23 June 2008The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is teaming up with its newly-named Artist for Peace and British writer Lauren Child to support children in need around the world. Under the partnership which will be launched on 25 June, Ms. Child – an author and illustrator of children’s books – and her publisher Hachette Children’s Books will donate the royalties from her best-selling book “That Pesky Rat” for three years to UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need. The funds will finance different UNESCO-supported projects for children in need, such as the Renacimiento Foundation for street children in Mexico City. An enhanced edition of “That Pesky Rat” to be released this month in the United Kingdom will contain stories of children in the Foundation’s care. Also part of the initiative is “My Life is a Story,” a campaign begun by Ms. Child to collect stories of children around the world who are participating in projects affiliated with UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need. Several of these writings will be made available on line at www.mylifeisastory.org. Ms. Child’s books have been translated into 30 different languages and have sold millions of copies globally. She was attracted to the quality of the projects the agency has initiated with its Programme for the Education of Children in Need, which encourage children’s artistic and cultural talents. Since it was created in 1992, UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need has formed partnerships with more than 330 innovative projects in 92 countries, helping vulnerable children gain a better future through education and job training. As an Artist for Peace, Ms. Child will join other world-renowned personalities, such as the Canadian singer Céline Dion and the Spanish flamenco dancer Joaquín Cortés, who lend their voices to help promote UNESCO’s message and programmes.