„Our world of Diversity”: real-life stories on inclusive education

The book „Our world of Diversity” was launched on 16 September 2011 in Hotel Europe, Sarajevo. The event was organised and hosted by the Association of united civic actions DUGA and UNICEF. It gathered representatives of the government, EU r, UN, diplomats and local civil society, to support social protection and inclusion systems for children with special needs.

In order to encourage discussions and decision-making about quality of inclusive education for all children, UNICEF and the Association DUGA collected a series of real-life stories about experiences and lessons learned from children with special needs and their parents, teachers and professionals. Author of the book is Almir Panjeta.

Stories were written in municipalities that participated in the Project „Enhancing the Social Protection and Inclusion System for Children in BiH – SPIS” financed by the European Union with 4,100,000 Euro. The Kingdom of Norway Government and the Great Britain Governmental Department for International Development (UKAID) have also participated in financing.

„The European Union has a motto „United in diversity” which signifies how Europeans have come together to work for peace and prosperity, while at the same time being enriched by many different cultures, traditions and languages,” said Natalia Dianiskova, Head of the Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH. „This book reminded me why we are here – to help creating environment without borders, separation and discrimination of any kind.”

„In this book, we talk about inclusion from the perspective of skills and possibilities, through human stories that illustrate what can really be achieved through inclusion,”  said UNICEF Representative in BiH, Florence Bauer. „Over the last decade, UNICEF has been promoting quality inclusive education in BiH to meet the needs of every child, with a special focus on the most vulnerable children.”

Anka Izetbegović and Vasilija Veljković from the Association DUGA testified about the successful inclusion of these most vulnerable children in schooling system. „The feeling of happiness that you have helped to change people’s mind sets, attitudes of the teachers and parents, as well as your own, is precious and worth invested efforts in the passed 10 years,” said Ms. Izetbegović.  

The book will be disseminated to parents, schools, civil society and government. It is also available in an English version on CD.