April 30, 2008 13:00 ET

British Columbia Students Win UNICEF's Junior 8 Competition

Winning Richmond Secondary Team to Travel to Japan to Attend This Year's G8

TORONTO, ONTARIO and RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - Four 16-year-old students from Richmond Secondary School in Richmond, B.C., have won a national competition to travel to this year's G8 Summit in Japan and have their voices heard on the world stage as part of the UNICEF Junior 8 Summit.

"For a generation of young people who face global challenges like AIDS, poverty, inequity and climate change, the UNICEF Junior 8 Summit provides a crucial platform for the discussion of issues that have a direct impact on them" said Nigel Fisher, President & CEO, UNICEF Canada. "The Junior 8 Team is part of the first fully globalized generation -- a generation actively engaging their peers in their schools and communities to be informed and act for social justice and global development. They have deeply considered perspectives and deserve to be heard."

About 75 teams of high school students across Canada competed for the opportunity to participate in the UNICEF Junior 8 Summit, scheduled for July 2-9 in Chitose, Japan. Jointly organized by the G8 presidency and UNICEF, the Junior 8 Summit aims to advance young people's understanding of global issues and provides a platform for them to discuss these issues and advocate solutions to the world's most powerful leaders. The winning team will travel to Japan and meet with teams from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the UK and the USA.

The winning team, VERIX: Voices of Truth, is comprised of four students from B.C.; Wilson Lau, Stephanie Liou, Khalil Kassam and Alex Goncharov. All four students are active in their community and share a common commitment to global issues, including the environment, the world economy, as well as social, health and economic development in developing countries.

The winning team created a video as part of their entry, to discuss their ideas for global improvement. Among their innovative proposals are calls to increase digital curriculum in schools to reduce paper waste, and a "Green Index" to evaluate the environmental impact of consumer product similar to ISO regulatory standards.

Other notable entries include: in second place, T.E.A.M.W.O.R.K, College de Levis from Levis, Quebec; in third place, Students Saving Our Society, Peace Wapiti Academy from Grand Prairie, Alberta; and tied for fourth place, Youth Advocating Change, Balmoral Hall School/Vincent Massey Collegiate from Winnipeg, Manitoba and Team Totem, Semiahmoo Secondary School from Surrey, British Columbia.

Air Canada Kids' Horizons is a sponsor of the UNICEF Junior 8 Summit.

To learn more about the UNICEF Junior 8 Summit, visit

To watch the winning team's video, visit http://verix.s-79.com/media.php.


UNICEF is the world's leader for children, working in 156 countries and territories to save, protect and enhance the lives of girls and boys. UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, promotes quality basic education, protects children from violence, exploitation and AIDS, and is the world's largest provider of vaccines for developing nations. A global leader in emergencies with six decades of on-the-ground experience, UNICEF saves and rebuilds children's lives in natural disasters and conflict. UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, schools, associations and governments.

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