03 August 2021

Children make the best music when playing together

Belgrade, Serbia - Nine-year-old Andrej Andjelkovic loves football. He’s always happy to talk about his favourite players and team.  "I love football, because the players score goals,”  explains Andrej and raises his arms up high, like a goal-getter. Andrej often plays football with his mom and dad. His mom and dad are goalkeepers and Andrej is…, “The swing and the slide are my favourites,” says Andrej. But he couldn’t enjoy the playground equipment without help from his mom or dad.  , “Andrej has difficulty walking because he’s a child with disabilities. When he was ten months old [the doctors at] at the Mother and Child Health Institute noticed that he couldn’t walk. When he was thirteen days old … all his problems started: epilepsy, cerebral palsy, cytomegalovirus infection. God willing, one day it will get better, it’s…, The result is a children’s playground in which every child can use the equipment, and which facilitates the joint play of children with and without disabilities.  , Uz zajedničku igru, deca stvaraju najbolji ritam The playground is in a lovely spot, surrounded by trees. The flat concrete surface makes it easy for everyone to move around, even in a wheelchair. Children in wheelchairs can also use the merry-go-round. A softer, tartan surface has been placed under each piece of playground equipment. There are…, “The playground is amazing and it’s finally accessible to children with disabilities too. The biggest frustration for children with disabilities is when they can’t play with their peers. Everything here is available and accessible, and they can easily play without feeling different,”  Pavle’s mom shares her impressions and adds that Pavle playing…, Uz zajedničku igru, deca stvaraju najbolji ritam “The swing is his favourite and … [it’s safe, especially] compared to the ordinary ones. [We would always] worry when he was using [the old swing]. There’s also a bird’s nest swing. The surface on the ground is amazing, so if a child falls, there's a soft surface and the nest swing is also hanging…, “I can just sit down and watch him play; he doesn't need help. It’s very interesting because he likes music, likes playing with these instruments,”  explains Maja, while Andrej and Pavle play the drums together with their friends Marko and Milos Bogdanovic. Clearly children make the best music when playing together.  , Uz zajedničku igru, deca stvaraju najbolji ritam „There’s a lot of equipment, and I've never seen such good equipment at other playgrounds, like this metallophone. It’s fun playing here,”  says Milos Bogdanovic. His bother Marko loves the merry-go-round.  “This is a merry-go-round in which you push off with your foot, and then you can sit down and…, This Dream Playground in Belgrade, in addition to the one already built in Cicevac in central Serbia, is now one of two inclusive playgrounds in the country built exactly as envisioned by children. It ensures safe play, accessible to every child. , UNICEF’s project was implemented with the financial support of the NCR Foundation and the Basketball Association of Serbia, and in cooperation with the Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities of the City of Belgrade (SSOSIB), the City of Belgrade and the Belgrade University Faculty of Architecture. These playgrounds are set to become…
18 February 2020

Position of children with disabilities in the Republic of Serbia

Serbia is a country of 7,186,862 inhabitants, of whom 17.6 per cent are children, but the number of children with disabilities is not known. Register of Children with Disabilities which is being developed by Batut Institute of Public Health of Serbia will provide precise data. In Serbia in laws and public policies there is no unified definition or…, Discrimination, Long-standing practice based on the medical model and parallel services specialized only for children with disabilities led to stereotypes and prejudices towards children with disabilities, which today significantly affects their equality and acceptance in society. According to a survey conducted for the purposes of this situational analysis, 45%…, Poverty and social security, Children poverty is a noticeable problem in Serbia. Given the increased household expenditure needed for children with disabilities, it can be assumed that the level of poverty of these children is even higher. The survey conducted for this study purposes, found that 26 % of families felt their economic situation to be poor or very poor, while as…, Education, Education of children with disabilities and disabilities continues through two parallel systems - regular and special. The data indicate that half of children with disabilities attend the education system in a segregated environment. Of particular concern is the finding that parents of children with disabilities speak more positively about the…, Social protection and living in a family environment, The results of focus groups with parents indicate difficulties in identifying needs, coordinating service delivery, and informing children and families about their rights and opportunities for support. "Nobody gave me any support or direction; it was very difficult. I had to do everything by myself, everything. Nobody mentioned the counselling. I…, Healthcare, Parents recognize the challenges in the health care system, primarily in the aspect of timely recognition and diagnosis of developmental disabilities, specifically availability and quality of early interventions. "We also wandered from doctor to doctor. Basically, we lost 3 - 4 years because the paediatrician says - she's spoiled, she'll talk. She…, Protection against violence and abuse, Children with disabilities and disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse and neglection than children from the general population, especially if they are placed in residential housing. 24.6% of parents surveyed for this situational analysis suspect that their child has been subjected to violence or abuse. Among parents who suspected child abuse,…, Conclusions and recommendations, System for identification of children with disabilities and their needs, has to be established as soon as possible Increasing the availability of general services and services for children with disabilities, instead of setting up specialized services and facilities intended for children with disabilities only. Working on reducing prejudices and…