Children with and without disabilities gathered around one of the workshops during 'Otter fest'
Festival of Culture and Nature “Otter Fest 2011″ joins the It’s About Ability campaign
VIRPAZAR, SEPTEMBER 11, 2011 - Within the It’s About Ability campaign, children with disabilities, together with their peers, enjoyed in the activities of the fourth annual Festival of Culture and Nature “Otter Fest 2011″ on September 10 and 11. The Festival is organized by the Ministry of Culture in order to promote the development of the local communities at Skadar Lake – a national park and the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula situated on the border between Montenegro and Albania. This year’s festival is themed as “Otter Fest 2011″ in honor of the endangered otters of the Skadar Lake. For the first time, children with disabilities joined their peers and enjoyed together in environmental educational activities and play at Skadar Lake within the Festival of Culture and Nature. ‘’We watched the play, had fun, walked around...,’’ said Ivana Kicovic. ‘’We enjoyed watching the dance, singers, the clowns, we were drawing, we did manz nice things,’’ said Petar Zivaljevic, student of Primary School Pavle Rovinski. As in previous years, lots of interesting activities are organized at different locations around the Skadar Lake during the 2 day festival: windsurfing, kayaking, boat racing, cruising, fishing, cycling, and hiking.
Children with disabilities handed over the trophies to the winners of kayaking race
“Festival of Culture and Nature “Otter Fest 2011″ decided to join the It’s about ability campaign, because we believe that children with disabilities should enjoy social activities together with their peers. For this reason, in cooperation with UNICEF and parents associations, we have included children with disabilities in sport, educational and other children activities in the Otter Fest’s program,” said Lejla Abdic-Djokovic, the Program Coordinator. This is the fourth Montenegro’s festival to join the It’s about ability campaign this year, as Children’s Music Festival “Zlatna Pahulja”, Kotor International Children’s Theatre Festival and Whitefield Jazz Festival did so in the previous months. “What started as a campaign has evolved into a movement supporting full inclusion of children with disabilities into all aspects of life in Montenegro – families, schools and communities. It’s about ability campaign is helping build an inclusive society in Montenegro through friendship of children with and without disabilities and love and support by their families,” said Jelena Perovic, UNICEF Montenegro Communication Officer. Numerous visitors of Otter Fest enjoyed looking at the lovely figures which children with and without disabilities made of recycled paper at the Skadar Lake.