Clothes don’t make a man, but they make children happy
During the previous year, UNICEF provided nearly 1000 children with winter and summer shoes and clothing
There is an old saying ‘’Clothes don’t make a man’’, and while we agree that it carries an important wisdom of not judging person’s character by their clothing and outward appearance, nice and warm clothes certainly do make everyone, especially children, happy.
Every winter UNICEF procures non-food items (clothes, shoes, jumpsuits, underwear, socks, hats, gloves, and scarves) for children on the move. This season as well. A pile of winter clothing and shoes will be distributed to refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking children in temporary reception centers in Una-Sana Canton.
While warm clothes and shoes are necessary for all children on the move, school children are among the happiest. First distribution of winter clothes and shoes was organized in Borici centre, in early December, reaching 114 children aged 0 to 17.
Zaynab*, a mother of five from Jordan, says how satisfied she is with all the items her children received:
‘’These clothes are great; they are nice-looking and modern. This is the first time my 6-month-old daughter got appropriate baby clothes. My school age daughter really liked that they got different shoe models for boys and girls.’’
Procurement of winter clothes and shoes is a lengthy and painstaking procedure and it involves many different actors, but the result is always worth it - seeing children and their parents satisfied and knowing that they will not freeze while outside of reception facilities.
Ida and Samra, UNICEF’s consultants working in Usivak Temporary Reception Centre, shared their experiences:
‘’Distribution process is always challenging to some extent due to the large number of children, but we do our best to make sure that every child gets the appropriate size and even their preferable color, if possible. Children are often most happy with small things such as hats, gloves, and scarves. It brings us a lot of joy to see children walking around the center in clothes that UNICEF procured for them. Children and their parents are always very grateful. Considering that they spend a lot of time on the move, their clothes and especially shoes get worn out and broken quickly. That is why regular clothes and shoes distributions for children are important. We are proud to be a part of this and we feel rewarded when we see the children smile.’’
Jalal*, a father of six from Afghanistan, is posing happily with his children in their new winter clothes:
‘I have six children and they are very happy to receive new clothes and shoes. This is the first time that they got the clothes they liked. This was the best clothes distribution so far! I also want to praise the staff of the Centre, for their hospitality.’’
There are currently more than 300 refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking children, settled in temporary reception centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the previous year, UNICEF provided nearly 1000 children with winter and summer shoes and clothing. Along with variety of services provided, the provision of clothes and shoes presents the direct response to the needs of every child, contributing to their satisfaction and feeling of being protected.
* Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy and safety of acters.