Daycare in Berat

The problem


In Serbia, at the beginning of the last decade, thousands of children affected by physical and mental disabilities were segregated in more than 60 psychiatric  institutions, condemned to spend the rest of their lives in unacceptable conditions. Among trash, icy water, mould, stinky smokes and scraped walls, there were many children with high malnutrition levels, skin plagued, injuries caused by fights and uncontrolled outbursts of rage.
The approach used by local health and social services provided:
a screening, carried out since early childhood with very basic assessments, decided whether a child was able or not to live in society. The seriousness of living conditions in asylums was also denounced in a report published in november 2007 by mental disability rights international who accused serbia of torture and abuse against children and adults with mental and physical disabilities.

Cittadinanza - Serbia gallery 2

Cittadinanza's answer

In 2002 Cittadinanza opened a day care centre for children and adolescents affected by serious mental illness. The project was carried out by citizenship in cooperation with Save the children Fund Uk, the ministry of social affairs, the local authorities within Smederevska Palanka.

The day care center was the first in the whole Serbia that respects european standards and for several children was an alternative to the psychiatric hospital; it has therefore become a therapeutic model to be proposed in november 2003 cittadinanza has also opened a day care centre in Pozarevac.

The center of Smederevska Palanka, attended by fifteen children, provided:

Psycho-social assistance to families

Ad hoc and group rehabilitation programmes

Opportunities aimed to involve the disabled children with the children of the community

Lab activities

Training for the staff

Translations of essential italian and english publications, permanent monitoring and evaluation

Provision of basic materials for labs and other activities (rehabilitation room with sensorial stimulation instruments and other materials not available in the country;software programmes)

Advocacy activities and sensibilisation

Cittadinanza - Serbia gallery 3
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