Visit to the Association for helping persons with autism in Kragujevac
Within the large regional project “Strengthening resilience of older persons and persons with disabilities during COVID-19 crisis and future disasters” financed by the European Union and Austrian Development Agency, an important part are microgrants, of which there are 62 in the region, and 11 in Serbia. One of the projects aimed at supporting people with autism is implemented by the Association for helping persons with autism in Kragujevac. On Saturday, August 12, 2023, at 10 a.m., the Japanese cherry planting activity was implemented in the Memorial Park in Šumarice near the “One Hundred for One” monument. This is an activity that puts spotlight on the persons with autism and the need for their greater inclusion in the society. Nataša Todorović, project coordinator, participated in the planting during her visit.
In addition to this activity, the representative of the Red Cross of Serbia visited Maršić, near Kragujevac, and the parish home of the church municipality of Maršićanska – the church of Saint Basil the Great, where she attended activities organised for persons with autism.
The implementation of this project aimed to support persons with autism in acting independently in everyday life through developing different skills and habits. Experienced therapists were tasked with supporting the beneficiaries in becoming independent in preparing meals, setting the table and making the beds in accordance with their abilities. Then they prepared jam made of chokeberry, cherry, raspberry, melon and blackberry and packed it in small jars and attached appropriate labels to them. They also made glycerine soaps with various additives, poured them into moulds, and when they were finished, they took them out of the moulds to dry. They also coloured magnets of different shapes. In addition to all of this, they had recreational exercises adapted to them and their needs.
During the implementation of the project, three camps were implemented with the following activities: acquisition of life skills for persons with autism to support their independence, a trip to Novi Sad, and an event marking the World Autism Day.
The project aims to draw attention to persons with autism and their families and emphasize that they are equal members of the community, that it is necessary for them to be included in the society and that they need to receive adequate support that will enable the independence of a person with autism and strengthen the family through improving their quality of life.
This project is an attempt to sensitize the public to reduce discrimination, but it is also a learning process for all of us to learn as much as possible about autism and the needs of families. It is also an important step towards the goal of leaving no one forgotten and isolated