Author Morris Gleitzman Supporting UNICEF Day of Change – 26-10-11

Children’s author Morris Gleitzman is helping out UNICEF Australia this year in support of their Day of Change initiative, which kicks off on Wednesday 26th October 2011. His books have covered a wide range of subjects over the years, and now he is using his storytelling talents to help Australian children understand what it’s like to grow up in Timor-Leste.

UNICEF’s Day for Change is held on the same date as the worldwide Children’s Day, and will see students around Australia take action to help children in developing nations. This year is in support of those in Timor-Leste, who are currently in the midst of not just a drought, but also a civil war that is causing massive unrest in the country. Students across Australia will take the ‘Walk for Water’ challenge, which will show children what it is like to not have access to clean drinking water, something we all take for granted.

Morris Gleitzman, said –

From experience, I know that children can handle tough subjects; it helps them to expand their knowledge and think about the world around them. Timor-Leste is right on our doorstep – yet seven out of 10 children there don’t complete school and 60 per cent of schools don’t have enough toilets. Many of us in Australia have never stopped to think about how important our school plumbing was in helping us receive a good education. But many children in Timor-Leste start every school day fetching buckets of water to flush the toilets or wash their hands at school.

As an official UNICEF Universal Children’s Day Ambassador, Mr Gleitzman is asking children to walk in the footsteps of an East-Timorese child for a day as part of UNICEF’s Day for Change initiative. All funds raised will go towards UNICEF’s continued work to provide water, education, sanitation and hygiene in Timor-Leste’s schools, something we all take for granted. By providing these basic facilities, UNICEF is helping to get children into school, and try to ensure they stay there.

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