Romania for every child, a new UNICEF initiative for the benefit of vulnerable children

The project has a value of over 5.1 million euros, of which 4.2 million is a grant provided by the Norwegian state

19 November 2021
Members of the panel in the launch event
UNICEF/Holerga

BUCHAREST, November 19, 2021. The Romanian Senate and UNICEF in Romania launched on Friday the initiative “Romania for every child. Making social inclusion real - breaking the cycle of exclusion for the most vulnerable children in Romania”, in the context of the World Children’s Day, celebrated worldwide every year on November 20th.

Despite efforts to achieve European standards and a higher level of development and social cohesion, almost 42% of Romanian children continue to be disproportionately affected by poverty, reduced access to services, exclusion, and discrimination. These children are more exposed to situations of violence, family separation and placement in alternative care services or special schools, and social and gender norms have a negative impact on their social inclusion, while limiting their participation. The objective of the "Romania for every child" project is to contribute to the social inclusion of all children and adolescents, especially the vulnerable, through quality, fair and coordinated health, education and child protection services (integrated community and specialized services), as well as by protective social norms.

The total value of the initiative is over 5.1 million euros, of which a grant of 4.2 million euros provided by Norway through the Norwegian Grants under the Local Development Program administered by the Romanian Social Development Fund. The project is initiated by UNICEF in Romania in partnership with Bacău County Council, Bacău General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection, Bacău Public Health Directorate, Moinești City Hall, Bacău City Hall, Colonești City Hall, Corbasca City Hall and Bacău City Hall, Brașov Social Assistance Directorate and Moinești Social Assistance Directorate, and implemented between June 2021 and December 2023.

"Romania for every child" has three major areas of intervention aimed at promoting the "Child Friendly Localities" Initiative and creating the optimal framework for children's participation in local decision-making, the creation and operationalization of five Integrated Community Centers (KICs) in which at least 6,400 children and vulnerable people from 16 local communities in Bacău and Brașov counties will benefit from specialized medical, social, psychological counseling, physiotherapy or speech therapy services. The third area of intervention aims to promote quality inclusive education.

"I am glad that this year, together with UNICEF and other partners, including through this event, we managed to bring the Romanian Senate closer to the children and give them a voice. On World Children’s Day, but also every day, we must listen to children, consult them in the decisions that affect their lives and give them the opportunity to get involved so that they can become active citizens. Many times, children have innovative ideas and solutions that adults do not necessarily think about", said the President of the Romanian Senate, Anca Dragu.

"The Romania for every child initiative is dedicated to all children - younger, older, shy or confident, children who need to go to kindergarten and school, to be healthy and protected, they need a chance to develop, to form and make known their opinions, children who, through their creativity, could make that ideal world a reality. But they need our support, everyone's support", said Oana, member of the Children's Board.

With  the Romania for Every Child initiative, we want to  trigger a movement towards creating Child Friendly Communities in Romania: communities in which the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children are an integral part of public policies and where every child enjoys their childhood and reaches their full potential. We want systems to better collaborate under the umbrella of the Integrated Community Centers, where children have free access to child-friendly specialized services, and ensure that every child has access to quality inclusive education”, said Pieter Bult, UNICEF Representative in Romania.

Thank you to the Romanian Senate for your support of this project and thank you to UNICEF for your commitment. In my diplomatic career on three continents, I had the pleasure of working together with UNICEF in projects similar to this one. It turned out to be successful. I am sure this will be the case this time as well”, said Thorstein Wangen, Counsellor - EEA and Norway Grants, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bucharest.

In recent years, UNICEF has implemented, in 45 urban and rural communities in Bacău County, a model for providing integrated services at the community level, with two intervention packages: the Minimum Package of Services and the Inclusive Quality Education Package, both providing access to basic services in the field of health, social protection and education, at the community level. One year ago, the Romanian Parliament amended the social assistance law to create the legal framework for the application of the model represented by the Minimum Package of Service at national level.

The new "Romania for every child" initiative model aim is to extend the type of services provided (to include specialized services), the geographical area and the interventions, so as to ensure that the different sectors do not work separated, but in a coordinated and integrated manner. As with other UNICEF projects, the accumulated evidence will make a significant contribution to promoting social inclusion and developing public policies for the benefit of the most vulnerable children.

Media contacts

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

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