The first digital speech therapist set in Novi Pazar and its significance
Marija is 33 year old speech therapist, but also a wife and mother of two, from Novi Pazar, who runs her own business. Straight after graduating, and completing her internship in Belgrade, Marija started working with children, in her birth town. Novi Pazar is a city known for high birth rate, where average family has 4-5 children. During her early working years, Marija had already recognized the need for speech and developmental therapist, and a business opportunity in a long run.
So far, in her small, but colorful and cozy studio, Marija had helped more than 1.800 children and adults. Problems that she is addressing are various: speech problems, autism, mental or hearing impairments, pronunciation of sounds, attention disorders, difficulties in reading and writing, etc. Maria also have great experience in support for adults after experiencing a stroke.
“Family is the most important factor in early detection of problems in children. Parents, due to lack of time and modern way of life, have less and less time to work with children, so they are forced to “build” the child’s speech through the phone or TV, games, where as a result we have an increased number of children with developmental difficulties”, says Marija. Statistic in Serbia show that 80% of children who enroll the first grade, needed or still need some sort of help from the speech therapist.
Within the project “Reintegration – support for sustainable (re)integration of returnees in Serbia”, Marija had received the grant for self-employment, the digital speech therapist set. We are proud to say that more than 40% of beneficiaries on this project are women and that strengthening of the female entrepreneurial spirit is one of our long term tendencies.
“Working with children is my call, it is what I wake up happy to every morning”, says Marija and continues: “The grant had helped me tremendously, it was a favorable wind at my back, and backs of my little fellow patients. The digital speech therapist set is a machine that processes the sound that speech therapist utters and adjusts it to the brain of the patient, so that time needed for the treatment shortens significantly and the treatment itself is much more effective. Thanks to this support, now we can offer an affordable high quality treatment to patients in Novi Pazar and surrounding.”
Marija is the first therapist to own such machine in Novi Pazar, and one of a few in Serbia. Many families in Novi Pazar nowadays feel lucky to count Marija in their support circle. We are especially happy when the support we provide within projects reaches the right people and has a positive impact not only on the well-being of the individual, but on the entire community.
The project lead is ASB SEE (Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund), the main implementing partner is IDC, and the beneficiary districts of the project are Pirotski, Rasinski and Raski. The project is financed by the funds of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ. The local implementation partner is Merhamet Sandzak.