UNICEF in Bulgaria united partner, allies, advocate in big celebration and a joint promise to work together for the wellbeing of every child

01.12.2016 10:35


The United Nations Children’s Fund marks the 70th anniversary of its establishment, as well as 10 years of UNICEF presence in Bulgaria 


26 November 2016, Sofia – As the day approaches to mark a global milestone – the 70th anniversary of UNICEF – the Country Office in Bulgaria held a big advocacy and fundraising event: a gala and a telethon all in one, on live prime-time TV. Dubbed “Together. For every child”, the 2 and a half hours, pro-bono concert on Bulgaria’s biggest and most popular TV channel, bTV, reached millions of viewers with awareness-raising facts and messages about the situation of the most disadvantaged children and advocated for the realization of rights of every child in Bulgaria.

Over 100 popular persons and celebrities from the areas of music, cinema, sports, TV hosts, talented young people and children joined forces in raising their voice from the stage and on the phones talking to numerous viewers – to fight unfair and enhance equity so that every child in Bulgaria could reach her or his full potential. Strategic partners from UN agencies, civil society organizations, state institutions, business companies, and media were present at the event to support the efforts to leave no child behind. 

Video-messages by Ms. Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, and Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, current VP of the European Commission and elected CEO of the World Bank were broadcasted.

Both of them paid respect to UNICEF’s work and pledged their commitment to ensure that all children are protected, educated, and supported to realize their dreams.

Over 8000 new pledge donors and 3000 one-off donations were attracted during the combined gala-telethon event, and this adds up to the already existing 36000 monthly supporters whom UNICEF in Bulgaria engaged over the past 2 years (during large-scale initiatives and campaigns to fight violence against children, and to ensure access and inclusive education and early learning for children with disabilities). 

All the partners, including strategic corporate donors such as Happy Bar&Grill, Orange Center, IKEA Bulgaria, Piraeus Bank, Post Bank – conveyed messages to the audience and pledged their commitment to continue working for the realization of the rights and well-being of #EveryChild.

Some of the results for every child, which UNICEF in Bulgaria shared with allies and general public, included:

:: Thanks to the collaboration of thousands of donors during the bTV and UNICEF show "The Magnificent Six", we created family-counseling centers in Shumen and Montana to support families with complex needs.  Already 4034 families received parenting support which prevented the separation of babies from their families and consequently the placement of children in institutions, providing - when needed - suitable temporary foster care.
:: With the mission that each family is entitled to support in caring for their children, along with partners we helped create the Centers for maternal and child health in Shumen and Sliven. 9065 children and 8194 families have received the needed support from mobile teams of nurses for the period 2013-2015.
Despite the achievements, yet there are serious challenges to ensure the right of children to early childhood development, early learning and education. To support the realization of the rights of the youngest ones, in partnership with the state institutions, media and the civil society, we started building a proper inclusive environment in kindergartens focusing on children with special needs, because in Bulgaria there are about 23,000 children living with a disability and for the 2015-2016 school year about 8000 children are still excluded from the educational system and social environment.
One of the serious breaches of children's rights that girls and boys worldwide are facing is violence. Bulgaria is no exception. There is not accurate data on children and women victims of violence and studies about social norms and attitudes supportive of violence are rare. To make visible the invisible, together we launched a campaign “Future without violence for every child.” Reports of violence cases trough the National telephone line increased but integrated response to victims remains a challenge. To support children and families victims and witnesses of violence, we helped create an innovative service - Child advocacy and support centers – ZoneZakrila in Shumen, Montana and Sofia. For one year the teams have helped 164 children and their families receive comprehensive care from a psychologists, lawyers, medical practitioners, and social workers. 

We will continue to #FightUnfair – and we will be TOGETHER #ForEveryChild

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:
Jacklin Tzocheva, Communication Officer, UNICEF Bulgaria
Tel.: +359 2 / 96 96 208, E-mail: jtzocheva@unicef.org  

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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.