UNICEF supports the Association of persons with disabilities in Sisak-Moslavina County with more than HRK 360.000
Support for children with disabilities and their families in Sisak-Moslavina county
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In crisis situations, children with disabilities need more support than ever. Yet, services can often be interrupted or reduced, putting in jeopardy children’s well-being. The earthquakes that affected Central Croatia at the end of December 2020 not only damaged the premises of the Association of Persons with Disabilities of Sisak-Moslavina County, the only association in Sisak-Moslavina County that provides support to children with disabilities and their families, but also put a strain on the financial resources of the non-governmental organization to continue and enhance its much-needed services. Recognizing the exceptional importance of the work of this association, UNICEF will assist in the continuation and strengthening of their therapeutic work with a total of HRK 367.368 in the next year, until February 2022.
With the donated funds, UNICEF will support the retention of jobs of the professional team in the association, as well as the continuation of occupational therapy and sensory integration therapy. For the next 12 months, UNICEF will also support the work of a physiotherapist to establish a new therapeutic service as part of the early intervention services for children up to eight years of age.
The earthquakes have caused significant material damage to the Association, so currently, the only space for providing psychosocial support is in the Small House in Petrinja. The Representative of the UNICEF Office for Croatia, Regina Castillo, visited the Small House in Petrinja and talked with experts of the Association about the importance of supporting children with disabilities and their families, particularly in times of crisis.
"Timely and regular professional support is extremely important for children with disabilities and their families. Unfortunately, the recent earthquakes have put at risk services that help children and their families to overcome trauma and discover and strengthen abilities that will have a direct effect on the children’s future. By supporting the work of the only association for children with disabilities in Sisak Moslavina County, UNICEF is ensuring that some of the most vulnerable children receive the support they need regardless of the circumstances. I would like to thank UNICEF’s donors for making all this work possible”, said Regina Castillo, UNICEF Representative in Croatia.
The engagement of the Association of Persons with Disabilities of Sisak-Moslavina County
Currently, 50 children with disabilities participate in three groups of occupational therapy, 40 of them come to the temporarily relocated space for sensory integration therapy, which is also located in the Small House in Petrinja due to the red label of the Room of Miracles in Sisak. Thanks to the financial support of UNICEF, the team has been strengthened by a professional physiotherapist, so about twenty children with disabilities are already coming to the physiotherapy room in the Small House in Petrinja. On a weekly basis, through all-day work, in the Small House in Petrinja, 106 terms of support are provided, which are already used by 57 members of the Association, 41 of them under 8 years of age. This only proves the importance of establishing and maintaining early intervention service.
The users of the Association's services are children and young people from all areas of Sisak-Moslavina County. Most of them are from Sisak and Petrinja, and on a weekly basis, children from Hrvatska Kostajnica, Popovača, Sunja, Martinska Ves, Glina and Novska come to the Small House in Petrinja. 11 of them currently use all three forms of therapy (occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy and physiotherapy) while 26 of them use two to three forms of support offered.
Aleksandra Milković, Executive Director of the Association of Persons with Disabilities of Sisak-Moslavina County said: “Apart from the psychosocial support aimed at children and young people with disabilities, the association provides personal assistance services for 11 persons with disabilities. Parents of children with disabilities and members of the association have access to the help of psychologists and individual and group psychotherapeutic support throughout the crisis. In cooperation with friendly associations throughout Croatia, where members of the association have been temporarily relocated, systematic therapeutic support has been provided in the place of temporary residence, and in cooperation with UNICEF, children and parents in the area affected by the earthquake will be provided, urgently and free of charge, with the necessary assessment provided by the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation in Zagreb."
Depending on the situation in the most affected areas, UNICEF will adjust its response to the crisis, considering specific long-term needs of children and families with children and support the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and local authorities in ensuring the continuation of child protection, quality education and health care services in the areas affected by the earthquakes.
Donations will help secure for children and families most affected by the earthquakes:
hygiene supplies and protective equipment
psychosocial support for children and parents
support to kindergartens and schools
support to health institutions and social service providers
Donations can be made at https://www.unicef.hr/help-children-affected-by-earthquakes/ or directly to UNICEF’s bank account:
Reference nr: 2068-98
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