UNICEF-SWO Agree on Strengthening Iranian Families in Good Parenting
Tehran, 19 June 2007 – Social Deputy of the State Welfare Organization and UNICEF Representative in Iran agreed to broaden their joint efforts to strengthen families for better child care and protection in the coming year. In a meeting held today the two sides strengthened the already existing partnership and explored new areas for cooperation.
“The best place for a child to grow up is within the family.” said Christian Salazar-Volkmann, UNICEF representative in Iran,” UNICEF will work with the SWO to provide Iranian families with all the support and information they need for good parenting and better care and protection of their children.”
An example of joint concern between UNICEF and the SWO to strengthen Iranian families and children, is Rural Child Care Centers,(RCCCs) and pre-school education. Giving the children the best start in life is the most important job of society and families. The best start in life for children ensures that they will survive and thrive, lays the foundation for learning and achieving in schools and is critical to fulfilling all child rights.
In Iran coverage of pre-school education used to stand at a low of 10% in 1998. In 2000, UNICEF supported SWO to establish 42 RCCCs as pilots in focus areas of disparity provinces. Seven years later the number stands at 5000 across the country thanks to support and efforts by the SWO. Though Iran is doing an excellent job on most social services, the need to turn RCCCs into a national plan and get closer to international standards in this respect is still highly felt.
“SWO as a key organization in providing services to various groups of children including vulnerable children, children at risk and harmed children benefits from internal and international capacities in these fields.” Said Social Deputy of SWO, Seyed Mahdi Seyed Mohammadi.” UNICEF Iran as an effective organization in realizing children’s rights has had close collaboration with the SWO in establishing child friendly spaces and RCCCs, implementing good parenting programmes and drafting the national IECD plan.”
The meeting also served to discuss long term cooperation between SWO and UNICEF in many other fields related to children in need of social protection such as improved professional qualification of social workers on care and protection of children in emergencies and the establishment of hotlines for children.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.