In the City Administration of the city of Zrenjanin, Deputy Mayor Saša Santovac hosted a reception for representatives of the Youth with Disabilities Forum, Caritas of Serbia and the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The reception was also attended by representatives of the Zrenjanin association of persons with disabilities.
On that occasion, in the hall of the City Hall, a sales exhibition of handicrafts of the Day care center for children and youth with physical disabilities, i.e. intellectual difficulties “Alternativa”, Intermunicipal Organization of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Primary School “9. Maj” and the center “Most”.
Deputy Mayor Saša Santovac pointed out that such receptions have become traditional since they proved to be an excellent opportunity for conversation, especially since today’s event was also attended by representatives of organizations that deal with issues of persons with disabilities and reminded that, in addition to the support provided to persons with disabilities is provided by the City of Zrenjanin, a Career Center was recently opened in the city as part of the “Job Fit: Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities” project.
Slađana Lević, program director from the Youth with Disabilities Forum, presented the association’s activities and expressed her satisfaction that the Career Center was opened in Zrenjanin, and pointed out that the purpose of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is to affirm the rights of persons with disabilities, especially economic equality and the realization of the right to work which are crucial for the independence of persons with disabilities.
“All this is not yet in full scope, prejudices about their ability to work are still present, and that is why it is the task of all of us to talk about this topic. It’s really nice that the works are exhibited today and that the results of someone’s work can be seen and bought” – added Slađana Lević.
“The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is being celebrated this year under the slogan “United in action to save and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for persons with disabilities, with persons with disabilities and by persons with disabilities,” said Marina Kostić, project coordinator from Caritas Serbia , and reminded that the Career Center is located at Ljubljanska 15, in the premises of Caritas, and is open every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., where all those interested will be welcomed by a career counselor who will work with users individually, but also in small groups, within which participants will have opportunities to develop their soft skills, such as time management skills, assertive communication, conflict resolution.
“Also, as part of the project, users will have the opportunity to be involved in work practices or to attend professional training for free, in order to really enable them to be more competitive on the labor market and find easier employment,” added Marina Kostić.
Sanja Vukelić from the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation reminded that the City of Zrenjanin is one of the signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Youth with Disabilities Forum within the Job Fit project, which affirmed mutual support and cooperation on activities in December last year, with the aim of creating an inclusive labor market and encouraging employers to employ people with disabilities.
Jelena Dragić, head of the Department for Social Activities of the City Administration of Zrenjanin, welcomed all those present and presented the measures and activities implemented by the City, which are related to providing support and improving the position of people with disabilities in Zrenjanin.
Project “Job Fit: Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities”, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented by the Youth with Disabilities Forum. Other partners in the project are Caritas of Serbia, the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, the Smart Kolektiv and the Center for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities of Serbia.