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Kami from SS South Africa a "champion"

Discussion in 'Sesame Worlds' started by AndyWan Kenobi, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. AndyWan Kenobi

    AndyWan Kenobi Well-Known Member

  2. MuppetQuilter

    MuppetQuilter Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting that link! Hopefully Sesame Workshop and UNICEF will help a lot of kids working together.
  3. AndyWan Kenobi

    AndyWan Kenobi Well-Known Member

    You're welcome. I'm really interested in the character, even though I've only seen a couple of her U.S. appearances. I love the way that Sesame Street can handle an issue like this with gentleness and compassion in a way that also educates children who need education on the subject. Considering what a touchy subject it is, creating and keeping this character is such a brave decision.
  4. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Here's the article if you don't want to click the link;

    (Article accompanied by a photo of Whoopi Goldberg and Kami hugging.)

    HIV-Positive Muppet Gets UNICEF Role

    GENEVA (AP) - The U.N. Children's Fund has appointed an HIV-positive Muppet starring in the South African version of ``Sesame Street'' as a ``global champion for children,'' officials said Monday.

    Kami, a mustard-colored furry Muppet who appears regularly on ``Takalani Sesame,'' represents a 5-year-old girl orphaned by AIDS. UNICEF said she ``has brought levity and compassion to a topic that so often evokes the opposite.''

    Kami now will help UNICEF promote messages of ending the stigma for HIV/AIDS sufferers across the world in a way that is appropriate to her age group.

    Kami will appear in public service ads and as a representative for other joint projects between UNICEF and Sesame Workshop, a U.S.-based, nonprofit organization that makes ``Sesame Street.''

    ``The appeal of the partnership is that through characters like Kami we can highlight areas where children are particularly vulnerable - from illiteracy to disability and abuse - in ways that are gentle, honest and compassionate,'' UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said.

    UNICEF's new partnership with Sesame Workshop also will give creative support to the South African makers of ``Takalani Sesame,'' one of several locally produced versions of the children's program.

    Kami was created at the urging of the South African government, which helps sponsor the show, to reduce stigma about the disease. Some 4.7 million South Africans - one in nine - are HIV positive, more people than in any other country in the world.

    The Muppet debuts in her new role Wednesday at the presentation of a new UNICEF report, ``Africa's Orphaned Generation,'' which details the impact of HIV/AIDS on children in Africa.

    HIV/AIDS is increasingly affecting the very young, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, UNICEF said.

    In 2002, 800,000 children under 15 years old became HIV-positive. The huge majority of those were infected at birth and most will die before the age of 5.

    In addition, AIDS among adults is creating a massive orphan crisis. By 2010, there will be 20 million children in sub-Saharan Africa who have lost at least one parent to the disease, the U.N. estimates.

    UNICEF and Sesame Workshop plan to work together on projects ranging from literacy and health to fostering respect and understanding.

    "A partnership between UNICEF and Sesame Workshop couldn't be more natural,'' Bellamy said. "Our common focus is on children around the world, who all share the same fundamental right to lives of dignity, peace and opportunity.''

    "Sesame Street'' premiered in 1969 and now is broadcast in more than 120 countries.

    11/24/03 16:36 © Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

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