Each day KEC’s day center provides programming for more than 50 people with intellectual and mental disabilities. KEC’s day center is special-- different from the others. It is hard to define the difference but our beneficiaries can feel it. Relying almost entirely on donations from supporters like you KEC manages to provide the beneficiaries with nutritious meals, keep them safe and engaged. But, there is something more that separates KEC from the rest.
KEC’s special touch is why Ivana (37), a long time KEC beneficiary, finally found a place that she and her family could feel good about. For most of us when we finish school it is a time celebrate our accomplishments and look forward to what comes next. Some times it means entering a new educational program other times it means leaping out into professional experiences. Like so many people with intellectual disabilities in Serbia the end of elementary school marked the end of formalized educational or social opportunities for Ivana. After finishing school Ivana became depressed and lacked interest in any kinds of activities. She was alone and sad. After years of this her mom and dad enrolled her in a small informal day program. From the very beginning Ivana found every way possible to avoid going there. She even made herself sick in the process of trying to get out of attending that program. The program met the barest minimum it kept her safe place and fed her but did not engage her. Ivana, though she could not express it in words, was desperate to be engaged and to be listened to.
Luckily Ivana’s social worker recognized that she needed a different environment and referred her to KEC. From her first day at KEC she has flourished. She made good friends, enjoys participating in the programming and is proud of her job at the Maxi supermarket where she bags groceries and stocks shelves. There are no more psychosomatic illnesses in Ivana’s life only fulfilling days spent at the KEC center. Ivana can’t put into words what makes the KEC day center different than the others but the smile on her face is proof that KEC has a special touch.
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