Hot air balloon adventure gives children’s rights a lift

YOUNG Kiwi Andrew Parker has made Australia the first overseas destination of an around the world hot air balloon adventure for UNICEF.

The adventure will take Parker and his colour UNICEF-emblazoned hot air balloon to more than 100 countries over the next four years.

On the way, Parker will be visiting students to share messages about the importance of education – a child’s right as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and a core mandate of UNICEF’s global work.

Parker will also be calling for child right advocates to make a donation and fund UNICEF’s work in reaching the more than 57 million children who do not have access to a basic education.

During his Australian visit the commercial hot air balloon pilot and entrepreneur will visit schools in Brisbane and Grafton ahead of the annual Canberra Balloon Festival, from March 8 to 16.

From Australia his immediate destinations include the high mountain passes of Central Asia, the jungles of Africa and South America, the plains of Mongolia finally finishing in Chile in 2017.

For Andrew Parker, the adventure is a childhood dream come true.

“I had the idea of flying for a cause back in my early teens and it has stayed with me,” Mr Parker said.

“I’ve flown balloons in many countries but I’ve never had the chance to do something on this scale,” he said.

Mr Parker aims to raise more than $1 million for UNICEF’s education programs worldwide through public donations and business partnerships.

UNICEF Australia chief executive officer Norman Gillespie said the ambitious project was an exciting endeavor and a unique way to connect children around the world.

“UNICEF Australia and our colleagues across the countries Andrew will visit hope the schools he meets along the way will join in and share information about their lives with each other, especially as children will be able to follow Andrew’s adventures on his blog and Facebook page.”

Source: UNICEF Australia

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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