Youth with disabilities forum

Forum mladih sa invaliditetom | Youth with disabilities forum

About us

Youth with disabilities Forum

Youth with disabilities Forum (YDF) is a civil society organization focused on improving the quality of life and social position of persons with disabilities. As a civil society, YDF was established in Belgrade in 2005 and until now has implemented more than 80 projects with more than 3000 direct participants. Our projects and activities are aimed to support the development of inclusive society on local, regional, and national level.

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About our work

Vision

A society of equal and active citizens in which people with disabilities are empowered to live and make decisions independently corresponding to their needs and resources.

Mission

YDF mission is to contribute to inclusion, advocacy, and promotion of human rights, through the establishment of cross-sector partnerships and other sustainable mechanisms, building and strengthening human and other resources and capacities, necessary for self-development of persons with disabilities.

The organization represents and advocates in the interest of persons with disabilities in several fields (education, employment, entrepreneurship, social policy, and discrimination issues), enabling improvement of the position of people with disabilities and full respect of human rights in the wider society.

Our team

Jovana KM 2

Jovana Krivokuća-Milovanović

Executive director

Jovana Krivokuća-Milovanović

Born in Kraljevo in 1983. Graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences, Department for International relations. She has been in YDF since 2008. Enthusiastic and optimistic. Believes in change, in rights, in fighting, in attitude, that approach can create a positive atmosphere, that personal mood sets the mood for the entire day. She likes folklore, dancing, basketball, and most of all, her family and friends.
Slađana Lević

Slađana Lević

Program director

Slađana Lević

Born in Trstenik in 1983. Graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences, Department for International relations and holds a master’s degree in Project management from the Faculty of Organizational Sciences. Participated in proposal writing and leading more than 40 domestic, EU, and other foreign donor projects. Engaged in the areas of social inclusion, employment, youth, as well as in executing many events, trainings, and conferences.

Stefan Nedeljković

Activity Manager

Stefan Nedeljković

Born in Belgrade in 1987. Graduated from the Faculty for Culture and Media, Department for Management in Culture. Has vast experience in donor project implementation, with emphasis on USAID projects. He was engaged in capacity building in both public and private sector and is now willing to tackle the civil sector. Participated in public finances, inspection, and construction permitting reform, as well as creation of the new business model for Serbian fruit and vegetable producers. Enjoys rainy days and playing drums.
Marija Kovč

Marija Kovč

Admin Manager

Marija Kovč

Born in Raška in 1993. Graduated from the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, Department for Serbian Language and Literature with Comparative studies. In her work, she was engaged in inclusive education, and now she is engaged in inclusive employment. Big fan of dogs and the thing she likes the most is spending time in nature with her dog.

Jasmina Majstorović

Head of the financial department

Jasmina Majstorović

Born in Kraljevo in 1972. Graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade, Department for Accounting, audit, and financial management.
Marija Milosavljević 2

Marija Milosavljević

Counselor for career guidance and counseling

Marija Milosavljević

Born in Belgrade in 1995. Graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy, Department for Andragogy. She is engaged in the subjects of youth employability and inclusion. Always optimistic and in love with nature. Youth with Disabilities Forum associate since March 2021.

Jelena Kostić

Adviser for profiling for the labor market

Jelena Kostić

Born in Vranje in 1986. Master student at the Faculty for special Education and Rehabilitation, Department for Special education and rehabilitation of persons with mental difficulties. Big fan of epic fantasy and science fiction. Believes in second chance and that everybody has the potential for personal growth. She is engaged in empowerment and employment of persons with disabilities.

The organization represents and advocates in the interest of persons with disabilities in several fields:

  • education,
  • employment, entrepreneurship,
  • social policy,
  • discrimination issues


Key target groups of the YDF includes persons with disabilities, families of persons with disabilities, civil society organizations, representatives of business sector, representatives of local self-governments, representatives of relevant institutions: Ministries, National Employment Service, Centers for social welfare, educational institutions. All these groups come from across Serbia.

YDF has built sustainable cross-sector partnerships with representatives of public and private sector, developing innovative solutions for improvement the position of persons with disabilities

More than 3.000 direct beneficiaries

YDF successfully implemented around 80 national and local projects, with more than 3.000 direct beneficiaries and up to 7000 indirect users, contributing to the development of inclusive society on local, regional, and national level. The organization represents and advocates in the interest of persons with disabilities in several fields (education, employment, entrepreneurship, social policy, and discrimination issues), enabling improvement of the position of people with disabilities and full respect of human rights in the wider society.

Key target groups of the YDF includes persons with disabilities, families of persons with disabilities, civil society organizations, representatives of business sector, representatives of local self-governments, representatives of relevant institutions: Ministries, National Employment Service, Centers for social welfare, educational institutions. All these groups come from across Serbia. YDF has built sustainable cross-sector partnerships with representatives of public and private sector, developing innovative solutions for improvement the position of persons with disabilities.

The first mission was to strengthen the leadership potential of young representatives of people with disabilities as an engine of change, enabling civil society to become an effective force for democratic reform and defense of human rights, ensuring political and civic participation and representation and public-institution advancement.

EMPLOYEMENT AND EDUCATION

Youth with Disabilities Forum has been working intensively since 2008. on the employment of persons with disabilities at the open labor market. YDF implemented activities for strengthening the individual capacities of persons with disabilities for employment, contributing to the quality life advancement, as well as raising awareness of employers. We have created an employment program for persons with disabilities which contributes to increasing the employability of persons with disabilities and offers: counseling, profiling and career guidance; preparation for job interview; language courses; soft skills trainings; prequalification courses. We have established cooperation with about 60 companies, small and medium enterprises and enabled the employment of more than 300 persons with disabilities.

Beside it, every year we provide work practice to young people with disabilities in different companies in Belgrade. The internship is designed in accordance with the needs of young people with disabilities and enables the acquisition of work experience, the development of abilities and skills, as well as competitiveness in the labor market.

In 2021, we have developed the first and innovative online tool – Portal for employment of persons with disabilities (www.zaposljavanje.fmi.rs ), as a channel of communication and connection between persons with disabilities looking for the job and employers who have open positions.

At the beginning of 2021, we launched a Network of employers for employment of persons with disabilities, as an informal network of employers to whom we provide strategic support in their more active approach to long-term and sustainable employment of persons with disabilities. The network of employers serves as a place for gathering, exchanging information, and raising the capacity of domestic and foreign companies, as well as other interested entities operating in the territory of the Republic of Serbia.

Supporting the development of the community-based services for persons with disabilities

The local community and civil society have a significant role to play in developing and fostering social inclusion by supporting people with disabilities to live in their local communities.

YDF works to engage civil society in the social inclusion sector, connecting and strengthening existing and creating new community-based service providers in the areas of social protection, education and employment.

The most important results achieved in this field of work:

– We have developed and implemented a program for quality standards in community services with 60 service providers for people with disabilities;

– We have developed and implemented the Program for Sustainable Partnerships in Community Services with 69 service providers;

– We co-financed 5 local support services for people with disabilities (in the cities: Leskovac, Pozarevac, Belgrade, Kikinda and Uzice) which included 109 end users;

– We have developed the community service “Family Counselor”, with the aim of preventing institutionalization of beneficiaries, persons with disabilities. Family Counselor is an innovative service in the social protection system whose main goal is to strengthen the family resilience of families of persons with disabilities. The purpose of the service is to contribute to preserving the integrity of the family and improving the quality of life of all members in different developmental stages of family life.

Social entrepreneurship

The social economy opens the perspective for fair, sustainable and inclusive development, which is why the Forum strives to contribute to building capacity for the development of social enterprises, as well as building a mutual support network.

The most important results:

– We have realized the “School of Social Entrepreneurship” for the development of social business ideas for 5 years in a row. So far, 63 participants have attended the school. A total of 35 business plans were developed. We have awarded one start-up grant for the best written business plan.

– We organized the “Social Entrepreneurship Fair” in 2013 in Belgrade, where 42 exhibitors presented themselves, and it was visited by more than 500 visitors.

– We have developed a program and methodology for the first incubator for social enterprises. At the public competition, 4 tenants of the Incubator in 2015 were selected.

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