Rita Ora Makes Surprise Visit During UNICEF Kosovo’s Annual Activate Talks

UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter Rita Ora personally surprises more than 400 children and young people at Activate Talks.

Lisar Morina
Rita Ora with an audience.
UNICEF Kosovo

26 June 2019

On April 10, UNICEF Kosovo Office held its annual "Activate Talks", which brought together more than 400 young people from across Kosovo. Activate Talks promotes innovative initiatives developed by UNICEF and celebrates the work of young social entrepreneurs involved in our programmes. Young innovators, Experts, and representatives of institutions showcased how we can deliver results for the most marginalized children and young people.

In an unexpected turn of events, the UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter Rita Ora personally surprised more than 400 children and young people in her native Kosovo, when she dropped in to greet the excited and unsuspecting youth groups.

“I’m so happy to be back in Kosovo and honoured to be meeting children and families supported by UNICEF.

This is my first trip with UNICEF and seeing how the programmes positively impact the health and development of children drives home how important it is for us all to keep supporting UNICEF," said the British singer of Kosovo origin, Rita Ora, who travelled to Kosovo this week in support of the Soccer Aid for UNICEF campaign.

“This is my first trip with UNICEF and seeing how the programmes positively impact the health and development of children drives home how important it is for us all to keep supporting UNICEF,” Rita added.

Rita has been a supporter, campaigner and advocate of UNICEF UK and since 2013.

Globally, Activate Talks brings together young people, innovators, experts and senior leaders to display the latest solutions and rethink and work on how we can deliver results for the most vulnerable and more marginalized children.

This year’s Activate Talks in Kosovo was organised as part of the UNICEF-supported global platform Generation Unlimited, which seeks to give today’s youth the power to change their futures.

Emphasizing UNICEF’s commitment to empowering the most marginalized young people in Kosovo, Head of UNICEF Kosovo Office, Murat Sahin, highlighted that UPSHIFT, a social innovation initiative born in Kosovo and replicated around the world, had just turned 5 years.

“Marginalised young people are disproportionately likely to miss out on opportunities. Through UPSHIFT, UNICEF Kosovo has given thousands of young people the skills to drive change in their community and achieve the future they hope for,” Sahin said. “Today we celebrate the fifth birthday of UPSHIFT, a programme that was born in Kosovo and is now being implemented in 16 countries around the world.”

In a stunning speech about personal empowerment that received a standing ovation by the overflowing amphitheatre of the University of Prishtina, youth-leader Festina Veselaj, who had been part of UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo’s Podium initiative and had worked to advocate against bullying said: “Now, I am that girl who will be strong, smiling, and ready to face any challenge. My project exists so that children with disabilities don’t have to go through what I have. It’s okay to be different.”

Over the years, UNICEF Kosovo and its Innovations Lab have provided thousands of young people with vital skills of the 21st century, empowering them to be their own advocates and become agents of change in their communities. Activate Talks was an opportunity for the public to learn how young people are working to shape a better, more inclusive Kosovo, fit for all children and young people.