EU Child Guarantee: UNICEF ambassador Slaven Bilić visited Medjimurje
During the visit, he met the outreach team and spent time with children and families
“Strong emotions, deep emotions. On one hand, you do not want to accept that in the 21st century, an hour from Zagreb, five or ten minutes from a city like Čakovec there is a settlement and there are people you have the impression that everyone gave up on them. They only have each other and, of course, UNICEF. And people with big hearts, volunteers who provide them with basic care and take care of their basic needs.”
With his direct approach, Slaven won everyone’s hearts, especially those with whom he played football.
“On the other hand, you see children who are happy, they are singing, and they all live as one family, they go from one house to another, no one asks "Can I come in?". They are happy all together and laughter prevails.”
“We simply must provide every child an opportunity so that they can fulfil their desires, dreams, plans, goals…”
The pilot program “Phase III: Testing the Child Guarantee” is funded by the European Union and is implemented in seven countries within European Union with the aim of providing access to basic services such as health care, education, quality nutrition, quality housing and care for children growing up in the most difficult circumstances.
The Republic of Croatia was given the opportunity to model the EU Child Guarantee in cooperation with European Commission and UNICEF to tackle child poverty and social exclusion, so this pilot program is aimed primarily at children with disabilities, children living in precarious family environment and children belonging to national minority groups. It is implemented in seven municipalities of Medjimurje County, and through cooperation and knowledge of implementing partners interventions take place in three areas: integrated child protection services and family support, early childhood intervention services and access to quality preschool education.
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