On World Children’s Day, UNICEF launches a campaign to support children with disabilities
Let’s turn disabilities into opportunities
This year, on World Children’s Day, UNICEF Croatia launched a campaign to support children with disabilities and their families under the motto “Let’s turn disabilities into opportunities”. The aim of this campaign is to provide necessary early childhood intervention services to children with disabilities in Croatia, and the funds collected through the campaign will be invested by UNICEF in the provision of therapies, equipment and professional support for children with disabilities and their families.
World Children’s Day is celebrated on 20 November, 31 years from the date of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child whose idea was to achieve the full realisation of all rights and to provide equal opportunities for a healthy and fulfilled life for every child. The aim of the UNICEF campaign is to improve the living conditions of children with disabilities and help ensure that every child with a disability in Croatia is given equal chances for quality care, education and protection.
Many children and families in Croatia still do not have access to early intervention services. It is estimated that there are currently 24,000 children from 0 to 5 years of age with disabilities, or at risk of a developmental disability in Croatia, who are potential beneficiaries of these services, but only 1 out of 8 of those children use early intervention services. A lack of available early childhood intervention services, or the lack of possible access to these services, result in real obstacles for children and their parents.
One of the major obstacles for children with disabilities is the lack of social acceptance – approximately 45% of families of children with developmental disabilities in Croatia do not use early childhood intervention services due to the stigma attached to disabilities. Through the campaign aimed at providing opportunities for children with disabilities, UNICEF wishes to help change attitudes and raise awareness of the importance of social inclusion for creating equal opportunities for every child, which is the basis of the creation of a better society.
“Until every child, wherever he or she lives, can exercise all rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the work of UNICEF will not be completed. The rights of children with disabilities in Croatia, unfortunately, have not been fulfilled because 7 out of 8 children under 5 with developmental disabilities do not receive the necessary professional support, and the pandemic has additionally hindered access to these vitally important services. Therefore, I invite everyone to join us and support this campaign because together we can turn disabilities into opportunities
UNICEF supports the development and provision of early childhood intervention services as part of integrated and coordinated healthcare, social care, and professional education services, which are key for the development of children with developmental disabilities. UNICEF will invest the funds collected through the campaign for children with disabilities in:
- distance early childhood intervention services, important for families that have no access to these services due to distance, costs, or lack of available services
- the procurement of equipment for sensory integration therapy and didactic equipment for providers throughout the country
- the training of professionals providing support to children with disabilities and their families (healthcare workers, social care professionals, and foster parents).
UNICEF invites partners, the media, companies, and citizens to support the campaign for children with disabilities in Croatia in order to provide them with quality support through early childhood intervention services.
You can donate through the website or by payment on the UNICEF account HR1723600001501092524, reference number 20462-989