TRH Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine attended today the solemn celebration of the 125th anniversary of the “Stefan Decanski” Elementary School for Hearing Impaired children, which was held today in the Children’s Cultural Centre in Belgrade, Serbia.

The solemnity was opened with the speech by the Director of the School, Ms. Leposava Petrovic, who thanked the Royal Couple for magnifying the solemnity with their presence. She also informed the present people about the history of the school and its current work and achievements. Mr. Milan Pašić, Assistant of the Minister of Education in the Government of Serbia attended the celebration and read the message on behalf of the Ministry.

HRH Crown Princess Katherine also addressed the people present, and in her speech, among other things, she said: “It is wonderful to see that this school has done so much, and through hard work and dedication has proven its leading role in Serbia. For 125 years you have contributed tremendously to the benefit of your pupils, and our nation. You have shown that hearing impaired and deaf people can be equal members of our society and that children who have this problem, can achieve so much, which is highly important.

My husband and I, through our work and the work of our foundations, are putting great efforts into fostering further education and assisting and helping children with disabilities. But without the remarkable work of institutions like yours, and your great teachers, that are giving themselves and tirelessly working for the benefit of your students, it would not be possible.

I am overwhelmed with the spirit your school has and the great devotion for your pupils. Your hard work deserves every praise, and I hope that others in Serbia will look up to you. I hope that there will be even more such successful schools, just like yours, in Serbia in the future.”

In addition, Her Royal Highness also reminded present people about the very nice cooperation that she and her Foundation had in the previous years with the school, supporting the important work of its teachers. In collaboration with Dr. Daniel Megler, an American otorhinolaryngologist of Serbian origin, and Ms. Ardis J. Gardella, President of The Holley Institute from Detroit, Michigan, the Foundation of HRH Crown Princess Katherine successfully organized trips for hearing impaired children to a special camp in Detroit, that brought new knowledge and experience not only for children but also to Serbian teachers that accompanied them.

After the speeches the students of the school performed a program that they prepared with their teachers, and which all present enjoyed very much.

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