Creative Educational Center KEC

Mission of the organisation

KEC's mission is to create and offer innovative services and programs for people with intellectual disabilities so they may live fulfilling lives of independence and quality in their homes and communities. KEC is a civic organization that strives to meet the needs of people with disabilities in order to improve their position in society, secure a high quality of life and realize positive social change so that people with disabilities will be accepted as equal members of society. Our vision is to be a synonym for an NGO that is constantly raising the standards in the field of social welfare, improving the quality of life and degree of social inclusion for people with disabilities, realizing their human rights in the fields of employment, social welfare, health care and culture as well in the realm of raising public awareness. We aim to constantly be rethinking how and why we deliver services to our community to make sure that they are relevant and meaningful. KEC was established in 2002 in order to ensure that young adults with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to participate in the community and that their on-going educational and social needs are met. All of KEC's programs are developed in close partnership with our beneficiaries and their parents and guardians. In response to this vital input, KEC is constantly creating innovative programs or reshaping existing ones to meet the new interests and challenges of its beneficiaries. We work with the community to build a partnership that fosters acceptance and strives for inclusion. KEC is committed to enhancing the quality of life, and realizing the potential of all people with developmental disabilities. KEC mission is fulfilled through three primary program areas: a day center, work programming and a social enterprise. The day center was KEC first program and has been running since the organization's inception in 2002. Today, KEC is fortunate enough to provide this program in a modern new facility located in the center of Belgrade.This large and well-equipped facility was made possible through the joint efforts of the City of Belgrade and the U.S. Department of Defense. Both of these institutions recognized KEC's important and unique contribution to the lives of people with special needs in Belgrade and joined forces to create this truly special facility. As a result of its high caliber program KEC's day center was accredited by the Serbian Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Policy. This accreditation is further evidence of KEC's distinctive work on behalf of people with developmental disabilities. In order to ensure that people with special needs are truly a part of the larger community in 2004 KEC embarked in a program to build partnerships with the business community. The program started with McDonald's and has grown to include over 30 companies, institutions and organizations across Belgrade and almost 200 beneficiaries. Based on the company's needs KEC matches its beneficiaries with work placement positions. KEC provides all the necessary forms of support, training and evaluation. Its experience in creating and implementing this program made it possible for KEC to become the licensed trainer for such programs in Serbia. Today KEC helps other organizations implement similar programs in their communities. Finally, in an effort to strive for financial self-sustainability KEC launched a small enterprise, Gardenika, to produce natural snack foods. The enterprise's fruit rolls are sold in stores and markets throughout Serbia and can be found in corporate cafeterias and in their PR packages. In addition to providing jobs for KEC beneficiaries any profit will be channeled back into the NGO. Overall, KEC aims to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities living in the community or returning to the community after a life in an institution have meaningful fulfilling lives. We shape our programs around the users needs and desires. The Serbian government is working towards closing down its massive network of institutions providing long term residential care for people with intellectual disabilities. So on the one hand it must find a way to prevent more people from entering the institutions and on the other hand work to create and support programming for those who are leaving the institutions. KEC's activities are a best practice model for achieving both of these goals. The organization supports families so they can keep their loved one with special needs at home and helps those leaving the institutions to fill their lives with interesting and meaningful programs when they rejoin the community.

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Creative Educational Center KEC

Kraljevica Marka 4
Belgrade, 11000