‘Ambassador’ for a day at UNICEF’s office in Bulgaria
UNICEF Bulgaria was delighted to host the 18-year old Narin Mehmed from Kardzhali as an ambassador for a day and to have the opportunity to exchange about UNICEF mission in an open discussion with Narin and her schoolmates.
‘If I had the chance to be an ambassador for a day, I would focus on science, education and healthcare because they ‘produce’ the most important assets’
Narin is one of the finalists in the ‘Ambassador for a day’ initiative of the British embassy in Sofia.
‘In history, pandemics always have been an opportunity pushing people to forget the past, to learn from their mistakes and to build their world again. This pandemic is not different and if seen that way it would mean a new beginning, if we could take advantage of this chance’, the young girl said in her essay.
Narin visited UNICEF’s office in Bulgaria and spoke to Dr. Jane Muita, UNICEF Representative in the country. The schoolgirl also participated in some meetings along with UNICEF team so she can not only learn about UNICEF’s mission and priorities but also on some current initiatives. Narin showed special interest in the work of the organization regarding mental health, adolescents and inclusive education.
‘I was deeply honoured to meet with radiant Dr. Muita who showed a great positive attitude. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to communicate with this influential woman and to learn from her experience’, Narin added.
She invited Dr. Muita to her school in Kardhazli and UNICEF’s Representative gladly accepted the invitation.
At the school, Dr. Muita had a fruitful discussion with students from 10th and 11th grade and their teachers. The students were curious and asked a lot of questions about UNICEF’s work. Dr. Muita explained that the organization that protects the rights of all children all over the world this year celebrates its 75th anniversary. She also talked about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with an emphasis on environment, people and prosperity.
Dr. Muita emphasized that young people play an important role in achieving sustainable future. ‘If you don’t care about the others, we will not develop’, she said. UNICEF Representative in Bulgaria advised the adolescents to try saving water and energy while the students also shared their ideas for preserving the environment, for example by using less plastic and not buying products that harm the environment. ‘If each of us contributes, it would make a difference’, Dr. Muita concluded. They also discussed the issue of mental health that is one of the main priorities for UNICEF in 2021.
‘We can start addressing the problem of mental health by talking about it in schools’, said Dr. Muita. She advised the students to support each other and to visit the school counselor especially during these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF Representative also addressed the issue of violence in schools and online bullying. She urged the students to come up with new ideas because in her words we depend on young people and they know better how to stop violence.
‘Children must participate in decisions that affect them’, Dr. Muita stressed in front of the students.
Inspired by the meetings with UNICEF team, Narin shared that from now on her responsibility would be to help people learn and grow. ‘I will continue asking myself and the people of my generation the question: ‘What can we do together to empower young people, especially young women, to defend their rights and the rights of their beloved ones such as their friends, their mothers and grandmothers and last but not least their children?’.