Kushtrim is a nine-year old boy from Zaskok (a small village in the Municipality of Ferizaj, Kosovo). In his first year of life, he was diagnosed with Syndrome Vest, which is manifested with delays in intellectual development, an expressed hyperactivity and inability to speak. Kushtrim started to attend HandiKOS center soon after he was diagnosed with the syndrome.
For years Kushtrim has attended the centre. He is now able to do many new things that earlier seemed impossible to everyone who knew him. Now he spends time at the center playing with toys and he enjoys going through books where he learns more about cars, animals and colours.
While describing Kushtrim’s daily routine, his mother states: “He loves going to the center and whenever he notices the minibus coming to pick him up, he becomes very enthusiastic and starts producing happy sounds”.
It is estimated that about 150,000 people in Kosovo have some sort of disability with about half thought to be children of school age. In the last years, children with disabilities have been included in public schools; even if these schools often lack the competences and suitable conditions to offer access to and quality in education.
Besmire Bajrami is a Toy Library Assistant at HandiKos Center. She indicates the role which the Center played in Kushtrim’s development. She explains: “When I started to work at Handikos I noticed that Kushtrim was a hyperactive child, who was just throwing things form one place to another, and would never sit and focus on something in particular.” Referring to Kushtrim’s progress and brimming with enthusiasm she says: “Through these five months I incited him with different activities, which led to him increasing his level of concentration and learning to sit for longer periods. Since then, he sits more often and listens to me while I read. I truly believe I will be able to support him to continually develop and enjoy learning new things.” Besmire also mentions the help provided by Save the Children to HandiKos Center in Ferizaj, she states: “Save the Children has established a new library of toys and books which has enabled me to increase the quality of my work and through these materials, provide an extensive help to Kushtrim and other children attending this center.”