Vinnytsia won the prestigious prize at UNICEF's International Child Friendly Cities Inspire Awards among the most child friendly cities in the world. The International Prize, launched by UNICEF in 2019 as part of the World Initiative "Community Friendly to Children and Youth", recognizes the most creative, innovative and inspiring urban solutions or projects that improve the rights and daily lives of children and young people in their home cities and communities.
A project of school participation budget has brought Vinnytsia its victory that became the world's best example of attracting children in urban governance. Vinnytsia run a competition for children's initiatives to introduce changes at schools, selected 11 of the most interesting ideas and funded them from the city budget to the amount of 1 million UAH.
Vinnytsia project was nominated in the first category "Meaningful child participation". In the final heat, Vinnytsia competed with rival cities from Vietnam, Germany, Croatia and Hungary. Vinnytsia shared the victory in the nomination with Hồ Chí Minh (Vietnam).
"We are thrilled to see Vinnytsia among the winning cities that embraced the Child Friendly Cities principles to make a difference in children's lives," Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine, says. "But we all know that inspiration is not enough. That listening to the children is not enough. They have a right to participate in the decisions that affect them. They are asking the cities to learn from each other, using evidence, and greater measurability of progress made. So, as we celebrate these awards let's plan to work in that direction as we move ahead globally and in Ukraine."
"An extremely pleasant and honorable victory for Vinnytsia! This award belongs to our active youth, who are rooting for their home city. The Budget of School Projects was created to enable children to implement their own ideas and initiatives. And it is the other step on our way to getting the status of a friendly community for children and young people according to UNICEF," Mayor of Vinnytsia Serhii Morhunov said.
All entries were reviewed and shortlisted by a technical expert panel according to the following four criteria: demonstrated results, creativity and innovation, replicability, conformity and integration of CFCI guiding principles.
The winners, across each of the six categories, represent important global innovations both for today and the future. The recipients of the 2019 Child Friendly Cities Inspire Awards are:
Non-discrimination and equity: Oviedo, Spain
Meaningful child participation: Vinnytsia (Ukraine) and Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam)
Child friendly social services: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Secure, safe and clean environments: Mislata, Spain
Family life, play and leisure: Kriens, Switzerland
Child friendly governance: Kopavogur, Iceland
The Awarding Ceremony took place on October 17 in Cologne during the first Global Child Friendly Cities Summit.
The Child Friendly Cities Summit brings together more than 550 Mayors, local leaders, technical experts, children and young people from over 60 countries worldwide to discuss innovative approaches to enhance child rights at the local level.
It takes place against the backdrop of global trends like urbanization, digitalization, environmental change and mass migration increasingly affecting children and young people in their everyday lives.
Today, nearly a third of the 4 billion people living in cities are children. It is estimated that by 2050, almost 7 in 10 of the world's children will live in cities – large, medium and small.
Since 1996 UNICEF's Child Friendly Cities Initiative supports cities and communities worldwide to advance child rights at the local level. Today, the initiative reaches approximately 30 million children in 40 countries worldwide. In Ukraine, 170 cities and communities have joined the Initiative.
Partners of the initiative in Ukraine are the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine; Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine; Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine; All-Ukrainian Association of Local Authorities, "Association of Ukrainian Cities"; Plenipotentiary of the President of Ukraine for Children's Rights, Association of Local Authorities, and National Youth Council of Ukraine.
UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.