Ill and disabled children, heroes of a TeleFood event in Algiers
Auction of children's artwork assists earthquake victims
10 February 2004, Rome -- In Algeria, ill and disabled children helped to provide assistance through a TeleFood drawing contest to young survivors of an earthquake that left thousands of victims and orphans last May in the regions of Boumerdès and Algiers.
A total amount of US$15 000 was collected at an official auction sale of the drawings at Palais de la Culture in Algiers, last month. Ten out of 38 selected drawings were bought by generous and enthusiastic donors.
The drawing contest used the theme "I want to give a hand to my friend who suffered from the earthquake".
"It was so moving to see ill and disabled children showing solidarity with other children who lost their parents, their homes and, in some instances, their entire family," said FAO Representative in Algeria Olivio Argenti.
A thirteen year-old boy, Mehdi Kourichi, won the contest. His drawing sold for US$7 500. Second prize went to teenage girl Miraoui Kheira, and a special prize was granted by the jury to Kamel Maachou, 15, author of an abstract drawing that left everybody breathless.
"The drawing contest served as a catalyst to encourage people to give more. So far, some US$54 000 has been collected by the TeleFood campaign in Algeria," Mr Argenti indicated.
TeleFood was launched by FAO in 1997 to sensitize public opinion to the problem of hunger and to collect funds to finance small-scale projects that benefit the poorest communities in the world.
The TeleFood campaign includes concerts, sporting events and other activities to harness the power of the media, celebrities and citizens to help fight hunger.
Media Relations Officer, FAO
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