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Let’s Unite for Children!

Greetings and welcome to this edition of Unite for Children, UNICEF Romania’s quarterly newsletter which keeps donors and partners informed of major issues that affect children in Romania, and actions that UNICEF and its partners are taking to defend and promote the rights of children.

This issue’s focus is early childhood development (ECD) and the irrefutable evidence that a child’s development is never at greater risk than at a very early age – hence the need to concentrate efforts on providing the necessary platform to parents, care-givers and teachers so that they are properly equipped to give children in their care the very best possible start in life. You would think that it is basic common sense to give more help and support to children in their early years, but the fact is that many governments still channel insufficient funding to services for pre-school children. Encouragingly, Romania has shown quite large strides in confronting many of the issues that affect infants and young children.

A major problem that affected children this summer was the terrible floods that ravaged parts of Romania’s northeastern counties. Thousands of families found themselves in seemingly hopeless situations as roofs imploded, verandahs collapsed and household belongings were washed away. With the hands-on assistance of volunteers and generous donations of its partners, UNICEF was able to mobilise extremely quickly to get to needy victims, helping to accommodate children in holiday camps while the floodwaters subsided; a hastily organised nationwide telethon helped raise funds and what followed was a coordinated relief effort from volunteers and partners that
enabled children to get over the worst of the floods, and ensured that they were able to begin the school year on time.

In September it gave me great pleasure to welcome Gheorghe Hagi as a UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador. Gheorghe Hagi needs no introduction to Romanians and sports fans throughout the world, as he is the country’s greatest ever footballer. Now retired as a player, he is revered in sporting circles and idolised by children everywhere, not just for his success on the field but also for keeping a calm and balanced attitude, seemingly unaffected by fame and fortune. He will be a huge asset for UNICEF, and we are delighted to have him alongside Andreea Marin Bănică, our first National Goodwill Ambassador. I look forward very much to uniting for children and working with them.

Edmond McLoughney
UNICEF Representative, Romania



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