A Smile For Every Child -75th Anniversary UNICEF -Stamps of Croatia 2021.
The Croatian Post issued the stamp in collaboration with UNICEF to honor the 75th anniversary of its foundation.
UNICEF – The United Nations Children’s Fund, a special agency whose main objective is the welfare of children worldwide – was established on 11 December 1946. After the end of World War II, life was difficult for many people and millions of children needed help to survive. In the years after the war, UNlCEF was feeding six million hungry children every day. Among them was Audrey Hepburn, who later became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and many children from our regions.
It’s a little-known fact that UNICEF has played a key role in the development of modern dairy farming in Croatia. Dairies were built in Zagreb, Rijeka and Split, and milk was distributed in schools for free. For many children that was the only meal of the day. Many still remember the rusk, the yellow cheese, the bitter fish oil, but also the first chocolate! All of them were included in UNICEF care packages. Other than that, there has been a lot of investment in the modernization of education and health care. In collaboration with the World Health Organization, UNICEF has helped eliminate malaria from our regions. Hundreds of cars and bicycles were also provided for health care professionals to reach every child and family. As child mortality was high at the time, The Mother and Child Program was launched. Investments were made in the training of health staff, 36 dispensaries for children and mothers have been opened, as well as laboratories, school infirmaries and 101 counseling centers for women and children. Thanks to UNICEF, the Center for Children and Women was established, which is now the Children’s Disease Clinic in Klaićeva Street in Zagreb.
During the war in 1991, UNICEF opened its Office of Emergency Programmes as the first international organization in Croatia, even before the official recognition of Croatia. Children and their families needed urgent aid by providing medical supplies, hygiene and other supplies and providing psychosocial support and assistance to displaced persons and refugees. After the Homeland War, UNICEF actively educated school children on mine protection and other explosive devices left after the war.
In the 21st century, UNICEF in Croatia has focused on other topics – baby-friendly maternity hospitals, education on children’s rights, support for foster families, families of children with disabilities, parents of newborns, young people and many others. Among the most impressive initiatives were End Violence Against Children, Every Child Needs a Family, The First Three Are the Most Important, and Let’s turn disabilities into opportunities. Actions and campaigns have been launched to put the needs of children first in the society.
In addition to the new challenges, UNICEF has not neglected its initial mission – urgent humanitarian aid in crises, such as floods, refugee waves, pandemics and earthquakes. Today, UNICEF is working in 192 countries, and, thanks to its supporters around the world, it can provide aid in every corner of the Earth. When it was founded in 1946, no one believed that 75 years later the world would still need UNICEF. But even now, in the 21st century, millions of children need UNICEF’s help. UNICEF’s mission in Croatia is to ensure that children, especially those from the most vulnerable groups, receive the aid necessary to fulfil their potentials. UNlCEF is their voice.