Winners of the “Happy Childhood Guardians” contest declared

The three best ideas for campaigns aiming to promote positive parenting examples and harmfulness of corporal punishment of children have received awards of the “Happy Childhood Guardians” contest to implement their campaigns.

The third place and the amount of 2000 BAM was awarded to the Public School “Cazin II” from Cazin and their idea “Be my beacon and do not let me fall”. The second place and 3000 BAM was granted to the idea “Beating has NOT come out of heaven” and the Association for education of children “Pričalice” from Sarajevo, while the first place and 5000 BAM was awarded to the Centre for psychotherapy “U povjerenju” from Banja Luka and their project “With understanding to healthy growing up”.

“Protection of children from violence in any form is one of the most important priorities of the European Union. Violence against children cannot be tolerated. Physical violence against children is detrimental to the physical and emotional development of a child,” said Jamila Milović Halilović, Head of Communication and Spokesperson of the EU Office in BiH.

The contest “Happy Childhood Guardians” was open to individuals, civil society organizations and all institutions that intended to create campaigns in their communities that should have an impact on creating more happy childhoods and growing up without corporal punishment. Among 43 applied projects, 23 were selected for further consideration.

The pre-selected projects were published on online platform where the visitors voted for the 10 finalists that were given mentorship support.

At the final event, the three winning ideas were selected based on the votes of jury and the votes of the online community.

“By implementing its activities, UNICEF BiH aims to contribute to the training of children and parents on non-violent forms of disciplinary action and to support the changing of awareness on the physical punishment of children. This is a long-term process that requires resources and engagement of people and communities as participants of the “Happy Childhood Guardians” challenge, who have already made a positive change simply by participating,” said Nineta Popović, Communication for Development Officer at UNICEF BiH and one of three members of the jury at the final event.

The contest “Happy Childhood Guardians” is based on the findings that the positive upbringing, that is focused on the causes of the children behaviour, provision of positive examples, using gentle discipline and respecting children, could change the unacceptable behaviour models. The opposite of positive upbringing is the corporal punishment – even when used as “a disciplinary measure”, it can leave both short and long term negative consequences on children. Numerous studies have proved the connections between the corporal punishment and the aggressive and violent behaviour, decay of mental health and other health-related issues at the later stages.

The contest “Happy Childhood Guardians” is a part of the UNICEF BiH activities as one of the recipients of EU funds for implementing the project “Protecting children from violence and promoting social inclusion of children with disabilities in Western Balkans and Turkey”.