Split, 24 January 2020 – The 2020 Agreement on Cooperation, signed on this day, means that the partnership between the City of Split and UNICEF that began in 2015 will continue. The Agreement was signed by the Head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia, Regina M. Castillo, the Deputy Mayor of the Town of Split, Jelena Hrgović Tomaš, Lukša Regjo, director of Čistoća Split (Waste Management Split), and Tomislav Šuta, director of Vodovod i kanalizacija Split (Water Supply and Drainage Split).
For the first five years of this cooperation, the town's public utility companies – Stanouprava Split (Real-estate Management Split), Water Supply and Drainage Split, and Waste Management Split – assisted UNICEF's work through support in raising funds for UNICEF's children's programmes. In the period between 2015 and 2019, almost 7,000 donations were received and half a million Croatian Kuna was collected as support for children and their families. From last year, the public utility companies Water Supply and Drainage Split and Waste Management Split have supported this cooperation. An agreement has been signed with them again for the 12 months ahead.
“What is most important in the cooperation between the City of Split, its utility companies and UNICEF is the fact that 500.000 Croatian Kuna were raised which were directed primarily to programs for children. Our aim is to continue this cooperation in order to be united in solidarity and to continue helping those who need it most”, the Deputy Mayor of the Town of Split, Jelena Hrgović Tomaš, said.
“The City of Split and UNICEF have been cooperating successfully for the wellbeing of children in Split and in the whole of Croatia for five years. On this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude both to the city and to its public utility companies, and especially to all the citizens of the city of Split. In your city, we have been undertaking a number of activities for the wellbeing of the youngest citizens and their families, with an emphasis on the parents of the youngest children, the parents of children with developmental difficulties, foster parents, and socially vulnerable families. We are exceptionally pleased to be able to continue to do so in the future as well,” Regina M. Castillo, head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia, said.
In the past five years, UNICEF has launched numerous projects in Split. In 2019, amongst other things, it procured 4 bilirubin blankets for the treatment of jaundice in newborns in the Department of Neonatology in the Split Clinical Hospital Centre. The good thing about the bilirubin blanket is that the newborn does not have to be separated from his or her mother and placed under a phototherapy lamp. The mother and child can remain in unobstructed physical contact, which contributes to the child’s faster and better recovery. The total value of this donation is HRK 140,000. The donation of the device was complemented with staff training.
UNICEF continued to support the “Tobolac” Association of Foster Parents, the Family Centre Split, and experts engaged in family law protection. Free workshops for parents under the title Growing Up Together and Growing Up Together Plus are held in six kindergartens in Split. In cooperation with the Foundation “Hrvatska za djecu” (Croatia for Children), foster parents who take care of children under three years of age were provided with financial support for the procurement of children’s equipment in the amount of HRK 5,000 per child. For institutions for children with disabilities Slava Raškaj, Juraj Bonači and the MIR Rehabilitation Center and for the Cvit Mediterranean Kindergarten, UNICEF provided equipment for assisted communication and education of experts worth HRK 42,000, and further investments in these institutions are planned for 2020 worth HRK 100,000.
Experts from the Social Welfare Centre Split, Family Centre Branch Office, received training for the implementation of the new programme “Growing Up Together – Count Us In”. This programme is intended for the parents of the youngest children in the social welfare system who live in difficult socio-economic circumstances. For the purpose of implementing the new service in the family centre, UNICEF procured equipment, furniture, and didactic toys for the spaces where activities are conducted with children. The value of this investment is around HRK 14,000.
With a view to providing support for children and young people whose parents are serving prison sentences, last year UNICEF procured equipment for video-visits for the prison in Split, while at the moment the area intended for children’s visits is under refurbishment. Other than refurbishment, UNICEF also provided training for prison staff, state attorneys for youth, and expert associates of the County and Municipal State Attorney’s Office in Split.
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 visit www.unicef.org