on paper.

A judging panel, formed by a UNV representative and teaching advisers from the two ministries, reviewed the submissions and selected the most relevant and original. The 14 selected drawings were painted on batik -- a dyed fabric -- by a local artist and then put on display at the UN conference room in Ouagadougou.

At the award's ceremony on 26 June, the Assistant to the UNDP Resident Representative, Robert Da, congratulated the UN Volunteers on their work with the students. "Being the only UN agency promoting volunteerism, the UN Volunteers took the initiative to promote the MDGs by directly involving the Burkinabé young students," he said. "[They] will be adults in 2015, when we will try to assess the results of our common efforts towards poverty reduction and the improvement of people's living conditions."

Also speaking at the event, the General Director of Secondary Education, Eloie Bambara, told the students their works of art coincide with the Ministry's mandate. "These information activities, aiming at educating to a responsible citizenship, are fully coherent with the objectives of my Ministry," he said. "For this reason, the Minister himself has been supporting the UNV campaign on MDGs since the very beginning."

Addressing the audience, the Director for Specific Secondary Education, Ms. Alimata Badini, said that activities, like the students' drawings, are important practical tools in educating and also in recognizing students' creativity."

Before presenting the prizes, Mr. Da urged the students to do their part to helping achieve the MDGs. "Pursue these objectives, even in life's everyday activities, as members of your family as well as aware citizens of our beloved Burkina Faso."