Belgrade, 26 December 2017 - Vojvodjanska Bank, a member of the OTP Group, donated three million dinars to support UNICEF's Sport for All programme, aimed at children with disabilities and their families.
The funds will be directed to programmes in municipalities that have day-care centres for these children, for the training of employees who care for them, the organisation of sport events, and the purchase of sports and recreational equipment.
The goal is to create opportunities for all children - with and without disabilities - to socialise, develop and grow up together.
"It is a great pleasure to once again support the work of our partners from UNICEF. During this time of holidays and giving, we want to further help children, who depend and rely on adults. It is, therefore, important that we make a special effort to provide them with equal opportunities for a happy upbringing. Investing in an inclusive and just society, in which every child can realise his or her full potential and become an equal member of society, is an investment in the future of each of us," said Predrag Mihajlovic, President of the Executive Board of Vojvodjanska Bank, OTP Group.
Vesna Savic Djukic, UNICEF’s Fundraising Specialist, pointed out that Vojvodjanska Bank, as a member of the Friends of UNICEF Club, regularly supports programmes aimed at realising the rights of children in Serbia.
"Supporting the Sport for All programme is particularly important, as it focuses on children with disabilities, one of the most vulnerable groups in society. Our partners in the bank understand that these children are more likely to face discrimination, that they have a greater chance of experiencing violence, exploitation, and abuse than their peers with no disability. Socially responsible business, focusing on children, is an important part of the bank's work. I thank them because they are working with us to contribute to the social inclusion of children with disabilities, by creating opportunities for all children to play, and enjoy recreation and sport activities together," said Vesna Savic Djukic.
So far, UNICEF has provided sports and recreational equipment and professional support for 14 day-care centres in Belgrade, reaching almost 1,000 children. Vojvodjanska Bank’s donation is a significant contribution to the expansion of the programme to other municipalities in Serbia.
The recently published Situation Analysis of children with disabilities in Serbia conducted by UNICEF and the National Organisation of Persons with Disabilities shows that:
- 45% of parents of children with disabilities state that they or their children have experienced some kind of insult, humiliation or harassment due to their child's disability;
- In 24% of families, one of the parents had to give up work to care for their child;
- Between 25% and 47% of children with disabilities have experienced violence;
16% of citizens and 18% of pupils think that discrimination against some groups is acceptable.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/serbia