CELEBRATION OF 10 YEARS OF ACTION CITY OF OPATIJA – “Opatija – Child Friendly City”
In Art pavilion Juraj Šporer, today was celebrated 10 years of action City of Opatija- Child Friendly City, and celebration was honored by the presence of Assistant Minister of Economy Vedran Kružić, mayor Ivo Dujmić with his deputies, principals of schools and kindergartens, representatives of the Center for Social Welfare, representatives of the city’s Administrative department, members of Coordinating Committee actions City of Opatija- Child Friendly City and councilors of present and past convene of Children’s City Counsil.
Children’s mayor Lea Leonarda Pašić welcomed all guests, pointing out how she can say in the name of the children that in the City of Opatija children are happy, because their rights are respected and they listen to their wishes. After Lea’s greeting, a music video premiere about City of Opatija- Child Friendly City, made by members of Children’s City Counsil and Children’s Forum was shown.
President of Coordinating Committee of City of Opatija- Child Friendly City, president of the Society “Our Children“ Croatia and secretary of the Society ”Our Children” Opatija Sanja Škorić invited all present to see exhibition in Art pavilion Šporer and to go through the last ten years of work and final results of Children’s City Counsil.
– The title ” Child Friendly City” means that adults in the city are trying to give more respect to children’s rights and to continually work to improve the standards of our youngest citizens, and City of Opatija proved that their rights and needs are in the first place. Program ”Child Friendly City” contributes positive changes and commits the adults to do their best to improve children’s life, and to have that title child friendly city brings also the reputation to the community, said Škorić.
Mayor Ivo Dujmić said he is proud that City of Opatija holds the title of Child Friendly Cities already for ten years, which has acquired among the first five cities in Croatia, and today in Croatia 44 cities and municipalities carrie this prestigious title, while 104 cities and municipalities are involved in the action.
– I’m often asked how much do we invest in children, and I answer – millions and millions of kuna … All these awards prove that we are doing well and that we need to invest in children because they are our future. Especially on this occasion I want to commend Sanja Škorić and her associates, who work tirelessly with the children and for the children in our city and so with joy I announce that this year the Society ”Our Children” will get new facilities near the sports hall, said the mayor Dujmić.
Guest from the Ministry of Economy Vedran Kružić said he was pleased to attend this ceremony as one of Opatija in the government of Croatia.
– To all ambasadors I always suggest to visit Opatija, because in many ways leads in our country. One of these things are children’s rights and children’s participation, which makes our city famous in Europe.
Shakespeare said: ” What is the city but the people?,” and I’ll say “..children”. Experiences of Opatija are used on the national level, just now we are in progress of making a Guide for the safety of devices on playgrounds, where the members of the Working Group are also representatives of Opatija, and in that guide Opatija will be highlighted as an example of good practice, said Kružić..
The children from the Kindergarten Opatija, Musical- italian playground Girotondo and student Massimiliano Marcel from secondary music school “Mirkovic” performed in the extension of the ceremony.
President of Children’s City Council Ivan Tancabel through his presentation explained how Children’s City Council and children’s mayor work and act in the city and also he showed what has been already done in the last ten meetings.
What followed was the announcement of the best works and awarding the winners of the literary and art competition “My life in the City of Opatija – ”Child Friendly City “, which received more than 80 works, and the winners were declared by the members of the commission, prof. Vanja Kusturin and prof. Milan Međimorec.
In category of literary works by students from 1st to 4th grade award went to Iva Mršić with mentor Dolores Varljen Mišetić, and by students from 5th to 8th grade Patricia Ivančić with mentor More Banićević. In the category of art works with pre-school children awards went to a group of children from the Italian national minority and to half-day group with mentors Moira Fruk Bura, Bojan Palmica and Vesna Marković.
The best works in grades from 1st to 4th were pronounced students Josipa Grčević, Rita Dervišević, Nensi Horvatić and Sara Perušić with mentor Bojan Lanča, and students from 5th to 8th grade Luna Ivović with mentor Sonja Rubinić Tripar.
The exhibition of photos and multimedia on the subject City of Opatija- Child Friendly City is set in the gallery and can be seen until Sunday, 22nd November. After ceremonial part of the program, students from Catering School Opatija prepared a little snack.
The program of celebration continued in the afternoon workshop titled Day of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Opatija proudly carries the title “Child Friendly City” since 2005.
To ensure accountability and participation of all institutions responsible for the lives of children in the City of Opatija, in the City Steering Committee of the Action “Opatija – Child Friendly City” since the decision to join the Action (year 2000) are the representatives of the following institutions:
City of Opatija – Representative of executive bodies of the city in charge for these fields
Association whose core activity is improving the lives of children – Representative of the Society “Our children“ Opatija
Institution in Preschool Education – representative of Kindergarten Opatija
Institution of Primary Education – Representative of the Primary School “Richard Katalinić Jeretov“ Opatija
Institutions of social welfare – Representative of the Centre for Social Welfare – Branch office Opatija
Institutions in the field of medical care of children – Representative of paediatric clinic and Representative of school preventive care (Institute for Public Health – Opatija)
Media – Representative of local daily and periodical publications
Associations / institutions engaged in organizing sports activities for children – Representative of sports club
Parents representatives – Representative of parents of preschool children and Parents representative of primary school age
In line with the actions’ aim, and to each of the mentioned areas of children’s lives, the City brings a long-term program and short-term plans. Based on the analysis of previous activities, expressed needs and the proposal of the City Coordination Committee of the Action Opatija Child Friendly City are the only new planned activities that will improve the lives of children in Opatija. A long-term program was adopted by the action Child Friendly City for the years 2001 to 2005. During this period work was intensified to improve the lives of children in those areas for which an introductory survey showed that an urgent improvement is necessary. These efforts have resulted in gaining the honorary status of the Child Friendly City. After obtaining the status, two long-term plans were made: for the period from 2006 to 2009 and from 2010 to 2014.
Every year on the basis of long-term goals and action plans, detailed plans of exercising the rights and needs of children in the City of Opatija for the current year are made.
In order to ensure the quality of children’s participation in community life and decision-making in important areas of children’s lives, continuously, for 13 years the project “Children’s City Council of the City of Opatija” is implemented.
In the year 2011 we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Children’s City Council.
Lives of children and their needs are changing so the work for improving the lives of children should be ongoing, their needs must be permanently monitored, and the entire community must be engaged.
What have we done so far thanks to the action?
- Built a Sports center “Marino Cvetković“ in Opatija
- We arranged 29 playgrounds in Opatija
- Formed a professional team at the City of Opatija (social educator, speech pathologist, Rehabilitation specialist)
- We established a playroom/workshop “Kolibrići“ for children with disabilities at Society “Our children“ Opatija
- equipped a special education and speech therapy cabinet and computer workshops at Society “Our children“ Opatija
- Children’s center „Happy time“ has been established
- Supported the project “Safe when mom and dad are not here“ at Society “Our children“ Opatija, initiated and organized child care during the summer holidays
- Exchange of school books during the summer holidays in Society “Our children“ Opatija
- The children’s beach Tomaševac and Skate Park have been arranged (proposal of the members of the Children’s City Council)
- organized sports and recreational activities for children in small towns and school “Volosko“
- Equipped school in disadvantage areas with library fund
- Held I and IV meeting of children city councils of the Republic of Croatia in Opatija
- Removed the barriers on sidewalks for people with disabilities
- Established the prize for the best children’s work and much, much more…