10. December. 2019. | 10:04


International Day of Persons with Disabilities in MSC



Center for Basic Rehabilitation is a place where the most sensitive members of society have been finding support and safety for eleven years. In the past, the main financial donor of the Center was the international organization ’’Save the Children’’. They were working in full capacity. Apart from managers, educators, physical therapists and drivers, the Center also employed speech therapists, psychologists, social workers… However, since the last year, there has not been any financial support. This new state of affairs has caused this Center to operate at a reduced capacity. There are only four employed persons left working in the Center – manager, educator, physical therapist and drivers, whose work is based solely on a voluntary basis.

 

‘’The Center itself is fully equipped and has 240 square meters of working space. There are rooms for physiotherapy, a gym, a large playroom for relaxing time for children, computers. We have all the conditions that we need, but the thing that bothers us and what we miss are the financial resources’’, said Biljana Milović, educator at Center for Basic Rehabilitation, who was one of the panelists at the debate that took place on 3rd of December, dedicated to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and organized by NGO Aktiv.

There was even a lack of interest from volunteers, when compared to the previous period, who used to be very committed and happy to help. Milović added that any kind of help was welcomed and that the doors of the Center are opened to anyone who is willing to volunteer.

The Center for Basic Rehabilitation is currently relying on its own resources, because, apart from the institutional one, it remained without the assistance of donors as well. On the other hand, the Association of Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities “Support Me” functions thanks primarily to the support of the Committee for Assisting Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija from Republika Srpska, but this association also did not receive financial assistance from the local government in North Mitrovica.

’’The aid committee is commendable for every kind of praise and I simply cannot say only ‘thank you’, because it wouldn’t be enough’’, said Rakić.

Nonetheless, Rakić emphasized that the crucial factor of the Association is the devoted work of the parents.

‘’First of all, I have to say that I am proud of these parents, their strength, their struggle, and how honest they are and how selflessly they fight. As someone who runs this Association, I can say that I am proud to have gained their full trust and will cherish it as long as I can.”

Although faced with all these problems, the Rehabilitation Center and the ‘’Support Me’’ association say that they will not give up and will knock on all the doors possible in order to get at least some help.

‘’We will continuously talk about this, not only on December the 3rd. We will talk on a daily basis and ask for help. We just won’t let them rush over our problem. I have to say that in addition to the problems they carry, these parents are as active as any other people. When it comes to helping this city, when it’s about going out to vote, all these parents are there to help. That is why we will not allow them to forget about these parents and these children after all these procedures”, said Ivana Rakić.

“Although we do not have the financial resources, we will continue to work because the children are used to the Center. It is, in fact, the crown of our success and our work. That respect and love for the children. I hope that we will have some financial support and that we will last as long as we have done so far. Kids really need this Center. They not only educate themselves, exercise… they socialize, and that socializing means a lot to them. Because of the children, it is very worth supporting this center”, concluded Biljana Milović.

Joint action is a potentially good model for their better functioning, according to debate participants. There is a willingness to cooperate, and whether it will happen remains to be seen in the coming period.

This debate was organized at the Mitrovica Social Club, which is funded by the Kosovo Open Society Foundation – KFOS.