The organization A Chance for Parenthood (Šansa za roditeljstvo), held a one-day festival on 22nd September under the slogan “You’re not Alone” (“Niste sami”), which dealt with infertility and questions around in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Serbia. The festival was meant for all couples and individuals who have fertility problems, by giving visitors an opportunity to talk to experts about IVF, get medical advice, share their experiences and express solidarity.
Several relevant institutions had their stands on the festival, where representatives gave visitors an insight into their work and answered any questions. In addition to this, there were 6 panel discussions which hosted medical experts, representatives of public bodies, as well as guests from clinics in Greece, Czech Republic and Slovenia. Comparing experiences from several countries, the panels addressed issues on legislature, procedures and social support to couples fighting infertility. Apart from providing information, the panels were also a way of raising awareness on this problem.
Sandra Jovanović, President of A Chance for Parenthood, spoke at the festival opening:
“In vitro fertilization is a very complicated and long procedure, exhausting for all couples, with lots of ambiguity, questions, fears of failure, but also hopes for offspring. Most couples do not have enough information in this respect, soo the festival is an opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge, talk to renowned local and international experts and get any kind of assistance they need - all in one place.”
A separate part of the festival were free, individual consultations with doctors, available to all participants who had registered in advance. A separate room was designated for this purpose in order to ensure an intimate and safe environment for couples to ask any difficult questions. Especially inspiring was the Wall of Hope (Zid nade), where visitors could leave notes sharing motivational messages, their hopes and advice, but also fears and doubts.
Although the organization had their hands full with the festival, A Chance for Parenthood has recently successfully completed their campaign on Donacije.rs, which raised money for the publication of A Chance for Parenthood magazine, which deals with infertility in Serbia. The first issue will be available in several health centers across Serbia. Of course, everyone who came to the festival could pick up a copy for themselves.