Rita Ora visits "The house of Colors" in Tirana
I am truly honored to be here and shine a light on the incredible work that UNICEF is doing.
Rita Ora, the UK-based music star born in Kosovo and a UNICEF UK AMBASSADOR, visited today the "House of Colors", the community center in Tirana, Albania, offering the whole range of services to children and their families including here the emergency shelter as well.
Every child should be provided with care and a safe environment to access protection services, education, and entertainment. This is what is being provided at the 'House of Colors' .
Since 2011, the center supported by UNICEF and the Municipality of Tirana and implemented by Nisma ARSIS has provided support services to around 4000 children affected by social exclusion, domestic violence, poverty, migration, exploitation, and human trafficking. This community center has become a point of reference to communities and respective authorities, creating a set of multidisciplinary practices for better integrating vulnerable children from an early age.
All the beneficiaries of the center were following their daily activities when she visited each of them. Rita Ora spent time with the children by playing, dancing and painting together. She tried to also help the kitchen staff to prepare some ‘Byrek’, an Albanian traditional dish.
I am truly honored to be here and shine a light on the incredible work that UNICEF and UNICEF Albania is doing. I loved spending time with the inspiring children I met at "The House of Colors". Experiences like this, where I can see first-hand how UNICEF are supporting children everywhere, highlight the incredible and invaluable work they are doing.
During the visit the Mayor of Tirana, Mr. Erion Veliaj, the UNICEF Representative for Albania, Dr. Roberto de Bernardi, Permanent Coordinator of the United Nations in Albania, Mrs. Fiona McCluney, and Deputy Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Albania, Mrs. Mia Marzouk shared their key messages regarding children’s wellbeing and their efforts to achieve that for every child.
I am so glad that Rita was part of this very special visit, to see the incredible work being done here by the wonderful staff of the ARSIS Initiative with street children. When we all work together, the British Embassy in Tirana, UNICEF and the whole network of our excellent organisations, which work just like western organisations, when it comes to managing a street situation or domestic violence case, it's good news, so I'm glad we've created an island of excellence here. Of course, there are difficult issues, but where there is a will, there are solutions! The fact that Rita is here, to see the work being done here, gives us a lot of courage.
The event was concluded with “the wall of colors and light” activity where Rita Ora, the children and all participants left their handprints and signatures on a white wall, in support to child protection services and fight against human trafficking and child labor.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/albania.