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Red Cross of Serbia at the 16th Festival of Health


At the 16th Festival of Health in the eighth year since it was established, this fall in the Army Memorial Centre in Belgrade the Red Cross of Serbia organised a panel entitled “Ageing With Dignity”. The Red Cross of Serbia is, among other things a patron of the Festival. There were other two HumanaS network representatives organising panel discussions and other network members participated from the audience.

After she participated in the official Festival opening with the rest of the present invitees, Natasa Todorovic, psychologist and the Red Cross of Serbia representative moderated the panel discussion with the following participants: Slobodan Milivojevic representing the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, GradimirZajic, a retired sociologist, Paulina Firićaski, psychologist representing Gerontological Centre Belgrade, DunjaTanasic, sociology student and Milos Todorovic, anthropology student.

When we speak about dignity, we must always have in mind that it is a fundament of human rights and that a society respecting dignity of all its citizens is a society more equal, said Natasa Todorovic in her statement.

The speakers, younger and older, with different professional backgrounds and experience talked about ageing with dignity today as well as in the future. Slobodan Milivojevic talked about good cooperation with the Red Cross of Serbia as well as the need for broad cooperation across the society on reporting violation of human rights to the Commissioner. GradimirZajic explained that Arthur Schopenhauer was wrong when he described talking about dignity as a fraud, a façade without a foundation.

Paulina Firicaski, a psychologist with years of experience working in the Gerontological Centre talked about the efforts of the Centre to provide services to older people that will help them with their problems, but respecting the dignity of older people living in institutional accommodation at all times. DunjaTanasic in her statement talked about the problems that today’s younger people will be facing in the future – for example the uncertainty of sustainability of the existing pension schemes – and that financial issues may jeopardise the dignity of future generations. Milos Todorovic explained that ageing is a biological process that can not be influenced, but that ageing with dignity is a cultural issue and that all the society must work together to create a culture that will fully support it.