UNICEF Milky Way Race raises 165,000 euros to support the mental health of children and young people in Croatia!

Thousands of paths, one goal!

Thousands of paths, one goal!

The traditional, seventh edition of UNICEF’s humanitarian Milky Way Race finished on Sunday at midnight, 24 September. This year’s race gathered over 6,500 participants of all ages on thousands of trails across Croatia, to support the mental health of children and young people. During 10 days, thousands of children, youth, schools, decision-makers, experts, associations, and celebrities, symbolically collected kilometers of support and helped UNICEF to raise more than 165,000 thousand euros (1.2 million HRK) through registration fees, and donations from citizens and companies.

The funds will be invested by UNICEF to support the implementation and expansion of the “Schools of Support” programme to strengthen the resilience and mental health of students and teachers. The programme is carried out in cooperation with the Forum for Freedom of Education, with the support of the Education and Teacher Training Agency. It is estimated that by investing in the implementation of the programme after the Milky Way Race 2023 more than 450 teachers, headteachers and expert staff will be educated to support the mental health of children and young people, and more than 13,000 primary and secondary school students will benefit from the programme activities. 



Seven years of UNICEF's humanitarian Milky Way Race

This year, UNICEF’s Milky Way Race was held for the seventh time in a row, and in the period from 2017 to 2023, it created a huge social momentum, gathering more than 32.000 participants and raising more than 900,000 euros (6,7 million kuna) to support the development of children in Croatia. The funds were invested in the establishment of the national Human Milk Bank, providing financial support aid to foster families with the youngest children, providing equipment for all maternity wards in Croatia, equipment sensory cabinets and providing sensory therapy training for children with disabilities, supporting the establishment of daycare and psychosocial support for children with disabilities and support for positive parenting in areas where such services are least accessible or absent. In 2022, with the support of numerous partners and donors, UNICEF provided almost 150,000 EUR for the implementation of the programme to support the mental health of children in schools (PoMoZi Da), which will benefit more than 25.000 primary school pupils and secondary school students.