Real lives

Real lives

 

Not alonside others, but together

© UNICEF BIH
A girl celebrates her birthday in "Leptir"

The Association "Leptir" of Bugojno is a voluntary non-governmental organization of citizens, parents and friends of children with special needs who are not able to take care of themselves and to exercise their rights without support.

One of the projects in which this organization is involved is “Counseling: Not alongside others, but together,” carried out in cooperation with the Center for Social Work, 3rd primary School and volunteers from various organizations, and with the assistance of funds provided by UNICEF and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation - NORAD, in partnership with the non-governmental organization IBHI.

With assistance of experts from various fields, the counseling operates in the form of workshops for parents, children and volunteers. Within the counseling a “Small School” “Mala škola” is convened where children with special needs are assisted by experts to master a curriculum adjusted to their needs and capabilities.

The progress these children achieve primarily depends on the level of difficulty they have and ranges from attaining a greater level of attentiveness to mastering various motor skills. We had the opportunity to see wonderful broaches, greeting cards, frames for pictures and other accessories made by these children, and the association has a source of revenue in selling these items, which can be used to fund further activities.

The development goal of this project is to ensure continuing multidisciplinary team work with children and young people who have special needs. The purpose is to provide professional support and improved health to children with special needs and their parents,  and to establish a pool of volunteers who would support work with children with special needs.

Maja, one of the children going to the Small School, recently celebrated her birthday. The ambiance was very cheerful, the children and parents were in a great mood. Ms. Biserka Bozic, the “Leptir” leader - herself a mother of a child with special needs -  demonstrated that it is always like that.

The children are so eager about this type of socialization and learning that they do not hide their satisfaction.

However, greater support from the local community is needed to make this project sustainable, as well as enhancement of volunteer work, primarily the amendments to legislative regulations, health and social policy regarding the children with special needs. What is also necessary is a change of community awareness toward these children, as well as to alter the attitude of parents, whose support, is so necessary for the functioning of this institution.

 

 

 
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