“Our world of Diversity”: Stories on inclusive education
SARAJEVO, Bosnia & Hercegovina, 16 September 2011 - In order to feed into discussions and decision-making about quality inclusive education for all children, UNICEF and the Association “Društvo ujedinjenih građanskih akcija – Duga” collected a series of real-life stories "Our World of Diversity" about experiences and lessons learned from children, parents, teachers and professionals. Children together with their parents and teachers from several cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in book launching event in Sarajevo today.
In this storybook, each of the children depicted has special needs and, like any other child, each and every one of them has the right to have their needs understood, acknowledged and addressed. “In this book, we talk about inclusion from the perspective of skills and possibilities, through human stories that illustrate what can really be achieved through inclusion.” – said UNICEF Representative, Florence Bauer. “Over the last decade, UNICEF has been promoting quality inclusive education in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) to meet the needs of every child, with a special focus on the most vulnerable children.” – stressed Ms Bauer.
These stories are told by children, parents, teachers, and professionals, among which Association “Duga”, an organization which actively promotes inclusion in BiH for years. “Over the years of work we gained special experience and maturity. Looking back, with this experience we might have done some things differently, but overall I think we have a successful process behind. I think we have brought a new energy into the system; I hope it will continue to develop positively and that no child will ever be marginalized.” says Anka Izetbegović, Executive Director of Association “Duga”.
This book brings to life stories of children who have now enjoyed opportunities many other children have never had before. Darko from Višegrad dreams of leaving for Mexico and working in a restaurant. Avdo, a child artist, plans to launch his artistic career in Sanski Most. In Sarajevo, Lana, an elementary school graduate, hopes to enroll herself in Secondary Musical School and become a pianist. They managed to express themselves, a success attributable to their inclusion in regular education and to the valuable support received from their local community. These children are now well on their way to realise their dreams.
Stories were written in municipalities that participated in the Programme “Enhancing the Social Protection and Inclusion System for Children in BiH - SPIS”. With the slogan “For Every Child”, UNICEF gathered government partners, local communities and civil society to improve social protection and inclusion systems for children. With support from the European Union, the Government of Norway and DFID, this programme contributed to systems and policies for the protection of the most vulnerable children.
“Reading stories from this book helped me to remember why is the European Union active in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Children are one of the most important motives for our work, as they are future citizens of Europe. Children have the right to live in the world without prejudice and discrimination and in the world that respects all their rights.” – said Head of the EU Delegation’s Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation, Natalia Dianiskova.
Stories on Inclusion