Greater Amman Municipality and the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently launched in Jordan the workshop “GAM & the Local Establishments’ Role in Offering children Friendly Services in Amman City”.
The workshop, held at Al Hussein Cultural Center with the presence of 50 representatives from governmental and non governmental organizations servicing children in Amman City, aims at encouraging the participants to engage in the efforts exerted to make Amman a city that provides children with safe spaces for development, learning, playing, and sharing.
City Deputy Manager for Cultural, Social, and Sports Affairs, Eng. Haitham Jweinat, said: “The workshop is part of a study conducted jointly by many countries from different continents, under the umbrella of the United Nations Children’s Fund, to upgrade the quality of services rendered to children, through improving the kind of data and information about the children’s situation on the level of local municipalities, providing the necessary resources to empower cities follow an organized approach in developing and observing the average of children friendly cities, which can be measured by the services’ quality”.
He affirmed that GAM works for the safety and development of the quality services of the city children, especially children and teens who get less care than others, by merging them into designing and following up on the execution of children protection and development programs, and providing them with a safe urban environment that allows for playing and facilitates developing their culture.
Officer of Charge of UNICEF in Jordan, Koorosh Raffii, said that UNICEF and GAM are communicating and cooperating since 2006 for the purpose of executing the initiative “Children Friendly Cities”.
He pointed out that Amman is a leader in applying the concept of child friendly city on the regional level, and that the interest of GAM in taking opinions and initiatives into consideration is a clear testimony to its keenness and determination to apply the children’s rights in Amman City.
Director of GAM Social Programs, Eng. Haleemah ‘Umoush, reviewed GAM’s experience in the child friendly city fields, and the execution of “Amman, a Child Friendly City” initiative launched by the end of 2005. She added that within the last 5 years many programs and initiatives have been implemented, which helped the city meet the demands of Children’s Rights conviction from which Amman Child Friendly City Initiative came.
Director of the Development Programs and Youth Participation in the UNICEF, Jumanah Al Haj Ahmad, stressed on the importance of evaluating the governing strategies and structures, and determining the range of meeting children’s rights to ensure that the plans are set to meet the real needs of the children, as well as using the data to push the decision makers.
The participants were divided into groups to discuss the governing strategies and structures and how they meet the children’s rights, and to eventually come up with recommendations for this purpose, and to enhance the services rendered from all parties.
One of the main elements of the “Child Friendly Cities” approach is conducting an evaluation on how cities and local communities are “friendly” to the children. UNICEF conducted an international study to support this element. This study targeted advancing the available data about the children’s situation within the local administrative and governmental systems; it also provided material that can enable local communities and cities take measures and exert efforts to develop and investigate the size of “friendship” of these parties with children.
Jordan, Amman in particular, participated in that scientific research, and began its execution with an evaluation study on the application of children’s right in three regions of Amman.
The organizers of the workshop hope that the outcomes and results will contribute to the international research study, and to provide database and proofs that enable the decision makers of Amman to use them and attract the necessary support to promote the children’s rights in the regions and cities.
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