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10 Children Awarded 'Universal Dream Kids'

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Ten children from around the globe, including two Chinese, have been selected as the "universal dream kids," for their bravery, environmental awareness, and their cravings for education.

The selection is part of a global campaign launched by the Xinhua News Agency and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations on November 20, 1989.

The ten children include Maria Luisa Oliveira Eleoy, a 14-year-old girl from Brazil who dreams to be the Rio Samba "Carnival Queen," Ayesha Halim, a 13-year-old girl from Afghanistan who wants to become a doctor for the sake of the country's female patients, and 12-year-old Ulija from Russia dedicated to the art of ballet.

Also selected as the dream kids are 13-year-old Chen Jian'an from Indonesia and 17-year-old Heshani Madushika Hewavitharana from Sri Lanka, two survivors of the 2004 Indonesia tsunami, and 14-year-old Mohammed Ahmed, a Somalian refugee now living in Kenya.

They are joined by Jordan Hartman, an 11-year-old boy from Australia who takes a keen interest in environmental protection, and Karmo, a 12-year-old girl living in the Chatila refugee camp in Lebanon whose biggest dream is to return to school after she dropped out for economic reasons.

Two Chinese children were also among the list of ten -- Liu Danyang, an 11-year-old deaf boy who is also an award-winning painter of environment-themed works, and He Siqi, a 14-year-old girl of Naxi ethnic group in Yunnan Province who devotes her leisure time to publicizing the traditional culture of her people.

According to organizers of the "universal dream kids" selection, the ten children were selected on the basis of their unique experiences and recommendations from local child-related organizations.

"Their experiences showcased the pains brought by wars, the calls to love, the cravings for knowledge, the concerns over the environment and the enthusiasm toward ethnic cultures," said a statement from the organizers.

Xinhua and the UNICEF have launched a global media campaign for children's rights in the run-up to November 20 and a 24-hour global live multimedia coverage on the day, dubbed the "Global News Day for Children". It will be the first time that global media report at the same time on the same topic.

More than 600 media organizations worldwide have participated in the joint campaign, a move to expand on the impact generated by the World Media Summit held in Beijing early October, which concluded that care for the mankind should first go to children.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international agreement on protection of children's rights, which requires abidance from the legal systems of all countries that have ratified the document, including China.

(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2009)