Online platform for children with disabilities
Support for families with children with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis
PODGORICA, 2 JULY 2020 – Some 200 families with children and young people with disabilities have been receiving psycho-social and legal support since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montenegro through the platform www.vrsnjackapodrska.me, developed by the NGO “Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro” with UNICEF support.
During the coronavirus crisis, families with children with disabilities have been left without support due to the closure of kindergartens, schools, day-care centres for children with disabilities, and other relevant institutions that provide them with various services on a daily basis. The online platform of the Association of Youth with Disabilities has enabled them, during this period, to receive some of the support services they need.
Milena, the mother of a child with autism, points out that this platform has made her life significantly easier during the crisis.
This help was so precious to us, because we realized that we were not alone in exercising and protecting the rights of our child. We made use of psychological support, which meant a lot to us, because we are barely able to fight on our own for the rights of our child as parents. We have been contacted several times by the Association regarding our problem.
Janko, a member of a family with a disabled child, also praised the activities carried out through the platform of the Association of Youth with Disabilities and the legal assistance he received in this way.
I am very satisfied with the functioning of the platform because the employees of the Association were very much engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic. They were ready to answer all our questions. The support provided by UMHCG (Association of Youth with Disabilities in Montenegro) helped us and encouraged us.
Nada Boskovic from the Association of Youth with Disabilities points out that numerous activities carried out through the platform have made life easier for users, as well as that by posting materials on coronavirus, accurate and useful information regarding the pandemic and regarding actions taken during the crisis has been made available to the users.
The risk of the influence from and fear of fake news has been reduced, there are an increasing number of people who are encouraged to use the services, while through psycho-social support we are trying to encourage the users to be calmer and to cope with the current situation regarding COVID-19 more easily. Parents of children with disabilities can find information on how they can spend quality time with their children.
UNICEF points out that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, this platform has enabled families with children and young people with disabilities to exercise their basic rights in the field of health, social and child protection, work, and employment.
Thanks to the dedicated work of UMHCG and UNICEF’s guidelines, which have been adequately applied, children and young people with disabilities and their families have received various forms of support in one place.
The platform of the Association of Youth with Disabilities will, with the support of UNICEF, continue to provide timely legal and psycho-social assistance to all families with children and young people with disabilities in Montenegro during the global COVID-19 pandemic.