The Center for Development of the Skopje Region successfully implemented the project “Inclusive children’s playground” for children with special needs in the municipality of Karposh. The project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Ministry of Local Self Government of the Republic of Northern Macedonia and co-financed by the Municipality of Karpos with a total funding of 2,647,619.00 MKD.
This project resulted from the project activity “Regional Community Forums”. The “Regional Community Forums” were a structured instrument for civic participation in community development and local governance. With this tool, citizens were able to express their needs, problems and priorities and to take an active part in decision making in their municipalities and planning regions. Joint action at all levels and the participation of all stakeholders, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or religion, were prerequisites for generating more sustainable solutions in society.
The project “Inclusive children’s playground” is a reflection of the process of inclusion in reality by creating a safe and stimulating community for acceptance and cooperation, creating a space where children with special needs will feel comfortable and free and will be able to interact directly with other children. and without disabilities.
With this playground the Skopje Planning Region and the municipality of Karposh have created a place where children recognize the inclusive process and reject the unnecessary prejudices that are present between them. A place where children can develop physical, cognitive, sensory and social skills.
The inclusive playground design incorporates a balance of game-building experiences to all of these skills, while promoting positive social activities among them, said Ljupco Kec Mickovski, Head of the Skopje Planning Region Development Center, in his opening address to attendees.
The project is in line with the national stratospheric and CRSPD strategic documents, in which the building of technical and social infrastructure is one of the stated priorities, in particular the inclusion and integration of children with disabilities and the creation of equal opportunities for all. Through the implementation of the project, the Municipality of Karpos obtained the first playground of this type, but not only for its residents, because through a strategically selected location, the inclusive playground would be ideal for use by all residents of the City of Skopje.
The problem facing children with disabilities in Karposh and in the City of Skopje is the lack of a child inclusive playground where children with disabilities will have an equal opportunity to enjoy childhood with their peers. We have witnessed that these children have only 1-2 such playgrounds in our whole territory, which are very little realistic so that they can spend their leisure time and get out in order to get physically active.
Through activities and socializing to overcome stereotypes and to enable greater social inclusion of children with disabilities.
Therefore, the realization of the project enabled reconstruction of an area of 450m2 on the Delfina Square – Municipality of Karposh in order to obtain a modern inclusive children’s playground for all children.
The performance of the playground aroused great interest among all children in the municipality but also among the parents of children with special needs who eagerly awaited the completion of the playground.
Today, not so long after the opening and opening of the Playground Expected results are met with:
Increased number of children with special needs using the playground
Improved physical, cognitive and social skills in all children
Increased number of joint activities among children
Ms. Roseta Arsovska, Regional Development Coordinator at the Center for Development of the Skopje Planning Region, highlighted in the short presentation the community promotion and strengthening.
As part of the working team, we were fully involved in the implementation of the project from its launch until its realization. The interest in using the playground is great both for the residents of the Municipality of Karposh and for the residents of our neighboring Municipality of Gjorce. Although it was late in the fall, attendance was higher than expected, and we hope it will continue with that intensity in the spring.
The whole implementation of this project would be successful and we hope for more success stories in the future.
Acknowledgments to the Center for Development of the Skopje Planning Region, the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development, the Ministry of Local Self-Government and all representatives of the municipalities and the non-governmental sector that were actively involved in the previous forums and contributed to the realization of this project, Ms. Aleksandra Teova said. , a representative from the Municipality of Karposh.
The Center for Development of the Skopje Region in the next cycle of forums that should start in the beginning of February, expects an even greater contribution of quality and innovative.