Article & Photos by Ms. Donna Walker-Ross
The U. S. Coast Guard was a top supporter and mega presence at the World Children’s Festival (WCF) held on the National Mall in Washington, DC from 17 – 19 June 2011. The U.S. Coast Guard prides itself as a multicultural and diverse organization always striving to be known as the “Service of Choice” in America. The U.S. Coast Guard wants to expand its outreach efforts to reach as many people as possible; especially, youth from diverse backgrounds and cultures to make them aware of USCG career opportunities and Coast Guard global missions. The Coast Guard’s tent had water safety, environmental, educational, and physical fitness activities and over three-days we had over eight-thousand visitors. Everyone had an opportunity to participate, feel valued and share a sense of belonging. Our inclusive environment promoted recognition, acceptance, and a celebration of differences and similarities. The array of traditional regalia set the stage for a united nations of children; it was truly a cultural spectacle. The event culminated in an evening awards banquet where Host Families and young Artists from over 77 countries were recognized. Dr. Ashfaq Ishaq, Chairman, International Children’s Art Foundation and VADM John Currier, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support presented certificates to the honorees. The USCG’s participation in the WCF 2011 promoted positive international and community relations, introduced Coast Guard missions, and encouraged dialogue among Americans and our global neighbors.