Press Release
Credits Photo credit: Mauro Vieira | Ministry of Citizenship
Published on December 2, 2020

SDG Fund - UNICEF and partners strengthen capacity of family visitors in the context of the pandemic

Family visitors to the Happy Child Program are trained to ensure the care of children up to 6 years old and care for pregnant women

Brasília, June 16, 2020 - Leave no one behind and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), always with a special focus on the most vulnerable and difficult to reach populations. It is around this common goal that UNICEF is leading a set of United Nations agencies in Brazil to strengthen public services for early childhood. This joint work takes place in the context of the Joint SDG Fund Program (Joint Program SDG Fund), which aims to encourage countries to accelerate the achievement of the 17 SDGs in an integrated manner, with the support of the UN System. In Brazil, about 1 million families and caregivers of children up to 6 years old should benefit from the action in two years.

To this end, the Joint Fund ODS Program has worked with the Ministry of Citizenship to strengthen the Happy Child Program, which monitors thousands of pregnant women and children up to 6 years of age in almost 3,000 Brazilian municipalities. “Early childhood is a unique window of opportunity for children to develop their full potential. At this stage of life, as important as taking care of the child's health, it is essential to stimulate cognitive development. The Happy Child Program allows children from the most vulnerable families to have their right to grow and develop guaranteed, ”explains Cristina Albuquerque, head of Health and Child Development at UNICEF in Brazil.

To support the Happy Child Program in the context of the new coronavirus pandemic , the partner agencies of the Joint ODS Fund Program (UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO and UN Women) are developing a series of content to strengthen the work of family visitors to the program. “At this moment, the work of the teams of visitors is especially complex. The pandemic brings new challenges and questions on which visitors need to guide families, ”explains Cristina.

Every week, these professionals receive videos, podcasts and informative content focusing on the following topics: family emotional health and parental care; childhood anxiety; maternal depression; games and games in the family environment; domestic violence; guarantee and social rights for children and pregnant women; domestic accidents involving children.

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In Brazil, the Joint SDG Fund Program aims to increase the participation and retention of the municipalities eligible to the Happy Child Program, increasing the number of beneficiaries of the program (1000 new municipalities and 1 million beneficiaries in 2 years); in addition to strengthening the capacities of PCF professionals and the quality of multisectoral interventions, supporting the Ministry of Citizenship to strengthen interventions and actions aimed at children and pregnant women.