Founder and President, Association Vukovarski Leptiriči
Viktorija Matin’s initiative and work to introduce new therapies for children with disabilities stemmed from years of research, identifying new methods and ways to help her now-13-year-old son, Leo, and later other children from Eastern Croatia. Eight years ago, she set out to establish a non-governmental organization, the Vukovar Butterflies Association. Through long-term efforts, activities, media appearances, protests, they have provided children with the opportunity to attend regular kindergarten classes, schools, teaching assistants and the various services, therapeutic procedures, informal preschool playroom, therapeutic riding, swimming and various sports activities. Today, the Association supports 180 children with disabilities of various ages and diagnosis. There are currently 26 professional staff employed, with plans to recruit another 10 professional staff through various projects. Viktorija’s hope is that her story inspires the parents of children with disabilities, so that they realize that their persistence and enthusiasm can break down everyday barriers and that every problem has a solution.