Queen Rania participates in website launch to highlight voices of youth across the world

December 10, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – Amman) Since its launch almost two decades ago, the internet has churned out bold and innovative creations aimed at connecting people from all over the world. The latest creation from this highly interactive platform includes ‘Our Stories’ (http://www.ourstories.org), a new website launched this weekend by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, UNICEF’s first Eminent Advocate for Children, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War Ishmael Beah.

The site, launched December 6, seeks to collect, preserve and share stories from young people around the world.

“Telling a story only has real meaning when someone else is listening,” said the Queen for the virtual launch of the initiative, “The message of this project is that every human being has a story that deserves to be heard.”

The effort is supported by UNICEF in partnership with Google and the One Laptop per Child project. The website launched with stories from Brazil, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Pakistan, and will soon include more stories from elsewhere around the world, with translations of the site into eight languages.

Many of the stories focus on schooling, as young people either describe the present or look towards their future. Supporting the new website, Ki-moon called out to youth from all over the world to share their stories. “We are asking you, the leaders of tomorrow, to tell us about the future you want. How can we work together to reach the Millennium Development Goals? What can each of us do about climate change? How can we defend and uphold all human rights for all?” he asked.

The UNICEF Division of Communication’s Youth Team has been actively pursuing many avenues to connect young people who have no access to the Internet with others who do, using mobile phones, radio and other innovations under the ‘Uniwiki’ banner.

In the next phase of the ‘Our Stories’ project, the site will add the ability for anyone to record a story – thereby growing the community of stories and storytellers, with the goal of collecting millions of stories by 2010. UNICEF will also add functionality for recording stories on mobile phones and land lines, which will play a powerful role in connecting young voices worldwide.

To listen to Queen Rania’s audio message, where she encourages youth from all over the world to share their stories, please visit: http://www.ourstories.org/queenrania.html

Additional Links:
UNICEF clip for Our Stories: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKKvXvEpaOI

Our Stories website: http://www.ourstories.org/