UNICEF and France Join Forces to Empower Children in Libya through Baity Centres
Tripoli, 17 July 2023 – UNICEF Libya is pleased to announce the contribution of 600,000 Euros from the Government of France, dedicated to supporting the "Baity-My Home" education protection and skills centres for children in Libya. This partnership aims to address the pressing needs of vulnerable children, including children on the move, by providing them with vital education and child protection interventions, incorporating a strong focus on social cohesion and skills.
With a population of nearly 7 million, Libya is home to a significant number of young people, with 52 percent under the age of 25 and 31 percent under the age of 15. Within this demographic, children on the move, women, and girls face heightened and exceptional protection risks.
Baity Centres have emerged as vital spaces meeting the multifaceted needs of all vulnerable children. These centers provide formal and non-formal education, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), and specialized services, as well as life skills for adolescents and youth.
Last year, over 40,000 vulnerable children benefited from comprehensive support through the operation of eight Baity Centres strategically located across Libya, including Tripoli, Misrata, Zwara, Ajdabiya, Benghazi, and Sebha. This year UNICEF and partners will run seven Baity centres in Tripoli, Misrata, Sebha, Benghazi, Ajdabia and Derna as well as five child-friendly spaces and youth centres in Sebha, Ubari, Ghat, Brak and Alkufra - collaborating with both civil society and the Ministry of Social Affairs. UNICEF remains committed to empowering these centres and expanding their reach.
In addition to direct service provision, UNICEF is actively engaged in strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Education through upstream technical support. This includes the development of a sustainability strategy for the Baity centre model, fostering long-term resilience and impact.
Expressing profound gratitude for France's commitment, Michele Servadei, UNICEF Libya Representative, remarked, "We are immensely grateful to the Government of France for their generous contribution to the Baity Centres in Libya. This funding will be instrumental in providing vulnerable children with essential services, including education, child protection, and psychosocial support. Together, we can transform their lives, offering them a brighter future filled with hope and opportunity."
By actively involving communities, including parents, these centers ensure that their programs and services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each community, effectively identifying and referring vulnerable cases for appropriate support.
"As part of its policy to support the stabilization in Libya, the French Embassy is making a contribution to UNICEF and supporting its activities that have a positive impact on the populations, particularly those most vulnerable. The French embassy supports the "Baity Centres" project, for which France is contributing €600,000 this year, dedicated to the protection, education, and psychological support of vulnerable children. Through this support, the universal rights of children, such as education and health, including psychological care, become effective rights", said Mostafa Mihraje, French Ambassador to Libya.
UNICEF Libya and France are united in their dedication to upholding child rights, promoting inclusivity, and nurturing a generation of resilient, empowered children who can shape a brighter future for themselves and their communities. With continued support and collaboration, we can unlock the immense potential of every child in Libya.
Notes to Editors:
The Baity Centres serve the following purposes:
- Enroll school-aged children in non-formal education programs, acting as a bridge towards the national education system, to provide equitable, safe, and quality learning opportunities.
- Offer community-based child protection and psychosocial support interventions to vulnerable boys and girls.
- Engage with communities through outreach and sensitization activities to raise awareness and identify the most vulnerable children and adults who can benefit from Baity centre services.
- Provide life skills-based training for vulnerable young people, enabling their active engagement.
- Ensure that children in need of additional services, such as healthcare and specialized support, are referred to the appropriate service providers.
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/mena
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