Save the Children in Kosova/o marks International Children’s Day and launches new End of Childhood Report
The International Children’s Day on June 1st was an important day for Save the Children, not only in Kosova/o but globally as well, as we launched the first ever End of Childhood Report and Index, underlying the fact one quarter of the world's children are being denied a childhood.
Save the Children in Kosova/o launched the report locally, including the online petition, where it attracted media presence both newspapers and TV, highlighting the data on the overall report as well as specific country context. As data on Kosova/o are scarce and partial, with no data on the number of child victims of extreme violence, Kosova/o was not included in the official ranking of this report (The resources on the index, almost exclusively, have been used by UN agencies, where Kosova/o is not listed). However, despite this, Save the Children was able to use the results of the latest report of the Multiple Indicator Groupings 2013-2014, to include Kosova/o in an unofficial ranking, along with other states, some of whom also lack credible data on children. In this ranking and compared to the Balkan countries, Kosova/o shows that it has highest mortality rate for children under the age of 5, with 15 deaths per 1000 live births, it is ranked in the middle of the list for adolescent childbearing with 15 in 1000 teenage pregnancies, and has the lowest stunting rate in children with 4.3%.
Furthermore, Save the Children in Kosovo is urging the Kosovo government to work harder towards accurate data collection and making efforts with different UN agencies to begin reporting data for Kosova/o as well.
In addition, on marking this day, in joint cooperation with our local partners at both national and local level, numerous activities were held throughout the country, aiming to raise awareness among duty bearers, communities and parents on children’s rights in Kosova/o. We continue to highlight the campaign on early childhood care and development (ECCD), “Thesar për tërë jetën” or Treasure for life” which seeks to sensitize parents and caregivers on the importance of investing in early ECCD.
Among the many activities carried out, the following were of key importance:
- In cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), and as part of the ECCD campaign we broadcasted (large TV screen) the ECCD awareness video in the city center of the capital city of Prishtina, where it will showcase for a month, aiming to reach a large audience, as it has one of the highest views in Prishtina city.
- More than 250 children, supported by Save the Children and partner Syri i Vizionit, through a series of public debates raised their voice with advocacy messages “The world is of no importance, if there are no children,” calling toward local duty bearers (municipal mayors, child rights coordinators, ombudsman representatives, municipal education departments representatives, and school directors among others), through a series of round tables held in seven municipalities, to address the barriers children face and have more commitment toward implementation of children’s rights. In these debates children demanded their mayors to also do more in creating better conditions for them in schools, more protection and more sports and recreational areas.
- Activities were also carried with parents of children with disabilities, persons with disabilities, and employees of the Handikos centers, raising awareness on the rights of children with disabilities in the society, where present was Save the Children’s Artist Ambassador for Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities, Yllka Gashi. Furthermore, Handikos also carried out activities in other parts of the country, in Gjakova, aiming to raise awareness through advocacy messages “We want love too!”, “We are all equal!” and “We are all the same.”
- Street action activities were held in three municipalities (Klina, Peja and Mitrovica) as part of “Promoting Access and Quality in ECCD in Kosovo,” where jointly with Community Mobilizers and Preschools we distributed awareness materials on importance of ECCD and demonstrated educational activities for 0 to 6 year olds to children, parents and community, reaching around 1,100 children directly. Around 1100 awareness raising materials composing of information on importance of breast feeding, ECCD and rights of children with disabilities were distributed to parents (500 in Prishtina, 300 in Mitrovica, 100 in Junik and 200 in Klina)
- Street action activities were held to promote ECCD and health and nutrition in early childhood with Mini Olympic Games for children and Puppet Theater held. This included preschools institutions in Mitrovica and those in villages Brobonic and Vernice.
- Activities were also held in Gracanica, with children, including children from Roma community participating in different educational and sport activities.
Through the awareness raising and networking activities with local stakeholders, we are aiming to raise awareness on the importance of ECCD, health and nutrition, right of children with disabilities, promote positive parenting practices and ensure child participation and space for children to raise their voice and have their rights fulfilled.