Ana Ivanovic visits Belgrade and the Developmental Counselling Unit in Zemun
The renowned world tennis star continues her support to UNICEF
Belgrade, 2 November 2023 - Ana Ivanovic, the renowned world tennis star, and long-time National Ambassador for UNICEF Serbia, has signed an agreement to extend her cooperation with the organization for the next two years. During her visit to the Developmental Counselling Unit in Zemun, she expressed her support for parents and children with developmental disabilities.
At the counselling unit, Ana Ivanovic met with family members who receive support services and engaged in discussions with employees involved in the Early Intervention programme. Stressing the vital role of developmental counselling units, Ana Ivanovic emphasized the importance of assisting families with children who have developmental disabilities.
Ana Ivanovic has served as a UNICEF National Ambassador since 2007. Throughout the years, she has provided invaluable support to programs focused on protecting children from violence, early childhood development, strengthening neonatology units, promoting inclusive education, and providing support during emergency situations.
“I am honoured to continue my cooperation with UNICEF Serbia and to contribute to the realization of rights for every child. I know how much love, care and protection are needed for children to grow up and be happy. And together with partners, children, and young people, we can design new solutions so that every child has support in early development, access to health services and education, protection, as well as support in preserving mental health. Now is the time to act to ensure the future of our children and the world we want,” said Ana Ivanovic, UNICEF Serbia National Ambassador.
During the signing of the contract on continued cooperation, Deyana Kostadinova, UNICEF Representative in Serbia, thanked Ana Ivanovic for the continuous and wholehearted support she provides to children in Serbia as a National Ambassador, as well as for promoting the values and ideas of UNICEF.
“It is a true privilege to have Ana Ivanovic as UNICEF Serbia's National Ambassador. Throughout our long-standing partnership, Ana has consistently shown unwavering dedication to the well-being of children. Her invaluable support has been instrumental in advancing UNICEF's programmes and through her personal contributions, she has provided essential aid to children during emergency situations. We are delighted to continue our partnership with the shared mission of ensuring every child in Serbia can reach his or her full potential,” said Deyana Kostadinova.
According to UNICEF data, every year in Serbia, around 60,000 children under the age of 6 need additional support due to developmental risks, disabilities or delays in development. With timely inclusion in the early intervention programme, in more than 70 percent of children with developmental risks and difficulties, development can return to its typical courses, while long-term support is needed for about 20 percent of children. Three years ago, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health launched a programme of family-oriented early interventions to improve existing support services for families and children with developmental disabilities. So far, 19 developmental counselling units in primary health centres in Serbia, in cooperation with preschool institutions and centres for social work, have been supported to introduce an innovative early intervention programme into their daily practice.
“The primary health centre, together with paediatricians and visiting nurses, has a unique role in supporting parents in the most important first years of a child's life. For children who face developmental risks and difficulties and their parents, associates in the developmental counselling unit have a special importance. Through cooperation with UNICEF, health workers and associates have been able to access the latest evidence-based knowledge and practices in the field of children's health and early development. We are satisfied that through the early intervention programme we can provide the best services for children and parents, and through connection with other sectors we ensure the continuity, quality and intensity of the support they need,” said Dr. Drazena Babic, Director of the Zemun Primary Health Centre.
During her visit to UNICEF, Ana Ivanovic also met with some of the members of the Friends of UNICEF Club, which consists of 47,000 individuals and 280 small and large companies. Together with UNICEF and other partners, they help every child live a dignified life and get the opportunity to develop their potential.
Ana Ivanovic, who recently became a mother for the third time, also attended the parenting workshop titled 'Children grow through play, just like they do by eating spinach.' The workshop took place at the Banca Intesa premises and was designed for the company's employees, providing them with essential information and advice on parenting from experts. Banca Intesa stands as the first company in the region to conduct an assessment and analysis of its management model, tailored to meet the needs of its employees, with the goal of enhancing procedures and practices in alignment with the requirements of working parents.
Prisutni smo u više od 190 zemalja i teritorija, a kroz sve što radimo promovišemo prava i dobrobit dece, posebno one koja su najugroženija i isključena. U potpunosti se finansiramo od dobrovoljnih priloga pojedinaca, država i vlada, fondacija i kompanija.