Every Child Has The Right And Capacity To Lead A Dignified Life
Cooperation programmes to contribute to inclusion of children with disability
Belgrade, 03 June 2010 - Two cooperation programmes funded by the Italian Government were launched today by the Serbian Minister of labour and Social Policy, the Ambassador of Italy to Serbia, and the UNICEF Area Representative and Representative of the Region.
Both programmes - “The hundred languages of the difference” implemented by the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Autonomous Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and “Supporting Families with Children with Disability” implemented by UNICEF - aim at promoting social inclusion of disadvantaged children and adolescents, particularly those with disabilities.
Addressing the media, Serbian Minister of Labour and Social Policy, H.E. Rasim Ljajic, said that the Government’s objective was to transform residential institutions for children and “in the next three to five years reallocate the majority of children from specialized institutions to family environments”.
“These cooperation programmes have developed a complementary strategy that connects local and national levels,” stressed Ambassador of Italy to Serbia, H.E. Armando Varricchio. He stressed that the problems of children with disability required special attention by all stakeholders and that the cooperation programmes would introduce the best international practices.
“The hundred languages of the difference” programme aims at creating social and educational services in three Serbian municipalities, through greater involvement with civil society, and providing support to new processes and opportunities for social and educational inclusion, active participation and profitable activities realised by youth with disabilities.
UNICEF-implemented “Supporting Families with Children with Disability” programme will help strengthen cross-sectoral coordination within the ongoing child-care reform process at the national level. It will also provide support to the network for children with disabilities at the local level, particularly in the districts of South Serbia, through the component to be implemented in cooperation with the Italian NGO Educaid.
“These measures of support need to be child and family centered, individualized. They need to consider parents as partners and children as actors who can actively shape development opportunities. The goal of social inclusion of children with disabilities requires different sectors, and professionals with different expertise, to work shoulder-to shoulder in designing and carrying out individualized plans of support. Inclusive education, child care, health and protection services at the community level are all essential allies in the pursuit of the goal of social inclusion” stated. Ms. Judita Reichenberg, UNICEF Area Representative.
The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Directorate General for Development Cooperation has provided over 2 million Euros for the realization of these programmes in Serbia.
Mr. Luca De Pietri, the Region Emilia-Romagna Representative in Belgrade said: “ Building social dialogue means building strong relations between communities. This is extremely important. As the President of the Republic of Italy said ‘No one should be left alone!’
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