PRESS RELEASE ON THE OCCASION OF 23 YEARS SINCE THE CENTRE HAS BEGAN WORKING
Today, the Centre marks 23 years since the opening of the counselling centre for the support of persons with disabilities, whose team and two other associates founded it in January 2002.
The gathering of the movement of disabled persons in Novi Sad for information, training and support in exercising the rights, individual and group educational and counselling work of over 850 persons, institutions and organizations working in the field of exercising social rights, initiating 11 local accessibility action plans in Vojvodina, more than 10 (co-)editions, 2 documentaries, several videos, the introduction of personal assistance services in the Decision on Social Protection of the City of Novi Sad, two decades of working to raise funds in the community as prerequisites for independent living in the part where they have not yet been financed by budget funds; all this is behind us.
We have to find the solution for all-day personal assistance financing in full, taking into account shifts and their overlapping; the City has to remove the controversial condition that a person must have residency in Novi Sad for a year in order to have the right to personal assistance financing; due to a ten-year long project financing and incomplete purposeful assistance financing since 2020, 5 accounts of the Centre need to be unblocked; and after all that we have representative work on the fact that cities and municipalities finance all labour rights of direct providers not only the gross hourly price of the service provided.
You can see more on the reasons and consequences of account blocking and how you can support the Centre’s work at this time on its website. The current blocked amount is RSD 5,665,400. Since no money was donated for more than 5 weeks to the basic account 340-5350-79, the total blocked amount has increased by RSD 70,000.00. We use this opportunity to invite everyone who can, by donating or sharing information on the urgency to support the Centre, to contribute to the unblocking of accounts as soon as possible so that the Centre can receive a part of the approved program funds from the Budget of the City of Novi Sad, from line 481, which is subject to blocking and are assigned to the indirect costs of organizing personal assistance and daily experiential (peer) support to one person and that the Centre can continue to operate in 2024.
We are grateful to everyone who has reached out to the Centre for their trust, businessmen and public figures, donors, the City of Novi Sad, the Government of Vojvodina for their support and everything we have done together, the European Network for Independent Living, the Reconstruction Women’s Fund, the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina, Civic Initiatives, Women’s Studies and Research, the University of Novi Sad for everything invested, shared, encouraged and published, the Novi Sad Association of Students with Disabilities and the Centre for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities of Serbia for everything we have jointly contributed to the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, all past and current employees and activists of the Centre for everything they have invested, for the values and standards below which one must not go
Milica Ružičić-Novković, president