The fourteenth summer at the seaside with our friends

We are pleased to share with you the news that we have organized and implemented the 65th “School of Life” in the period from August, the 5th to the 15th 2015 in Čanj in Montenegro. This year 35 persons with mental disabilities, from Belgrade and Pančevo, had the opportunity to socialize and be cared for by 10 educators.


From the very beginning of the summer holiday, it was fun and carefree with our friends from “Serbian Railways” and “Railway Transport of Montenegro” who provided us, this year also, with pleasant and safe drive. In Čanj, for the second time, we were welcomed by friendly hosts who made an effort to make us feel comfortable all the time. The well-planned and in advance organized rhythm of group functioning, nice weather and favourable conditions of accommodation, friendly hosts and close proximity to the beach, have enabled us to spend quality time at the sea and to have good fun. We have started the day with morning hygiene, cleaning of rooms, breakfast and after that we had three-hour fun on the beach. Exercises for strengthening muscles, swimming and exercises in water were useful for strengthening musculature, correction of existing deformity of spine, losing some weight. After that we had lunch and well deserved rest. About 5 o’clock, with snacks and sweets, we continued with games and socializing on the beach. Special joy was caused by evening parties for which we all had energy regardless of the daily activities. The event from this summer holiday we especially want to point out was the boat ride and stay on “Queen’s Beach” which caused great interest of the group and put smile on everybody’s face.


Photos will show, better than words, how nice this summer holiday was. On this occasion, we would like to thank all donors who helped implementation of the 65th “School of Life”.

“It is time for my leisure time- March and April 2015”

The past two months we had the opportunity to enjoy along with two new films "Gorčilo" and "Bićemo prvaci sveta". Our participants were especially glad because of it since we do not have so often opportunity to watch national movies on the big screen. A lot of humor and story about sporting spirit in particular held the attention of our friends. We visited Akademija 28 and watch the show "Luda žurka", as well as Dom Sindikata where we watched the theater play “Zlatni lančić od bižuterije”, which both was full of good skits and songs, so everyone was laughing. The play for the youngest "Krcko Orščić" we watched at the Theater 78. During March, Museum of Science and Technology opened its door for us. There our participants had the opportunity to see how old musical apparatus and the instruments, cameras, electrical household appliances, medical practice looked like and how people arranged the space in which they lived. With stimulating questions of educators, participants talked about what of appliances and accessories they use in their homes nowadays. Within this museum, there is an exhibition of old toys that brought us back to childhood and recalled our memories reminding us how we, and also our ancestors, played.
What was a real spectacle in April was a music and dance program of ensemble "Russian Cossacks" who has charmed us with their skills in dancing, singing and lavish folk costumes. The performances took turns so it was very dynamic and each dance was more complicated and for our friends more interesting. We continued with once-a- week sport activity in the indoor football field because good form of our participants is always necessary. In the bowling alley "Žabac" we were competing again, exercising muscles in the arms and legs and had a good time.
We are grateful to our friends without who the implementation of these activities would not be possible: Indoor artificial grass filed “Zlatna lopta”, cinema "Cineplexx" Sava Center, the administration of the Museum of Science and Technology, Dom Sindikata, the Organization "Serbian-Russian alliance," bowling alley “Žabac” and theater Teatar 78 and Akademija 28.

It is time for my leisure time- November and December 2014


It is time for my leisure time- November and December 2014

 

In November and December we tried to become stronger and fit and to collect positive energy by running, exercising, playing football and other games, all this at our sport activity which we organize once a week in indoor artificial grass football field “Zlatna lopta”. Our friends love theatre so we visited Teatar 78 again, laughed and enjoyed show “Škola za male detektive”. However our friends like concerts above all, so in November we were at Zorica Brunclik’s concert at Kombank Arena. After that we were at Sava Centar where we attended spectacular concert of trumpet player Dejan Petrović and Big Band. At the end of the month we were again there at Sergej Ćetkovic concert.

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It's time for my leisure time, June & July 2014.

In June and July we continued socializing with our participants and taking part in activities in our town within the program social inclusion. In June we visited Museum of Science, Museum of GSP (Public Transportation Company in Belgrade) and Children’s Museum within manifestation “Museum Night”. We were watching old house appliances, technic al devices, music instruments and scientific experiments. Our participants had also the opportunity to come in into old busses, trams and trolleys and they enjoyed very much the story about first public transportation told by museum’s curator. We have started July in same spirit, by driving and sightseeing of the town from open buss, where we enjoyed our town in a different and new manner.

As great fans of music, we enjoyed pop songs of our popular singers, as well as wonderful military orchestra “Stanislav Binički”, within the manifestation “Spring in Belgrade” (Proleće u Beogradu). We were also twice at “Jun Fest“at Ušće and enjoyed real festival atmosphere and songs of Dženan Lončarević and Amadeus bend.

We were also watching cartoon movie “How to train your dragon 2”, 3D version, which was a new experience for the most of our participants. At the workshop “Summer Magic” they were learning what summer brings, how to spend summer days and how to prepare themselves for sea trip. Also, each participant had the task to express their creativity by creating summer card for persons they love.

As fans of sport, our participants had the opportunity to watch live farewell match of famous basketball player Dušan Kecman and enjoy the real cheering atmosphere at “Pionir” Sport Hall. We also visited “Pionir” Sport Hall in July at volleyball match between Serbia and USA. Last 2 weekends in July we were at “Olimp” swimming pool, where we were swimming, sunbathing and preparing for sea.

We want to share with you small part of our companionship and pleasure on the photos attached. This would not be possible without unselfish support of our donors: organisers of manifestations “Museum Night”, “Spring in Belgrade” and “Jun Fest”, Melos Estrada, Cineplex movie, Dna communication, “Olimp” swimming pool and Lasta. 

Summer happiness with our friends

This summer, as in previous years, we were at the seaside together with our friends, participants of the 62nd “Life Skill’s School” organized in Čanj, Montenegro, from August the 5th to August the 15th 2014. The programme  “Life Skill’s School” according to its concept and activities provides summer holiday to persons and children with disabilities adapted to their abilities. Besides staying at the sea which is important for participants’ health condition, this kind of separation from families makes them more independent and more adept at care about themselves and their things, enhances their social contacts through everyday socializing with peers.

Planned and organized activities, nice weather, good accommodation conditions and friendly hosts made possible that young people with mental disability together with their teachers spend quality time at the sea and have fun. We have started the day with breakfast and then we were going to the beach so we could enjoy morning freshness and smell of the sea. At the afternoon we had lunch and rest and about 4 o’ clock we were going again to the beach to continue with enjoyment and socializing. Swimming, exercises in water and ball games were useful for strengthening muscles and thereby they had positive effect on correction of existing deformity of spine, foot and body posture. After dinner we had parties and walks. This caused special joy for all and everyone had energy for it regardless of daily activities. As every year, boat trip was organized, so we have visited nearby beaches and enjoyed their beauties. Ten days had passed in the blink of an eye and we are eagerly awaiting new opportunities for socializing. Photos can show just a small part of positive atmosphere we had at the 62nd “Life Skills School” and they will put a smile on our faces until new summer holiday next year.

Seminars in Kula, Srbobran and Mali Iđoš

Seminars in Kula, Srbobran and Mali Iđoš

„Improving cooperation between Civil Society Organisations and key actors in social protection system“

HO „Child's heart“ with help of Association for helping people with mental disability „Biser“ from Srbobran is implementing the project „Improving and structuring support services for persons with disabilities to live independently in undeveloped municipalities“ funded by Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy. The aim of the project is to increase Civil Society Organisations' capacities in the field of structuring existing social services and to assist in the process of their licencing. Three focus groups were held within the project in Srbobran, Kula and Feketić and after that three seminars were held entitled „Preventing institutionalisation of persons with disbilities through structuring social services and fullfill conditions for their licencing“. Participants were representatives of social services, especially Day Care Centers. A special way of working with persons with mental disability was demonstarded at those seminars, also the way of assesing beneficiary was presented as well as individual educational plan and functional profile which represents each beneficiary in a positive way and where beneficiary's capabilities and abilities are emphasized, not things he/she do not know or is not able to do. Interactive way of working and specially created exercises actively involved all participants, encouraged them to exchange oppinions and to find out solutions independently during two-day seminars. By structuring social services, the grounds for expertise, credibility and reliability of organisations included by those seminars and theirs workers were set, which is the necessary basis for licencing social services included by the project.

Three focus groups were held in Srbobran, Kula and Feketić

The implementation of the project “Enhancing and structuring support services for Persons with disabilities for independent living in undeveloped municipalities” is ongoing and it includes prevention of institutionalization of vulnerable groups of people with disabilities through strengthening social services’ structure and everything is aimed to preserve family as a basis of social structure.
It is planned to implement activities at the territory of three municipalities in Serbia, in Kula, Srbobran and Mali Iđoš, during the period of 6 months. Three focus groups were held in Srbobran, Kula and Feketić. The focus group was chosen to be the method because it can provide that all actors gather around the same theme in an unobtrusive, comprehensive and respecting manner and that they all together contribute to connecting practical and theoretical experience. The ultimate goal of these groups is to network actors, exchange knowledge and experience on common theme, clarify all doubts encountered during previous working experience and to state clearly future steps of each actor. Each focus group has gathered representatives of CSO who provide services to people with disabilities, representatives of local authorities and Centers for Social Work. Small and poor municipalities in the range of 50 km which provide the same social service (Day Care Center) are structured in different ways and they have different kind of cooperation with representatives of local authorities. Activities of these focus groups will enable to all actors to consider their capacities, the importance of connecting all actors at the local level as well as the activities which are necessary to be implemented in the future period in order to institutionalize services at local level.

Project “Open Arms”

The European Union has awarded more than 2, 3 million euros grant to institutions of social and health protection, civil society organisations and local self- governments in Serbia which took participation in the call for proposals “Support to de-institutionalisation and social inclusion of people with mental and intellectual disabilities”. On the occasion of awarding grants for projects which aim is to help people with mental and intellectual disabilities, the gathering was held at the Palace of Serbia on June, the 4th 2014.
19 applicants and many partners on the project participated there.
The Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, Michael Davenport, addressed the grantees, on the behalf of EU, congratulating them on successful participation in the call for proposals and project’s implementation. He emphasized the importance of the reforms which will lead to closing down large institutions and forming small services for residence (Small Group Homes) i.e. de-institutional process. The goal of the project is to enhance the position of beneficiaries with intellectual and mental disabilities in residential institutions (institution of social protection) and create conditions for their inclusion in the society and local community. On behalf of the Government of Serbia, Minister Aleksandar Vulin, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy and Zlatibor Loncar, Minister of Health attended the gathering. In brief speech, they addressed the audience and emphasized the importance of supporting people with mental and intellectual disabilities. Funds have been awarded to 19 projects which will be implemented from June, 2014 to December 2015.
The grant’s amount is from 50,000 to 200,000 euros per project, with co-financing of 15%. Thanks to these projects, 19 new services will be launched in system of social protection and health, 149 persons should start independent life in the community through de-institutional process, 192 persons should be prepared for de-institutionalisation and 533 persons will be included in local services which aim is to prevent institutionalisation.
Aleksinac municipality have applied with pilot model of social inclusion of people with mental and intellectual disabilities “Our Town is our Home”, in cooperation with HO “Child’s heart” and Center for Social Work in Aleksinac. The goal of the project is de-institutionalisation of people with disabilities from different institutions across Serbia to home town of Aleksinac, strengthening services of Day Care Center, Respite, Small Group Homes, Club for Elder People and Ambulance in Aleksinac. Also, it is planned to provide conditions for launching 5 services.
HO “Child’s heart” is the partner of the Institution for Adults Placement “Kulina” on the project “A way from the institution to independent life”. The goal of the project is de-institutionalisation of beneficiaries from residential institution. The first phase includes intensive practical preparation of people with mental disability for as independent as possible life through specially created programmes, and after that their placement to foster families. Within the project it was planned to collaborate with 10 Centers for Social Work, 4 Centers for Family Placement and Adoption, 36 services providers from 6 local communities, 60 foster families, as well as 30 employees in institutions. It was also planned to perform functionality assessment of 150 beneficiaries in order to determinate current state and prepare the group of 30 people from the institution for more independent life in local community.
Belgrade, June, the 4th 2014

It’s time for my leisure time - May 2014

It is our pleasure to share with you that we have continued to perform activities within the programme of Social inclusion. We started the month by watching football game between Jagodina and Vojvodina at Partizan Stadium. It was new experience for our participants because some of them had the chance to enjoy for the first time cheering atmosphere at such a big stadium. After this, we were at Vozdovac Stadium, but this time we were not cheering but singing at Marija Serifovic concert. One after another, our participants were singing together her hits and they especially liked performance of Gipsy Kings, who were guests at the concert.
 In cooperation with Tourist Organization of Belgrade we have expanded our knowledge on the town we live in, at the tour Sightseeing by Tram. We have even got the praise from tour guide that our participants know a lot about their town, so one hour drive had just flown by. One afternoon we have gone for a walk and short sport games at Kalemegdan and after that we rested by watching delta of river Sava and Danube and drinking refreshing juice. At the end of the month we were guests of Secondary School of Crafts at the manifestation “We move borders together” where we had the opportunity to watch the presentation of karate and kick-boxing clubs and practice these skills together with them. We have also enjoyed rock concert of a young band that were playing favorite hits of our participants. The hosts did their best to host us well, so we were served delicious donuts made in school kitchen.
We hope that you can feel at least a small part of our companionship and pleasure from the photos attached. This would not be possible without unselfish support from our donors: Football Association of Serbia, Shopping Center Voždovac, Tourist Organisation of Belgrade and the company Elixir natura.

The foundation of volunteer centre

Within the project “We Care We Act” - Boosting initiatives for strengthening inclusiveness and pluralism of the society towards persons with disabilities and their families the representatives of Humanitarian organisation “Child’s heart” held the meeting with volunteer representatives, as well as with the project partners in the premises of Association for helping people with mental disability in Jagodina on February the 20th 2014.

Since the specific goal of the project was to strengthen the capacities of people who will be working with people with disabilities (volunteers, students), and one of the activities is to strengthen the capacities of students of Faculty of Pedagogy and Higher Medical School, we wish to accomplish the task and establish the volunteer centre which would function in all three municipalities (Paracin, Cuprija and Jagodina). The meeting was attended by all the project partners, two representatives of volunteers, from Jagodina and Cuprija, who expressed the will to get involved more actively and launch the centre.

Clear guidelines on how to start the activities of the centre, what would be the first steps, before they officially establish the centre were given to the volunteers on the meeting.

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