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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Countywide

Exhibit Focuses on World's Children

November 11, 2000|NANCY FORREST-YOSNOW

A hands-on exhibit on the plight of children worldwide will make its only stop in the state when it goes on display at the Cal State Channel Islands campus beginning this weekend.

"Treasuring the Future: Children's Rights and Realities" has visited 20 cities throughout the United States, Guam and South Africa.

"The exhibit received a very warm reception in Africa," said Kevin Nunn, exhibit chairman.

"It was great. The exhibit provides an interactive challenge for the world regarding human rights and violence."

The purpose of the 60-panel exhibit is to educate people about the ideals and challenges set forth in the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Detailed information on the convention can be obtained from the Web site www.kidsrights.org.

"The child-friendly, interactive exhibit uses split panels to maintain a dual perspective," said Sandra Hotchkiss, project spokeswoman.

"The lower half is designed for children to learn about their rights through play. The upper half addresses the serious issues of community, homelessness, education, child labor, violence and war."

The exhibit features individual stories of typical youngsters in countries around the world, along with the heartbreaking poems of children like 12-year-old Edina.

In her poem, "When I Close My Eyes I Dream of Peace," the Sarajevo youth wrote:

"My mother and I inhale the fumes of gunpowder

I imagine it to be the smell of pies, cakes and kabob

A shot rings out from a nearby hill

We hurry though it's only nine o'clock

We might be hurrying toward a grenade marked 'ours.' "

Boys & Girls Clubs and Scouting groups from Ventura County and other counties have scheduled visits to the exhibit, Nunn said.

Youngsters from local schools have written their hopes for the future on paper dolphins that hang on walls throughout the exhibit.

Soka Gakkai International USA, the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District and Cal State Channel Islands are local sponsors for the exhibit, which was created in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund.

The exhibit lists UNICEF's goals for the year 2000, including saving the lives of 2 million children annually through increased immunization against six vaccine-preventable diseases.

The exhibit will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 19 at the university, One University Drive, Camarillo.

The local organizers will also sponsor "Victory Over Violence," a free event for high school students, from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the university.

It will also sponsor a free public event, "Kids Fest: Fostering Our Youth Locally and Globally," from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 18 at the university.

For information or to make group and school tour reservations, call 482-6715.

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