Creating a Culture of Change


GROUNDBREAKING – After major European capital cities such as Berlin, Vienna and Brussels, for the first time in its history, Belgrade will be hosting a European congress for persons with disabilities. “Living in the Encounter” congress will take place from May 31st to Jun 3rd 2018 in the Serbian capital.

Founded twenty years ago, the congress represents an effort to bring the world closer to achieving the goals of equality of opportunity, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. This year’s promising program for more than 500 participants from all over Europe will be specially designed to encourage persons with disabilities to be self-confident and more productive members of society.

“For the 20th anniversary we are headed to Serbia. Belgrade, the “White City”, also experienced painful times recently. These wounds are still visible. In contrast, “Living in the encounter” is a guideline on how peace and cooperation can be achieved within and throughout Europe. On how people with disabilities are taking proactive social roles and should no longer be only on the receiving end of support”, estimates Thomas Kraus, founder of the congress.

“As the disability rights awareness continues to build momentum in the western Balkans, we are proud to welcome the 7th European congress in the capital of Serbia. By bringing together persons with disabilities from all around Europe, this gathering creates a unique opportunity for them to expand their circle of friends, develop their creative potential and discuss issues that rejoices or bothers them”, highlights Dejan Kozic, president of the local Association for persons with disabilities “Let’s Live Together”.

Testimonial by a former participant

“In most other events that I know of, we wear masks. Here, we are ourselves. This congress is important for me because persons in unique circumstances can meet there and are able to transcend borders and confines. There I can share my story with other people who all have similar destinies. I’ve opened up a lot and gained self-confidence.”


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