Istočno Novo Sarajevo: INclusion as the Road to Equality

The Cultural Center of Istočno Novo Sarajevo hosted an unusual crafts bazaar, displaying the results of the project “Be Naturally INclusive”, supported by the Institute for Youth Development KULT and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden.

The bazaar was organised by members of the Youth Organization “Natura” to showcase the crafts made by children and youth with disabilities from the Association “Vratite nam osmijeh”. Students from the High School Center Ilidža helped with the crafts. For most of them, this was the first opportunity they had to take part in an inclusive project.

“Members of the Association “Vratite nam osmijeh”, with our help and the help of high school students, made tote bags decorated with their drawings, photo frames, jewelry and decorative boxes”, said the organiser of the bazaar, Predrag Šarović, noting that it is important to host more events like this one to allow children and youth to truly become integrate into all aspects of social life.

Zoran Ilišković is a fourteen-year-old boy who took part in the workshops, and used the decoupage technique to make decorative boxes. “Miss Ankica taught us how to do decoupage, and I’m happy because me and my friends made this decorative boxes together. I’ve been doing this for five years, and I’m always happy when we’re all here together”, said Zoran, adding that everyone should be kind and spend time with others.

It’s important to note that these crafts were made of natural materials, in the spirit of the project’s title – “Be Naturally INclusive”.

Mladenka Pajić is also a member of the Association “Vratite nam osmijeh”. At 30, Mladenka is another young person who alongside her friend Zoran enjoys taking part in workshops like this one. “We made different kinds of jewelry, painted on a clothes iron and pressed our designs on tote bags. We spent time with kids, and I had a great time during the workshop, nothing was too hard for me”, said Mladenka, who proudly added that she has been a member of this Association since she was 7.

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