World Vision International
Press Release • Friday, September 16th 2016

Street event coincides with UN Refugees & Migrants Summit

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Media Advisory

Truck bearing 3D artwork of asylum-seeking children driving through New York on Monday morning, September 19

To coincide with the UN’s Refugees & Migrants Summit (Monday, 19th September) aid and development agency World Vision has commissioned an original 3D artwork by well-known NYC based sidewalk artist Hani Shihada. The image depicts refugee children from Syria pressed against a wire fence in the hope someone will let them through.

Hani, a former refugee himself, says of the work: “This project has meant so much to me because the subject is close to my heart. I was a child; only eight years old, when I became a refugee. I can say that I know how these children feel as I was there and I can feel their pain. This project represented a great opportunity for me to express my feelings and do something to raise awareness, especially about the plight and the suffering of Syrian children and their struggle for freedom and their need for peace”.

The artwork will be wrapped onto a large truck and carry the message “World leaders, we cannot ignore children forced to flee their homes. Tell @UN leaders #kidsdeservebetter. The future of nearly 50 million children rests in the hands of leaders meeting today. Let's make sure they deliver. The world is watching.”

The truck will begin its journey at Inwood Academy for Leadership (433 W 204th St, New York, NY 10034) at 8am. World Vision International President Kevin Jenkins will be on site and invite a class of eighth graders to write messages to world leaders directly onto the truck. Hani Shihada will also be present to share his story with the students. Mr Jenkins will be available for interviews.

Afterward, the truck will head to Manhattan past landmarks such as Times Square and Rockerfeller Centre in a bid to raise awareness.

Identical trucks will be deployed in four other cities around the globe the same day: Auckland (New Zealand), Seoul (Korea), Dublin (Ireland) and London (UK).

For more information, including photos, video and interview requests please contact Laura_Gemmell@wvi.org   Mobile: 929-239-0314

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The top four things World Vision wants to see come out of the Refugees & Migrants Summit:

  • World leaders prioritize the protection of vulnerable children regardless of whether they are in transit, living in refugee camps or temporary settlements, or displaced within their own countries
  • Durable solutions that address the root causes of why families flee their homes
  • UN Member States honour humanitarian aid pledges and review refugee quotas as a matter of urgency
  • Targets and accountability mechanisms for all of the above