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Time devoted to social activities and education of persons with disabilities strengthens their inclusion into society

Lessons in playing chess were held on November 7, 2019 in a day care center for persons with disabilities Sveta Anastazija in Sremska Mitrovica. Social activities, time spent together and creative plays support inclusion of persons with cognitive or physical disabilities, but also show the multitude of their talents and interests.

What are the rules of chess? Which moves can horse make and how protects the king? These were some of questions beneficiaries were curious to know, before the first round started. The first round, and all rounds that ensued, were played together – chess might be an individually played game, but in Sveta Anastazija it’s played collectively. “The purpose of our existence and work is to support social inclusion of persons with disabilities. We work on education of our beneficiaries as well, with the aim to remove existing prejudices around disability and support development of knowledge and skills”, explains Kristina Dragišić, coordinator of Sveta Anastazija.

Beneficiaries in this centre are of different age – from elderly to young adults; have different kinds of disability – from cognitive to physical; are interested in different topics – from playing harmonica, over handcrafts, to creation of hats. Ljiljana makes hats in her spare time: I do this for a long time, and now I draw inspiration from YouTube “, says Ljiljana, whose first hat exhibition will be held towards the end of the year in Sremska Mitrovica. Milenko plays harmonica in his favourite quite room, located in the lower floor, away from noise and chatter.

Although different in interests and personalities, Ljiljana, Milenko and their colleagues have one thing in common: a need to be equal member of society, to develop their knowledge and skills and to share them with others. Chess lessons were supported by the German-Serbian Development Cooperation project „Social Services for Vulnerable Groups“, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

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