UNICEF and Priorbank launch the Family for Every Child program in the Vitebsk region
UNICEF in Belarus and Priorbank will continue to cooperate
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UNICEF in Belarus and Priorbank have signed a Cooperation Agreement to support the implementation of the Family for Every Child program in the Vitebsk region. The goals of the Cooperation Agreement are to strengthen the capacity of biological families to prevent children from entering residential institutions, to help children re-establish contact with their biological parents or find a foster family.
The Family for Every Child program was implemented in the Gomel region in 2018–2021. According to the program results, the number of children in the Gomel Regional Orphanage has decreased by 35%; the number of children entering this residential institution has decreased (out of 61 orphans and children under 4 years old left without parental care, 41 children (67%) are placed in foster families); the efficiency of working with biological families raising young children and having a difficult life situation has increased (out of 336 children under 4 years of age recognized as children in a socially dangerous situation, 31 children (9%) have been removed from their biological families).
Despite the efforts of stakeholders, 5,881 children remained in residential institutions in Belarus in 2020, of which 2,366 were children with disabilities (120 of them were brought up in orphanages) (according to the Belstat data).
Following the experience of the “Family for Every Child” program in the Gomel region, agreements were reached with the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee in 2021 to expand the program coverage. UNICEF in Belarus, together with its partners, will be putting efforts to prevent the institutionalization of children with disabilities and young children, paying special attention to strengthening the capacity of the biological family and to removing children from the following residential institutions: Vitebsk Regional Specialized Orphanage Medical Institution, Bogushevsky Boarding School for Children with Psychophysical Disabilities State Educational Institution, Children's Home of the City of Vitebsk State Educational Institution, Begoml Auxiliary Boarding School of Dokshitsy District State Educational Institution.
“We are grateful to Priorbank for its support, for understanding how important this program is for keeping children in their own families, because every three months of stay in a residential institution delay child development for one month,” says Tanya Radochay, UNICEF Representative in Belarus. “We are also grateful to Priorbank clients who make donations and who have been helping children find families for four years already.”
The work under the Family for Every Child program has been financially supported by Priorbank, Raiffeisen-Leasing, as well as through donations.
“We are happy to be a part of such an important global mission and continue to support the idea of charity simplicity by our own example, thus attracting our clients and partners to the project. The implementation outcomes of the Family for Every Child program in the Gomel region are inspiring and encouraging. Hundreds of parents raising children with disabilities have received expert assistance and support. We have also improved the quality of life of some children and returned them to their families, trained new specialists to work with children in need of special care. At the same time, children who dream of living in a cozy home with loving parents stay in boarding schools and orphanages. Therefore, we still have to do a lot to make their biggest dream come true and change their lives for the better,” noted Sergey Kostyuchenko, Chairperson of the Management Board of Priorbank.
UNICEF in Belarus calls on Belarusians to support the Family for Every Child program by making a donation on the website. You can also donate by sending an SMS with any text to number 2244 (if you are an MTS subscriber) and to number 888 (if you are an A1 subscriber).