Andreea Marin, National Ambassador for UNICEF: "An integrated community centre is hope"

Moving meeting with UNICEF-supported children from Brasov

17 October 2023
National Ambassador Andreea Marin interacts with a girl
UNICEF/Holerga

Brasov, 17 October 2023. The National Ambassador for UNICEF, Andreea Marin, visited on Monday the Integrated Community Centre in Brasov, which is part of the project "Romania for every child. Ensuring social inclusion - breaking the vicious circle of exclusion for the most vulnerable children in Romania", implemented by UNICEF from 2021 in Brașov and Bacău counties.

Andreea Marin met children and parents who are beneficiaries of the Centre, learning from its coordinators and from the professionals who work here how much their work changes for the better the lives of the children who come here, including the lives of their families. Since its creation, more than 150 children from Brasov have benefited from specialised services at the community centre. The services are provided by professionals including two physiotherapists, two psychologists, a nurse and a social worker, as well as an education referent.

The Integrated Community Centres bring together basic services provided by the community team - the social worker, the community nurse and the school counsellor - and specialised services provided by professionals from different fields, depending on the needs of the community: doctor, speech therapist, psychologist, physiotherapist.

"I spent a few moving hours with the children who benefit from the services of the Integrated Community Centre in Brasov, with their parents, to listen to them and understand how important quality care is for children, especially those with disabilities. It was a unique opportunity and a privilege to meet the professionals who, with the support of UNICEF, ensure that this centre operates to the highest standards and helps vulnerable children on a daily basis", said Andreea Marin.

In the educational activities room, Alexia, Paul, Denisa, Alexandru and Bogdan, some of the beneficiary children, welcomed Andreea with open arms, showing her the preparations they had made for an autumn carnival. Andreea Marin also found out how much the physiotherapy and psychotherapy sessions change their lives for the better.

"An integrated community centre is hope and more. It means solved problems for the families of vulnerable children. The integrated community centre helps children with disabilities feel included in a world where they are often pushed aside," said Andreea Marin.

The UNICEF national ambassador then met at the County Library with children who are part of the Brasov Local Children's Council, set up as part of UNICEF's Child Friendly Cities Initiative. The dialogue between Andreea Marin and the young people who are part of this group focused on the teenagers' proposals to make their city a place where every child and young person can enjoy all the services and conditions necessary to reach their true potential. The teens also talked about their reasons for joining the local children's council and presented some of their initiatives and achievements in the local community.

Among the children's proposals in the council, made as a result of the needs identified by them in the community, are: setting up a multi-purpose centre for young people; setting up a playground for children living in a disadvantaged area of Brasov, on Carierei street; setting up school dental clinics for children from vulnerable families.

"A book opens the door to a new universe and can change the life of the child who reads it at the right moment. And you were the ones who had the chance to be at the right place at the right time for other children", said Andreea Marin to the children who told her how they collected books and toys for a community of vulnerable children in the municipality. "I want to congratulate you. You are pure energy. The fact that you managed to make your voice heard shows that you had good arguments to support your proposals and to convince the adult decision-makers to support your projects for the community."

The visit also included a meeting with refugees from Ukraine, beneficiaries of Katya, the Ukrainian Refugee Services Hub and a project of the Metropolitan Agency for Sustainable Development Brasov in which UNICEF supports, together with other partners, education activities.

Media contacts

Cătălin Pruteanu
Media Officer
UNICEF Romania
Tel: +40 726 107 799

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