EU and UNICEF visited their joint child-focused projects in Sarajevo

Ambassador Peter Sorensen, Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and EU Special Representative, together with Ms. Florence Bauer, UNICEF Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, visited today the Elementary School “Dzemaludin Causevic” and the Integrated Early Childhood Development Centre in the Municipality Novi Grad in Sarajevo.

Novi Grad is one of the 21 municipalities implementing the joint EU/UNICEF Project “Enhancing the Social Protection and Inclusion System for Children in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. The EU has funded this project since 2008, from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) in the amount of 4.1 million EUR. The project aims to help build systems that will ensure adequate social protection policies and social protection and social Inclusion of children and families.

“My hope is that the children I met today will one day become citizens of the European Union. I am happy to see in person that the support from the European Union is making a difference in the lives of children and families, especially the most vulnerable ones.” – said Ambassador Sorensen.

With the support of the EU and UNICEF, among others, as part of the Child-Friendly school initiative, the Elementary School “Dzemaludin Causevic” has become a model of inclusive education of Roma and children with disabilities, through quality education based on a child-centred methodology, a focus on the professional development of teachers, and the creation of a stimulating learning environment for every child. 

An Integrated Early Childhood Development Centre was established by UNICEF in 2009 through the EU funding with the aim of helping children living in suburban local communities of this Municipality to have equal access to preschool, health and social care services. This Centre offers innovative model of integrated services for parents and children that will improve health, nutrition and early childhood development for children aged 0-10 years, with a special emphasis on children 0-3 years.

“During the visit we could see how parents, guardians and children appreciate the Centre which enable them to have access in a single space to education, health and social welfare services adapted to young children. Home visits are also being provided to reach the most socially disadvantaged families in suburban communities, including Roma families. These Centres represent an effective strategy to ensure social protection of the most vulnerable families” – said UNICEF Representative Florence Bauer.