Tirana 9 December, 2019- Nearly 31 schools have been damaged or destroyed in Tirana and Durres region following the powerful earthquake that struck Albania less than two weeks apart, threatening access to education for hundreds of school children.
UNICEF has been active through Child Friendly Spaces in the areas of the psycho-social support by opening of the child-friendly spaces (CFS) in affected communities providing age-appropriate activities for children. Currently, UNICEF is supporting six child-friendly spaces and have reached nearly 315 children in the most affected area in Durres. Most of the activities in the child friendly spaces are wellbeing activities which help children to overcome psychological distress, improve their social skills, and build resilience.
UNICEF is supporting Ministry of Education and Sports through vital learning supplies like notebooks, pens and schoolbags, teaching kits and furniture to help 400 children resume classes in a safe learning environment. These learning spaces provide a return to a sense of normalcy for children, some of whom may have lost everything, and provide a safe space for them to play and learn.
‘Education in emergency is crucial. Today, I was in Golem, to witness the official opening of one of the temporary learning spaces that we are supporting so children don’t miss out on school. UNICEF is also committed to getting all children-with a focus on girls- back to schools. Education is an investment in children – giving them the building blocks to rebuild their lives and, eventually, their country.” - says Roberto De Bernardi, UNICEF Representative in Albania.
UNICEF has a long history of working in emergencies and humanitarian situations. In the current response, UNICEF is collaborating with the Government, NGOs and other UN agencies to ensure comprehensive and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance.
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.