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Azerbaijan: humanitarian endeavour through children's eyes

15-05-2009 Event

Baku (ICRC) – Some 120 pupils from Baku's schools took part in a drawing competition held in connection with the 150th anniversary of the battle of Solferino, which led to the creation of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Event Info

Where: Geneva

Children receive prizes for their art. 

Mahir Guliyev is 17 years old. Together with Bahban Mammadov and Muhtar Orudjlu, he won the drawing competition organized by the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society (AzRCS) with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and entitled " The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement through children's eyes " . The three boarding school students received a backpack and school accessories.

The winning entry of Mahir Guliyev shows a handshake in front of a terrestrial globe. One of the outstretched arms has a Red Crescent armband, the other a Red Cross armband. " I wanted to show that all countries in the world join hands under the symbol of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent to help victims of wars, " he says. His own family was displaced from his home village of Zingishaly, in the Aghdam district, as a result of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.

Mahir has been keen on drawing since he was 10. During the 10-day competition, he drew almost 15 pictures. " The topic inspired me very much and I worked on a picture almost everyday, but only one was selected in the end. I had various ideas about how to show Red Cross and Red Crescent staff helping injured people, victims of earthquakes and prisoners of war going back home, " he says.

His drawing and some 60 others – selected from a total of 120 – were placed on public display in Baku's Children's Art Gallery on the occasion of World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, 8 May. " These nice drawings show how children feel and what they know about the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's humanitarian values and principles, " says Toon Vandenhove, head of the ICRC delegation in Azerbaijan, at the opening ceremony. " They show that by sticking to these principles and helping victims of armed conflicts, natural disasters and other tragedies, people can change the world for the better. "

Thirty other students took part in an essay competition held in parallel on the topic " Be charitable " . Before the two competitions were launched, Azerbaijani Red Crescent volunteers conducted information sessions in Baku's schools presenting the history of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and its fundamental principles.

The drawing exhibition is a contribution to the global humanitarian campaign " Our world. Your move " launched this year by the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to give victims of wars and disasters a stronger voice and to encourage people around the globe to step up and take action to help them.

  For further information, please contact:
  Gulnaz Guliyeva, ICRC Baku, tel: + 99 412 440 62 22
  Claire Kaplun, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 244 64 26
  ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 34 43