Every year, on 3 December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed as a reminder that not only on that day, but every day, we should take care of the people around us, and to raise the awareness of the challenges and barriers that people with disabilities face every day. HRH Crown Princess Katherine calls upon everyone to provide support and assistance to people with disabilities and make their daily lives easier.
According to the World Health Organization, about 15% of the world’s population has some form of disability and thus it is necessary to create conditions for a better life for those who wake up every morning with some physical defect, and yet with internal strength that drives them and makes them mentally and emotionally ready to deal with all these difficulties as much as possible.
The Foundation of HRH Crown Princess Katherine in Belgrade, together with the Lifeline Humanitarian Organization, that has offices in Chicago, New York, Toronto, London and Athens and whose patron is Crown Princess Katherine, has been helping people with disabilities with selfless donations for decades. So far, more than 700 wheelchairs have been donated to specialized health institutions throughout Serbia, an elevator for children with special needs in Kikinda, tactile trails in Krusevac, hearing screening equipment, interactive whiteboards for children with hearing impairments in Belgrade, travel for children with hearing impairments to a training camp in Detroit, Michigan and more.
Marking this day, HRH Crown Princess Katherine said: “Every day, and not just today, we should live and work being aware that each of us, regardless of whether we or our family members face a disability, have certain qualities that can contribute to the overall progress of our society. People with disabilities, all over the world, face physical, social, economic barriers and difficulties in understanding people that exclude them from full participation in the society as its equal members. In that way, people with disabilities are additionally endangered. Therefore, the whole community and all citizens should put extra effort and show greater understanding for people with disabilities and for the problems they face every day”.
By mutual acceptance and respect for diversity, together we turn the world into a better place for all of us to live. We need to make the future of people with disabilities brighter and the world more accessible for their work and life. Whenever you see a thrown bottlecap or if you have them yourself, pick them up and take them to the nearest place where bottlecaps, which might, at first glance, look like plastic waste, are collected, and which can greatly help these people in overcoming certain obstacles they encounter every day.