• UNICEF: Mudfaced African children need your help!

    Posted August 17, 2007 By in Books/Magazines, Charity, General, Politics, Travel With | 4 Comments

    UNICEF Germany mud Africa adsIf there was any doubt about how ineffective and out of touch old-world charity organizations have become when it comes to Africa(ns), here is an example. UNICEF Germany put time, effort and valuable resources into producing this recent ad campaign which “shows four German kids who appeal for solidarity with their contemporaries in Afrika”. In an attempt at drawing a familiarity between German and African children on the topic of education Jung von Matt/Alster – UNICEF’s ad agency – came up with the brilliant idea of showing typical German children with mud spread across their faces. Taglines for the ads include: “In Africa, many kids would be glad to worry about school”, “Some teachers suck. No teachers sucks even more”, “In Africa, kids don’t come to school late, but not at all”, and my personal favorite “I’m waiting for my last day in school, the children in Africa are still waiting for their first one”.

    Needless to say, the ads have caused a lot of controversy. When “help” efforts like UNICEF’s and the eerily similar Giorgio Armani’s Kate Moss cover are so off mark, you know there is a serious need for African intervention at the planning stages. Someone tell these guys to give me a call before they embarrass themselves further and continue to lose money.

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  • Angela Hawke

    Thank you for raising this issue. We agree completely that these advertisements, which appeared on the website of the German National Committee, were not appropriate and are not in line with UNICEF’s mission. They have been dropped from that website and there are no plans to use them in the future. We apologize for any offence caused. For your background information, the German campaign aims to promote child-friendly schools in six African countries. Launched in late 2004, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the fact that nearly half of all children in Africa lack even primary education. With funds from private donors, 350 schools have been repaired or newly constructed. In addition, several thousand teachers have been trained and school management improved. In total, around 100,000 children and young people have benefitted from this campaign since 2004. The right to education for all children is a prerequisite for their development and a basis for social and economic development. The campaign itself will continue but, as stated above, these particular advertisements will not appear again.
    Once again, UNICEF offers sincere apologies.

  • I am quite happy to see that UNICEF responded so quickly, and that they were willing to admit their misguidedness on this particular issue. This type of blunders should not occur in the 21st century.

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  • Admin

    I just goes to show how really ignorant people really are about the developments that have taken place in Africa regarding education.  Before putting up such campaigns can they do their research?! And whats with the mud on the face?! They really have no clue have they?