Plitvice and Krka become Guardians of Childhood
Plitvice Lakes, 23 February 2016.
After the record-breaking tourist season of 2015, the public institutions of Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes National Park have decided to invest part of their growing annual revenues in programmes that improve the quality of life for children in Croatia, with a focus on supporting the youngest and most vulnerable children.
Through the signing of the donations contract between UNICEF and the public institutions Plitvice Lakes National Park and Krka National Park, these institutions have joined the growing family of Guardians of Childhood who through their donations help ensure that all children in Croatia have the opportunity to develop into healthy and happy individuals. The signing of the document also provided an opportunity to present an exhibition of works based on the Sustainable Development Goals by pupils of the Voltino Primary School.
Upon signing the agreement, Natalija Božičević, Head of the public institution Plitvice Lakes National Park, said,
"It is a great pleasure when invested efforts result in such great results as the ones we’ve seen during the last tourist season. We want to share our happiness and multiply the results. In addition to numerous local initiatives and humanitarian campaigns, this donation increases the positive results that benefit the most vulnerable children across Croatia."
At the signing, Krešimir Šakić, Director of the public institution Krka National Park, said,
"By preserving nature we achieve the most important part of our mission, but by caring for generations that will continue from where we left off we invest in a shared present and future."
Both institutions have for several years supported local projects for children yet by agreeing to donate to UNICEF have extended their range of support for childcare across the entire territory of Croatia. At the same time, UNICEF has gained a new ally for improving the rights of children, particularly the most vulnerable groups, in Croatia.
Valentina Otmačić, Head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia said upon signing the agreement,
"We are sincerely grateful that both institutions, which are widely known for their wealth of natural diversity, have decided to expand their investments in children. In addition to investing in local projects, as of today the national parks ‘Krka’ and ‘Plitvice lakes’ provide support through systematic investments throughout Croatia for children deprived of numerous opportunities. For example, every third child of preschool age does not have the opportunity to go to a kindergarten and many children with disabilities do not have access to basic services such as a therapist, speech therapist etc. We can change all this with the help of our new allies. This investment, like all investments for children, will prove useful in many ways."
Research carried out in the United States has shown that the benefits to society grow sevenfold when it invests in vulnerable groups of children at an early age.