Let’s play TOGETHER at the UN in Vienna
Let’s play at the UN? Every summer children in Austria’s capital city of Vienna get to do just that. For more than a decade, the Visitors Service of the United Nations Information Service in Vienna has been part of the ‘Holiday Games’ ("Ferienspiel") programme organized by the City of Vienna's WienXtra office. Austrian summer school holidays are nine weeks long, and many local institutions offer holiday activities at a discount to help parents fill the time.
The UN in Vienna, one of the Organization’s four global headquarters, invites children between six and thirteen years to use their holidays to find out more about the work of the UN, celebrate UN International Years and explore other cultures. The programme changes every year, and in 2017 it forms part of the 'Together' initiative to promote respect, safety and dignity for refugees and migrants.
The Together Ferienspiel programme starts with an introduction to the United Nations organization and its 193 Member States. We talk about the fact that right here in Vienna, you can meet children with roots in many of these countries every day. Then our participants get active. With the help of tour guides, they play a game to trace each other’s own migration background – even if it is just from one Vienna neighbourhood to another. We explore what helped the children settle in to new homes. We visit a real refugee tent, provided by UNHCR, to talk about why some children might be forced to leave their countries, and what kind of help they might need. One key is being able to understand each other. By the end of the tour, each child will be able to say at least one word in a new language: “Together”.
Ferienspiel 2017 at the UN in Vienna runs from 3 to 21 July and 14 to 31 August, Monday to Friday at 9.30am. For more information, please see www.unvienna.org/visit