'I am truly honored to be here and shine a light on the incredible work that UNICEF is doing'.
Rita Ora, the UK-based music star born in Kosovo and a UNICEF UK Ambassador, visited today the "House of Colors", the community center in Tirana, Albania, offering the whole range of services to children and their families including here the emergency shelter as well.
Every child should be provided with care and a safe environment to access protection services, education, and entertainment. This is what is being provided at the 'House of Colors'.
Since 2011, the center supported by UNICEF and the Municipality of Tirana and implemented by Nisma ARSIS has provided support services to around 4000 children affected by social exclusion, domestic violence, poverty, migration, exploitation, and human trafficking. This community center has become a point of reference to communities and respective authorities, creating a set of multidisciplinary practices for better integrating vulnerable children from an early age.
All the beneficiaries of the center were following their daily activities when she visited each of them. Rita Ora spent time with the children by playing, dancing and painting together. She tried to help the kitchen staff to prepare some ‘Byrek’, an Albanian traditional dish.
During the visit the Mayor of Tirana, Mr. Erion Veliaj, the UNICEF Representative for Albania, Dr. Roberto de Bernardi, Permanent Coordinator of the United Nations in Albania, Mrs. Fiona McCluney, and Deputy Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Albania, Mrs. Mia Marzouk shared their key messages regarding children’s wellbeing and their efforts to achieve that for every child.
"I am truly honored to be here and shine a light on the incredible work that UNICEF and UNICEF Albania are doing. Being able to spend time with such inspiring children has been a great pleasure, and I appreciate the time everyone has given to continue highlighting the fantastic work that UNICEF is doing to support children everywhere" - Rita Ora.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Albania Fiona McCluney praised the joint work that UNICEF and Tirana Municipality are doing to support this community center and thanked Rita for her support as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.
“The work done in this center is part of the important work that is done in Albania to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and making sure that no one is left behind. Rita, your music and the work that you to support children is so important. Please keep bringing these messages to the world!” - Fiona McCluney
I would like to thank Rita for this visit. This is not the first time that she shows her commitment for the cause of children – it is an additional contribution and this time she does it for children in Albania. As a UNICEF representative in Albania, I am particularly happy for Rita’s visit here. - Roberto De Bernardi
I am so glad that Rita was part of this very special visit, to see the incredible work being done here by the wonderful staff of the ARSIS Initiative with street children. When we all work together, the British Embassy in Tirana, UNICEF and the whole network of our excellent organisations, which work just like western organisations, when it comes to managing a street situation or domestic violence case, it's good news, so I'm glad we've created an island of excellence here. Of course, there are difficult issues, but where there is a will, there are solutions! The fact that Rita is here, to see the work being done here, gives us a lot of courage. - Erion Veliaj
The event concluded with “the wall of colors and light” activity where Rita Ora, the children and all participants left their handprints and signatures on a white wall, in support to child protection services and fight against human trafficking and child labor.