Please help the dirty German children

UNICEF Germany has withdrawn a series of ads designed to bring attention to the millions of AfricanUnicef4
children who can’t attend school. The ads featured white children whose faces had been blackened. Some bloggers and others found them rather offensive. In a letter to one of them, UNICEF press officer Rudi Tarneden explains the ads:

The idea behind is that children from Germany demonstrate their
solidarity with children in Africa by showing up with a coloured make
up. Their message s: "Children may look different but are equal – we
all want to go to school." Absolutely no connotation of black children
as "dirty children" was intended.

Before publishing the ad, we
had carefully discussed possible misinterpretations and the agency had
also tested public reaction in a survey in Germany, without receiving
negative comments. Neither did we receive any negative reaction from
the German public after publication.

The ad was published in a
few high-quality print media like Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,
Spiegel, Die Zeit, Stern, free-of-charge. These media had never
volunteered to publish the ad if they would have expected a negative
connotation. Obviously, the
perception of the ad varies by country. [Link]

Perhaps UNICEF Africa can use the same pictures to raise money for German children. I’m sure a lot of African children would be shocked to see how dirty German children are.

Zambian boy: "I feel very sad for that German boy. He has so little water."

Zambian girl: "Yes, only enough water to wash his ear."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: