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Thomas gets a Kenyan friend

By George Orido | Published Tue, August 21st 2018 at 14:03, Updated August 21st 2018 at 14:07 GMT +3

Last year, a team of Mattel Inc and United Nation’s staff agreed to introduce Nia at the Cannes Film festival in France.

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In a month or so, Nia, will be showing in theatres across the world as she injects new life and promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among millions of viewers across the world.

Kenya’s Yvonne Angel Grundy has been picked to do the voice over for Nia. “I was pleasantly surprised when I was called for auditions,” says Grundy, a Kenyan who is currently pursuing a Bachelors’ degree in the Arts at Bournemouth University in the UK.

The new collaboration between the UN and Mattel has seen the inclusion of elements from five of the 17 SDGs in the upcoming Thomas and Friends series, which will be aired in more than 110 countries in 33 languages. 

Specifically, the selected SDGs are on Quality Education, on Gender Equality, on Sustainable Cities and Communities, on Responsible Consumption and Production, and on Life on Land.

According to Ms Tolulope Lewis-Tamoka the UN Women Africa Programme Adviser, Nia is the new girl engine from Kenya and works hand-in-hand with her friend Thomas who is from UK to bring about change. It shows that through partnerships with countries such as Kenya, that change can be sustained.

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Nia is an empowered girl, determined to get things done no matter what. “Nia stays true to her aspirations and her goals. She wants to tour Asia and she gets to fulfill her dream although with some challenges,” shares Tolulope.

With strong determination you are able to achieve your potential and that’s what the programme wants for every girl, every child in Africa and around the world.

 “The collaboration was formed out of a series of writers’ workshops organized by the United Nations Creative Community Outreach Initiative in January 2017,” Ms. Amarilis Whitty of Mattel says.

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In the series, Nia will be riding throughout the Nyika plateau across the Tsavo and will stop at the beautiful coastal city of Mombasa and come back through the undulating landscape of Rift Valley bringing along her friends to the warm and lush scenes of the Lake Victoria Basin.


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