All Rights for All Children
Team Rijad advocates for children with disabilities
Children with disabilities in Kosovo are less likely to attend school, have access to medical care, or have a voice in society. They are among the most marginalized groups in the population. UNICEF is committed to changing this.
As in many places around the world, access to education is a major challenge for children with disabilities in Kosovo. Beyond physical barriers such as a lack of ramps or appropriate toilets, there is limited willingness from teachers and parents to integrate them into classrooms. Most teachers don’t have experience with inclusive teaching methods, and most schools don’t have teaching assistants to support their individualized learning.
“For many children with disabilities in Kosovo, the opportunity to participate in society does not exist. We’re often last in line for resources and services and far too regularly, subjects of pity or, worse, discrimination and abuse,” Rijad Mehmeti
UNICEF is a proud supporter of Team Rijad, an advocacy platform for inclusion of children with disabilities, led by Rijad Mehmeti, a 17-year-old from Prishtina who lives with cerebral palsy. Launched in November 2021 Team Rijad’s goal is to raise awareness about inclusion for people with disabilities, increase access to schooling and public places, and to promote the rights of people with disabilities.
From the start, the Team Rijad platform has included some of the most influential people in Kosovo: Vjosa Osmani, the President of Kosovo, Adriatik Kelmendi, the director of Klan Kosova television, mountaineer Mrika Nikqi, DJ and activist Adrian Berisha, actress and journalist Anisa Ismaili, journalists Durim Xhema and Erjona Gjikolli, and activist Edita Buqinca. Several major private companies have also come on board and are supporting physical infrastructure improvements to schools and other facilities.
You can be a part of Team Rijad; follow them on social media to support Rijad’s journey and amplify the voices of children with disabilities.