PODGORICA, April 21, 2011 – As part of the second phase of the ‘It’s About Ability’ campaign children with disabilities visited the Italian Embassy in Podgorica.
UNICEF Representative Noala Skinner said that these kinds of events, where doors are clearly shown to be open to children and young people with disabilities, and where they can learn about how institutions function are very important for supporting inclusion. Skinner hopes that other international and local institutions will follow the example of Italian Embassy.
‘‘The Italian Embassy has been one of the strong supporters of the campaign ‘It’s About Ability’ and I was thinking when you (Ambassador Barbanti)were saying that half of the employees are Italian and half of the employees of the Embassy are Montenegrin, you might find yourself some future applicants for the Italian Embassy after the visit today, because it is clear that our friends our multi-lingual, multi-talented and they have so much to give’’ UNICEF Representative said.
During the two hour visit children interacted with the staff and had an overview of the Embassy organization. They also had a unique chance to see how it feels to be in the chair of the Ambassador.
Embassy staff showed them the visa section, archives, the process of issuing passports, visas and birth certificates.
‘’I have no words to describe it. For me this is a great event, a great experience and a huge honour to be in the Italian Embassy,’’ said Ivan Vukovic.
‘’The Ambassador was really kind and he represented his country in the best way. I had heard about Italian hospitality and kindness and this was confirmed here again,’’ Nikola Zekic emphasized.
‘’We saw so much, the premises, we saw how the embassy functions, I had a chance to meet people, talk to them, become friends,’’ Dijana Lukovac, who spoke in Italian with the Ambassador, stated.
The visit was organised following the Italian Ambassador’s invitation to children during last year’s intergenerational dialogue held in Kolasin and his subsequent interactions with children, including when one of the guests, Nikola Zekic, played the piano at the start of the Verdi concert held in December 2010.
‘’I met some of the children on a couple of occasions and I wanted them to really spend some time with us, not just to visit the Embassy but to share the part of the morning, with me and with the people who work here, to see what we do and to be part of the life we lead everyday because I consider these children part of our lives. I was really happy when I saw them smiling. There are certain types of work at the Embassy which could be done by people with disabilities and when we mentioned that during the meeting I saw number of them being happy with the idea and we would also be delighted.’’ said Barbanti.
At the end of the visit children sang a song for Italian Ambassador and UNICEF Representative.