Mirjana and Gordana have been friends since they were 7 years old. Living in the same small Belgrade suburb it was not unusual that they would be friends. But they did not meet at the playground. Being the only girls in town with Down’s Syndrome they met at an elementary school for kids with special needs. When they turned 18 there were no longer any educational programs available to them so they spent their days alone each in their own homes. Neither had any contact with friends or any people other than their families. They were home alone and unhappy.
KEC changed things for these two friends. Mirjana and Gordana were reunited when their parents enrolled them in the Creative Education Center KEC. It was exactly what they needed-- a creative and caring place to send their girls while they were at work. A place where the girls could grow, make new friends and continue living life. Mirjana and Gordana now spend their days at KEC participating in the wide array of programs that the center offers. Through KEC’s work placement program both Mirjana and Gordana work several hours a week at local McDonald’s restaurants. Working at “Mek”, as they say in Serbian, brings them great joy. They love engaging with the customers and the staff and they feel totally at home there.
The girls also have another interest in common. They both are avid sports fans. Mirjana loves football so she was ecstatic when KEC organized a trip to her favorite team, Partizan’s, stadium. Gordana’s sports interest are lower key. She likes the center’s exercise program. Her absolute favorite activity is the hoola hoop. She is a master at keeping them spinning and can even spin two of them at once.
KEC has brought these two friends back together and helps hundreds of other people with special needs in Belgrade stay active and social. The center’s programs are innovative and aim to keep pushing the bar higher about what each individual can achieve. Supporting KEC keeps these hoola hoops spinning and so much more.
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