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Junior Eurovision winner’s Maléna becomes UNICEF Ambassador

Ahead of Junior Eurovision song contest 2022 to be held in Armenia on December 11, 15-year-old Malena (Arpine Martoyan), winner of the 2021 song contest, has been appointed as the newest UNICEF Armenia National Ambassador.

From November 18-20, Malena joined UNICEF and Human Rights Defender Office to launch the first HRDO Child and Youth Advisory Council on World Children’s Day. She joined the young Council members in a series of workshops on topics ranging from the Convention on the Rights of the Child to how to research child rights issues, from mental health to persuasive communication, and heard from them about issues children and young people in Armenia are facing.

Previously, Malena attended the UPSHIFT closing ceremony in Gavar, an initiative through which UNICEF supports the development of life skills and supports youth to positively engage with their local communities as change-makers. It was an opportunity for her to engage with young people from Gavar and to learn about the projects they designed and implemented.

“This year, I’ve got so much inspiration – I’ve already met young people that understand climate change from A to Z, young people that along with their daily life and studies, managed to form a team, to identify one of the community’s problems, to write a project to solve that problem, and contributed to improving life in their community,” said Malena.

“This role with UNICEF will provide me with more opportunities to meet children and young people across our country, to learn more about issues they are faced with and the concerns they have. As UNICEF Ambassador, it will be my first responsibility to voice these concerns and issues and I’lI do my best to make their voice sound lauder and bolder.”

UNICEF has a long, successful history of working with Ambassadors which dates back over 60 years. UNICEF currently works with approximately 400 Ambassadors in 103 countries and regions around the world to improve the lives of children. They play a critical role in shining a light on the challenges children and adolescents face around the globe.

“Adolescence is a special period in a child’s life, and an important window of opportunity to help children develop many critical skills and capacities for their future. We are therefore working on many initiatives to empower young people, to equip them with 21st century skills to promote their participation and to make their voice heard – on climate change, mental health and many other important issues. I am excited to welcome Malena to the UNICEF team as our newest Ambassador – together we will make sure that young people’s voice is heard and included in decisions that affect their lives,” explained Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia.

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