UNICEF announced the launch of the Youth Advocates Programme in Greece

On the occasion of World Children’s Day on November 20, the UNICEF Country Office in Greece announced the first members of the Organization’s Youth Advocates Programme in Greece!

23 November 2022
Με αφορμή την Παγκόσμια Ημέρα Παιδιού στις 20 Νοεμβρίου, το Γραφείο της UNICEF στην Ελλάδα ανακοίνωσε τους πρώτους Youth Advocates του Οργανισμού στη χώρα μας.
UNICEF/Greece

ATHENS, 21 November 2022 - 11-year-old Panagiotis Raptis, 17-year-old Efi Zafeiropoulou, 19-year-old Stavros Youvannis and 22-year-old Efi Zografou, are the first UNICEF Youth Advocates in Greece, as it was announced on the occasion of this year's World Children's Day, on November 20.

UNICEF's Youth Advocates Programme is implemented in countries where UNICEF has a programmatic presence and actively involves children and young people in the Organization's decision-making process on important issues that affect them at national, local and global level.

"As a UNICEF Youth Advocate, I would like to work on issues of inclusion and integration of people with rare diseases in society and I am very proud to have the opportunity to propose ideas and solutions that can be implemented by people with disabilities", said 11-year-old Panagiotis Raptis, the youngest member of the Programme so far. Panagiotis is in the 5th grade and is the protagonist of the UNICEF Greece campaign on inclusive education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs,  while he has already participated in a series of meetings and discussions on issues concerning children with disabilities in the country.

Efi Zafeiropoulou, 17 years old, from Athens, wants to study law and contribute to issues  pertaining to the importance of youth participation in decision-making processes and inclusive education, so that equal opportunities are provided to all children, without discrimination: "It’s a great honour and responsibility for me to become a member UNICEF’s Youth Advocates Programme. I will do my best to promote and defend the rights of vulnerable children and young people, and contribute,  to the best of my ability, to shaping a better present and future for all of us!", she says.

"As a Roma child, I felt the need to be heard and to protect the values of people who were deprived of them or did not have equal opportunities, values that are self-evident. I warmly thank the UNICEF Country Office in Greece for giving me the opportunity to represent my peers," explains Stavros Yiouvannis, 19 years old, from Thessaloniki. Stavros is studying Economics at the University of Macedonia, he is particularly interested in issues of inclusion, social exclusion and education and has participated in human rights workshops in several organizations and universities. He also served as a member of UNICEF’s Youth Steering Committee for the implementation of the European Union's "Child Guarantee" programme.

"In the past I have participated in various events concerning child protection issues, with a special focus on deinstitutionalisation, as I  grew up in an institution myself.. As a Youth Advocate for UNICEF, I would like to work on issues regarding deinstitutionalization for both typically developing children and children with disabilities, as well as on child protection and issues of young people’s sexuality " says 22-year-old Effi Zografou from Athens, who is studying to become an occupational therapy assistant and has also participated in UNICEF’s Youth Steering Committee for the implementation of the European Union's "Child Guarantee" programme.

The first symbolic action of UNICEF Greece’s Youth Advocates took place on Sunday, 13 November, by participating in this year's 39th Authentic Athens Marathon, in the 5 km race, with the message of combating violence against children, along with the Organization’s Goodwill Ambassadors, Helena Paparizou, George Perris and Antonis Tsapatakis,  and with other participants from thefields of media and the arts .

UNICEF Greece Youth Advocates and GoodWill Ambassadors with UNICEF’s Representative in Greece, Mr. Luciano Calestini.
UNICEF/Greece/Αthanatos

In the context of UNICEF's 5-year National Programme (2022-2026), the participation of young people in decision-making processes and the promotion of the active role of youth in the public debate are a priority and constitute a key parameter that defines  the work of the Organization, both in Greece and internationally.

By putting children and young people at the center of the dialogue, strengthening their voice and encouraging their initiatives, we benefit from their  views and concerns,  and actively contribute to building the present and the future that every young person and every child deserves and envisages.

Media contacts

Olga Siokou - Siova
Communication Specialist
UNICEF
Tel: +30 211 2340 297

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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 and its work for children in Greece, visit www.unicef.org/greece.

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