CHINA

In China, the balloon was inflated for a school in a remote village in Sichuan Province, Chaping. The village was completely destroyed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and needed to be completely rebuilt. 10% of the villagers lost their lives in the quake.
The balloon was inflated next to a UNICEF Child Friendly Space, which are safe areas UNICEF create after a natural disaster where kids can come and play safely.

We shared postcards and spoke to the kids about the project, plus answered many questions from them.

For more information about what UNICEF China do, please go to www.unicef.cn

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MONGOLIA

We had two events in Mongolia. The first was held in the most important place in Mongolia, Chinggis Khan Square, in Ulaanbaatar. A large number of children were there, some of whom gave performances. Speeches were made and the balloon was inflated.

The following day the balloon was tethered in Nalaikh, just outside of Ulaanbaatar. Again children gave performances and were encouraged to help with setting up and packing up the balloon. Postcards were shared and we spread the message of the importance of education.

Our focus in Mongolia was promoting the importance of education and the inclusiveness of children with special needs.

For more information about UNICEF Mongolia, please go to www.unicef.mn

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KAZAKHSTAN

We had three events in Kazakhstan.
The first was in Astana, where the balloon was inflated in the new city and children from an orphanage attended. Project Director, Andrew Parker answered their questions and spoke to them about the project. They had never seen a balloon before and were very inquisitive.

The second event was in Kokshetau, at a children’s convention. The event ran for a week and children from Kazakhstan and Russia were present. The children participated in team building activities and worked on plays, along with many other fun activities. The balloon was inflated before the opening ceremony and later Andrew spoke to them about following their dreams.

The last event, in Astana, was a balloon inflation to raise awareness about children’s right to education. The balloon was inflated in a high profile location in the new city, close to the famous Khan Shatyr Shopping Centre.

For more information about UNICEF Kazakhstan, please go to www.unicef.kz

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KYRGYZSTAN

In Kyrgyzstan, an event was held promoting the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The balloon was flown from a school in Ala-Too, just outside of Bishkek. There were performances, postcard sharing and speeches. Around 800 children attended the event, as well as government ministers and the First Lady of Kyrgyzstan.

It was also an historic event as it was the first time a hot air balloon had officially flown in Kyrgyzstan.

For more information about UNICEF Kyrgyzstan, please go to www.unicef.org/kyrgyzstan

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TAJIKISTAN

There were three events in Tajikistan, including two speaking events.
The first was at an event celebrating the International Day for persons with Disabilities. Project Director, Andrew Parker, spoke to the crowd about the importance of following their dreams and used his story as an example.

The second speaking event was at a gala dinner involving government and UN organisations, country ambassadors, among other notable guests. Andrew spoke about the project and encouraged them to make real change to help the future of children in Tajikistan.

The third event was in the city of Qurghonteppa. Andrew and UNICEF Tajikistan spoke to a class, shared postcards, asked questions about the kids’ daily lives and ambitions, and encouraged them to follow their dreams.
The following day, 5000 children attended the first ever official balloon flight in Tajikistan. Children gave performances before the balloon took off. Many excited children greeted the balloon on landing.

For more information about UNICEF Tajikistan, please go to www.unicef.tj

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GEORGIA

In Georgia, an event was held in the historic town of Mtshetka, just outside of Tbilisi. A number of children attended, including some with special needs. We exchanged postcards and children released helium balloons before the balloon took off.
The balloon landed by a refugee camp of people displaced by the 2008 fighting between Georgia and Russia. As it was around Georgian Christmas, we shared gifts with the children who came to greet us.

Our main focus was raising awareness about inclusiveness of children with special needs.

For more information about UNICEF Georgia, please go to www.unicef.ge

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ARMENIA

In Armenia, an event was held in the Capital City, Yerevan. The balloon was tethered in Freedom Square. Quite a number of children attended and fun activities were arranged for them. We shared postcards and Project Director, Andrew Parker, talked to the spectators about the balloon and what the project was about.

Our main focus was raising awareness about inclusiveness of children with special needs.

For more information about UNICEF Armenia, please go to www.unicef.am

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