The EU and UNICEF provide IT equipment to Social Work Centers throughout Kosovo
PRISTINA, 8 August 2022 – The EU Ambassador in Kosovo, Tomas Szunyog, and the Head of UNICEF in Kosovo, Nona Zicherman, handed over today in Pristina 230 tablets to social workers from all 40 Social Work Centers operating in Kosovo.
The provision of this IT equipment is one of the activities of the EU-funded and UNICEF-implemented project worth EUR 5 million that is helping mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of children and families in the Western Balkans and Turkey.
Tablets will enable social workers to provide better and faster responses to the needs of children and their parents, including online, as well as to learn on the job.
“Social workers are often the first point of contact for the most vulnerable member of society and play a key role in ensuring that they receive adequate protection. It is thus important that they possess the necessary technical capacities to provide an effective response to each case,” said Szunyog.
“Today’s provision of IT equipment further supports the digitalisation of public administration in Kosovo and will help social workers to access online platforms developed with EU assistance for technical support and case management. The EU, together with its partners, will continue to support the effort of Kosovo institutional to provide equal and adequate social welfare leaving no one behind.”
The EU-funded and UNICEF-implemented regional project works to strengthen health, education, and child protection systems and to help ensure that critical services are provided to children and their families during the pandemic emergency and recovery period. It is also helping address the increased risk of exploitation and violence against children resulting from the pandemic.
Along with the provision of tablets, in Kosovo, it also included the development of a training programme on the provision of mental health and psychosocial support and the creation of an online learning platform for continuing professional development of the social service workforce.
“The social service workforce plays a central role in supporting children and families by identifying and managing cases of children at risk and facilitating access to a range of social services to enhance child and family well-being,” said Zicherman.
“A well-supported, appropriately equipped, and protected social service workforce is essential to mitigating the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The EU supported Kosovo in the immediate medical crisis and the post-pandemic socio-economic recovery with a total of EUR 168 million.
UNICEF in Kosovo continues to work closely with the Ministry of Finance, Labour and Transfers to bolster the capacities of the social service workforce to provide quality services for children and families in need.
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, visit www.unicef.org.