Visit the United Nations

    Ferienspiel - Children of the World come to the United Nations

    By Miriam Baghdady, Tour Guide with UNIS Vienna Visitor Service

     "What does the word "UNO" mean?" I asked our young participants. In one voice they called out "It means "one"! They were not so wrong. Many think that the Vienna International Centre is a shopping mall. It is up to us, the tour guides at the United Nations, to explain to them what we do and who we are.

    Under the motto "Kinder dieser Welt" (Children of the world) we aimed to show our young visitors how diverse our world is and how children live and play in different countries. Through this theme we incorporated awareness-raising about some of the world's problems and showed what the United Nations is trying to do about them. We prepared posters and pictures of children in Egypt, India, China, Japan, Austria and Côte d'Ivoire. With our young visitors we 'stopped' at each of these counties to explain how a child lives there: child's language, his/her traditions, what they cook and eat and compare their everyday life to Austria. As my family comes from Egypt, I was able to give children an additional insight into this interesting country. The kids had the chance to learn new games or find about problems their peers are facing such as lack of clean water. Whether they wanted to participate in a quiz, learn about feasts in India or write a letter to a child in Ukraine, Germany or Sri Lanka, there was something to do for all the 965 visitors we had this summer for the Ferienspiel. Our aim was to broaden the horizon of children through play, teach them to appreciate what they have and to recognize the importance of all countries working together to make a change in this world.