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Božo was born in 1963 and most of his childhood he spent in the institutions in Zagreb and Zagreb's surroundings. Božo’s family lived in Markuševac, a settlement near Zagreb in humble conditions without running water.
Božo ended up in the institution when the Social Service estimated that his parents were not be able to raise him properly. This assessment of the Social Service has moved away parents, sister, neighbours and friends from his life and tried to replace them with institutions and psychiatric hospitals. From that moment everything what Božo does it looks like as an attempt to turn back the clock to the point when Social Service has estimated that growing up in an institution will be better for him than growing up in a family.
Life in the institution was the same as to thousands of others: without appropriate form of education, no contact with his members of family, no privacy and with often psychiatric confinements. Božo had strong need for freedom.
Whenever he had change he would sneak out the institution and went for a walk into town. However, this habit in the institutions costed him dearly. - We could only walk under the supervision and then we had to hold hands, speaks Božo today. Božo was refusing that and each time after refusal he ended up in psychiatric hospital. Božo’s constant struggle to get out of the institution became successful in 1998 when he came to API and now lives in the community.
Today Božo lives with Kata in a small apartment in the centre of Zagreb for 8 years. He is happy with his life because he has Kata, an apartment, a job and a salary. He says: I can buy myself what I need from my salary and this is also good.
Today Božo has a payed job in the community as:
Member of a mobile team of API
Co-educator in trainings of CAE Validus
Member of a team for the quality services assessment in the community
The Association for Promoting Inclusion (API) is a non-governmental organization established in October 1997 in Zagreb, Croatia. API’s activities are based on the philosophy of inclusion according to which persons with intellectual disabilities have the right to be equal and active members of the society.
Mission: To promote the development of a society in which people with intellectual disabilities have equal opportunities, their contributions are valued, and their human rights are respected.
Vision: A society which values diversity and discovers the unique contributions of all its members.