Andrew Parker (New Zealand), the hot-air balloon pilot and creator of the Flying High For Kids project, visited Minsk in the framework of the Air Sports Festival that took place in Minsk on July 17-19, 2015. Andrew is performing an overland hot air ballooning journey through more than 100 countries and lasting for a four-and-a-half year. He is traveling in his truck and is paying for his journey.
Flying High For Kids project is a global charity project with a purpose of raising support for the UNICEF work. Flying High For Kids project aims at raising awareness of children’s rights globally, including the rights of the children with special developmental needs.
Besides that, one of the project objectives is to introduce the Convention on the Rights of the Child to as many people as possible. It is important to ensure that children are aware of their rights and, necessarily, duties, and teachers, parents and other adults respect and protect these rights encouraging more active participation of children and young people in decision-making processes affecting their lives.
During the three days of the Air Sports Festival, the UNICEF team together with Andrew Parker arranged a bunch of activities and met a lot of children and their parents. Andrew took part in several exciting balloon flights over Minsk, spent whole Saturday with the UNICEF team and kids at the Borovaya airdrome participating in various activities and communicated with children and adults about the importance of children’s rights and dreams that may change one life or even the whole world.
“I’m the organizer of the project, and I’m its main volunteer, too. This is how I can change the world to the better and follow my dream,” says Andrew Parker. “When I was a child, I started dreaming about hot air balloon travel, going around the world and doing good things. And here I am, with my balloon and making round-the-world journey under the auspices of UNICEF – the organization that does good in the world.”
Children and their parents who joined UNICEF activities were involved in drawing greeting postcards that Andrew Parker would deliver to the children in other countries during his tour around the world in support of children’s rights. Andrew aims to visit 100 countries within the four-year period. Belarus is the 28th country in his journey with the UNICEF project.
Also, the UNICEF balloon directed by Andrew Parker and his Flying High For Kids project team joined the spectacular event—the Night Glow Show in the very heart of the Belarus capital. Thousands of people came to enjoy this view of glowing hot air balloons.
On the last day of the festival, UNICEF together with children and parents launched balloons into the sky again. This time they were not big hot air balloons but ordinary balloons as reminders of a happy childhood and symbols of an ideal world where all children have equitable and equal rights.
During the Air Sports Festival, about 700 children and their parents were engaged in the UNICEF activities united by the common idea – promotion of children’s rights and public awareness on the issues of children with special developmental needs.
You can find more about Flying High For Kids project at www.flyinghighforkids.com