Kyiv, Ukraine, 19 August 2019: On Monday 19 August, three Ukrainian communities signed Memoranda of Understanding with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the framework of the Global Programme on Child and Youth Friendly Municipalities. Representatives of Vakulove (Dnipro Oblast), Bereza (Sumy Oblast) and Mena (Chernihiv Oblast) communities took part in the solemn signing of the Memoranda at UNICEF Ukraine in Kyiv.
The Memoranda were signed by Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine; Artur Shevtsov Head of Vakulove Amalgamated Territorial Community (ATC); Hennadii Primakov Head of Mena ATC; and Halyna Prylutska, Secretary of Bereza ATC.
Over 170 cities and amalgamated territorial communities from all over Ukraine have declared their commitment to joining the UNICEF Global Initiative. Vakulove, Bereza and Mena communities were selected in a competitive process to join the second group of municipalities to benefit from technical guidance provided by UNICEF in the framework of the Child and Youth Friendly Municipality Initiative.
Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine, noted:
“Signing a memorandum in the framework of Child and Youth Friendly Municipality Initiative is a first and vital step, as it confirms the community’s commitment to ensure favourable conditions for the development and life of the youngest residents, as well as to secure their rights. We appreciate that you took the time to travel to Kyiv and participate in our joint happy event. We believe that we will be able to join forces and realize a lot of ideas for children and young people in our communities, as well as create new, exciting and exemplary practices of active of child and youth participation in the life of Ukrainian communities.”
Oleksandr Yarema, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, stated that: “The Child and Youth Friendly Municipality Initiative in Ukraine unites the efforts of the Government, international organizations and the public to create an environment comfortable for children and youth. Together, we have done a lot to improve the lives of children and young people in Ukraine, and we sincerely believe that this is only the beginning.”
Oleksandra Churkina, Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine for European Integration, noted that: “It only took a year and a half for the team that is implementing the Initiative in Ukraine to up-scale it to national level and to do a lot for children and young people. And what is good for children and young people is good for everyone. The Ministry of Social Policy is doing everything it can to support the Initiative. In particular, we developed a draft law that we hope will adopted by the new Verkhovna Rada to enable communities to benefit from the Government’s support for the implementation of projects for children and young people.”
Artur Shevtsov, Vakulove Village Head, thanked UNICEF and partners from the Child and Youth Friendly Municipality Initiative for their trust and stated that he and his colleagues would make every effort to complete all the necessary steps for implementation of the Initiative to be eligible for this status.
Hennadii Primakov, Mena Mayor, proudly emphasized that his community is the first in its oblast to participate in the Initiative. Therefore, he and the team understand their responsibility extremely well and are ready to be the pioneers in all matters around the well-being of children and young people.
Halyna Prylutska, Secretary of Bereza Village Council, shared: “For us, participation in the Child and Youth Friendly Municipality Initiative is first and foremost about training, new standards and approaches, and integrated methods and ways of engaging all stakeholders. We are proud to have been selected for the second cohort of municipalities and we believe that we will be able to draw on the experience of other cities and communities, as well as to share our experiences of creating a comfortable environment for children and young people.”
The Memoranda outline the procedure for participation in the Global Initiative and stipulate that UNICEF will provide organizational and technical assistance. Signing the document is the first step towards being awarded the official status of Child and Youth Friendly Municipality. Specifically, the document reaffirms the commitment of the communities to create a more supportive environment for the development of children and youth.
The process of obtaining Child and Youth Friendly Municipality status follows a set procedure that stipulates active involvement of children and youth at all stages. The first stage is analysis of the lives of children and young people in the community. Next, the community authorities are to develop and approve an action plan to help create a supportive, safe and comfortable environment for them. A community must also provide resources to implementa an approved action plan.
Once an action plan is implemented, the community goes through an independent evaluation process, and – if successful – it is awarded the status of Child and Youth Friendly Municipality.
About the Initiative
The Child and Youth Friendly Municipality Initiative is a global movement that brings together local governments, civil society representatives and businesses to reach consensus in key areas for the well-being of all children and young people. Since its launch in 1996, the Initiative has been joined by more than 3,000 municipalities in 38 countries across five continents. To date, the Initiative has reached over 30 million children.
On 29 March 2018, a Memorandum on implementation of the Child and Youth Friendly Municipality Initiative was signed between UNICEF, the Government of Ukraine and partners.
The Initiative’s partners in Ukraine are: UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine; the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine; the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine; the All-Ukrainian Association of Local Self-Government Bodies “Association of Ukrainian Cities”; the Association of Local Self-Government Bodies “Association of Amalgamated Territorial Communities” and NGO “the National Youth Council of Ukraine.”
About UNICEF: 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 in Ukraine, please visit: www.unicef.org.ua. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.