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Speech for the Launch of the Better Parenting Initiative Leaflets

Center for the Development of Family Medicine
March 14, 2006
Robert Fuderich

It is pleasure to be here today to launch the second part of the better parenting package.  This package covers parents with children ages 3 to 6.  As most of you know, the first part of this initiative, covered parents with infants up to age 3.  The two sets of material now offer scientific and evidence-based practices for parents until their children enter school.

Parenting can be defined as providing the ongoing care and support a child needs in order to survive and thrive. The quality of this parenting  will have a huge impact on whether children make through their first 5 years life and become physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally secure, socially competent, and able to learn.

From various studies conducted over the years, the overall knowledge of parenting practices in Kosovo is low. There is a lack of basic awareness about the need to stimulate a child’s physical and cognitive development from an early age.  With only 3% of children with access to any pre-school opportunities (the lowest in the region), parents are the front line of education readiness.

Quality care and protection in these years are essential to avoid death, diseases, stunting, trauma and injuries, malnutrition and developmental delays, while ensuring healthy growth, self-esteem and the ability to learn….central to school readiness and learning, making  school-based programmes more effective.  These children that receive quality parenting will grow up to become better citizens and contribute more fully in the economic development of Kosovo.  In a famous longitudinal study conducted in the US, it was found that every dollar that went into early childhood development opportunities yielded a $7 return to the nation.

The BPI project started in 2004 with the creation of the Better Parenting Committee which was supported by UNICEF and WHO.

The group designed and published the first BPI package consisting of 11 leaflets in Albanian, Serbian and Roma languages which were distributed in 2005 through the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the National Institute of Public Health as well as International and local NGOs.

During 2005, the  BPI working group supported by UNICEF and WHO  continued and developed this second set of informational leaflets consisting of 22,000 copies of each of the 13 series in Albanian and Serbian languages.   The package is easy to understand for parents with no medical background and covers children with disabilities, exposed to violence and offers advise on psychosocial stimulation and communication for parents.

The distribution of this BPI package will go through institutional channels such as the Institute of Public Health, Family Health Centers, MEST, but also include distribution through women NGOs and their networks, such as the Women’s Literacy Centers (WLC) and Early Childhood Education (ECE) Centers.

I would like to conclude by saying that the UN Kosovo team is now working together in a coordinated way to ensure that Kosovo achieves the Millenium Development Goals.  This package is just one way, albeit, an important way, in which Kosovo can achieve universal primary education (MDG 2), reduce child mortality (MDG 4) and in some indirect way contribute to the achievement of the other 6 of the 8 goals.

I would like to thank all of you that tirelessly worked on this project and to the UK National Committee for UNICEF whose funding made this project a reality.  I would also like to remind all of us here as we stated during our annual review in December that” A Kosovo Fit for Children is a Kosovo Fit for All”.

 

Robert Fuderich
Head of Office
E-mail: rfuderich@unicef.org

UNICEF
Ali Pashe Tepelena No. 1
Pristina, KOSOVO

http://www.unicef.org/kosovo

 

 
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