Council gears towards child-friendly cities initiative

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KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) is committed to advancing towards the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian lauded the initiative, saying it is vital for nation-building, particularly under the Post COVID-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030), aiming to transform the state into a developed region.

“We aspire to become a high-income state that meets global standards, despite originating from the Borneo Island, we must uphold these standards.

“To achieve this, we need to develop child-friendly cities, especially as we are moving towards becoming an ageing state,” he said.

He said this when witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MPKS and UNICEF at the MPKS Public Library today.

Dr Sim asserted that the CFCI ensures children are safe and protected from exploitation, violence, and abuse, providing them with a healthy start in life.

This initiative, he added, guarantees children access to essential services, quality experiences, inclusiveness, skill development, participation, and empowers them to express their opinions.

“CFCI brings numerous benefits, particularly in enhancing child-sensitive urban planning, service delivery, and governance, which are crucial for children’s well-being.

“Transforming the city to be more child-friendly benefits families, the economy, and society at large.

“Achieving CFCI accreditation signifies the local authority’s dedication to social well-being and participatory governance,” he said.

The MoU signed between MPKS and UNICEF marks Kota Samarahan’s participation in the UNICEF CFCI.

MPKS chairman Datuk Peter Minos highlighted their commitment to creating a safe and secure environment for children.

“After being briefed by UNICEF on this proposal, I firmly believe we have the capacity and opportunity to fully engage in the CFCI.

“I am confident in MPKS’ ability to become one of the Child-Friendly Cities in Sarawak with UNICEF’s guidance,” he said.

To kick-off the CFCI here, Minos announced the launch of a Virtual Storytelling Competition themed ‘Child-Friendly Cities’ to create awareness among primary school students aged 7 to 12.

“We want to hear their vision for a Child-Friendly City and enhance their IT skills by using a digital platform for story submissions,” he added.

Interested participants can obtain registration forms from the Kota Samarahan Municipal Council’s Facebook page, website, or the main counter of the MPKS Public Library.

The submission deadline is Friday (July 26) with cash prizes of RM250 for the champion, RM200 for the first runner-up, RM150 for the second runner-up, and 30 consolation prizes worth RM30 each.

Winners will also receive trophies and certificates.

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