Life continues in the Porin reception centre of Zagreb despite the uncertainty of COVID-19
More than one third of the current asylum seekers in Croatia are children
At the beginning of May 2020, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia took over the coordination for activities to the support of children and families of asylum seekers in the Porin reception centre. UNICEF CO has been engaged in the Porin reception centre since 2016.
In cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health and NGOs, UNICEF have been supporting mothers and children by facilitating access to healthcare, education and other services such as breastfeeding support, support for parents and expecting mothers, psychosocial support and support in organizing creative and sports activities for children.
“We are happy that no cases of COVID-19 have been detected among the asylum seekers in Croatia until now, and that we were able to extend our support during the crisis. We also helped the children of Porin to master their education curriculum and learn the Croatian language. We are proud of the Government’s actions to ensure the sustainability of those efforts.” – said Regina Castillo, UNICEF Representative in Croatia.
In April 2020, among the 380 asylum seekers accommodated in Asylum seekers facility in Zagreb, Croatia, nearly 40% were under 18 years old (141), 40 children between 0-3 years old and 10 pregnant women.
Most of them fled from Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, arriving in Croatia after spending months in camps in Greece, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
One of UNICEF key partners at the Porin reception centre is the Medecins du Monde organization (MDM), who provided inputs for this photo story about the lives of children and families in the Porin reception centre during the pandemic.
Healthcare protection of the youngest children at Porin reception centre, Zagreb, Croatia.
A new-born being examined at the Porin reception centre, Zagreb, Croatia.
To secure the best possible care, it is vital to have information on the prevention of COVID-19 in all the languages spoken by asylum seekers and UNICEF has been providing interpreters and translation in Porin.
Helping the youngest.
Medecins du Monde at the Porin reception centre, Zagreb, Croatia.
UNICEF supported the opening of a child-friendly space and a mother and baby corner within the reception centre Porin which is now closed due to COVID-19 pandemic. These spaces were suited for children and provided different services for them, such as psychosocial support, organization of sport and creative activities, support for parents and expecting mothers, as well as support in the education of children. UNICEF hopes that those spaces will come to life again in the future.
In cooperation with JRS SouthEast Europe, UNICEF assists children in Porin with learning Croatian, writing assignments and learning school materials. Colors, numbers and even rhymes are all quickly learned with good support.