The Polish-Ukrainian Project "We are united by disabilities"
Tetyana Vihovska, M.D.
Head of the Volyn OMNI-Center
International Children's OMNI-Net Not-For-Profit Organization has long-lasting friendly ties with Polish partners. Among them there are: Warsaw Public Organization of Down Syndrome Parents "Bardzei Kochani", Warsaw Center of Early Intervention, Psychology Department of Lublin Catholic University, Chelm Association "For Proper Life". The Polish partners has big experience in creation and development of parental support groups, organization of teaching and recreation of disabled children, writing and receiving grant support from European organizations. OMNI-Net representatives are regularly invited to take part at the common projects. At the same time Polish delegation participated at an international conference in Lutsk.
On October 23-24, 2006 an international conference "We are united by disabilities - trans-boundary exchange of experience" took place in Chelm (Poland) with participation of 40 representatives of Ukrainian state institutions and public organizations caring for disabled people. The conference represented the first stage in the realization of Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs grant. The grant was awarded to the Chelm NGO "For Proper Life". The OMNI-Net, Volyn Regional Public Organization of Parents of Children with Down Syndrome and Other Developmental Disorders and Volyn Regional Children's Public Organization "Child Development Center" are the Ukrainian partners in the project realization.
The "We are united by disabilities" project is the answer to meet the needs of disabled children parents in Ukraine. Its main task is training leaders of new Ukrainian organizations to work with disabled people, preparing them to plan and conduct effective activities and to search for funding sources.
Polish and Ukrainian project participants
The project realization place: Volyn Oblast in Ukraine, Chelm and Chelm Rayon in Poland.
Its duration: September 1 - December 31, 2006 (4 months).
The project aims:
- General aim: development of the non-government sector by supporting Ukrainian public organizations in their effective activities to benefit disabled people.
- Direct aims:
- Identifying problems and needs of non-government organizations (NGO) working with disabled people in Ukraine.
- Giving comprehensive methodical help including preparatory and consultative assistance in organizing and funding disabled people activities.
To realize the aims the following project activities are planned:
- Holding international trainings for NGO leaders.
- Holding training seminars in Ukrainian public organizations.
- Individual consultations for Ukrainian organizations.
- Practical work of Ukrainian leaders in Polish organizations.
The next stage in the project realization implies training seminars in Ukrainian public organizations. They will be held at the end of November in Lutsk (Volyn Oblast, Ukraine). We have planned some individual consultations for leaders of Ukrainian NGOs. Mainly trainers will teach NGOs how to search for effective funding sources. The consultations will take place at the Ukrainian NGOs sites.
In the project conclusion, in December 2006 practical work of Ukrainian leaders in Polish organizations will take place. Three Polish public organizations will be chosen (including Chelm Association "For Proper Life") for that.
The project expected results include increasing awareness of NGOs leaders, rising of public organizations activities, development of international cooperation.
Among the additional results we expect better integration of disabled people and their families, breaking stereotypes in perception of disabled people as well as identifying their true needs, possibilities and talents.
After the project completion all the partners will continue their collaboration by exchanging their experience. They will expand their contacts and cooperation with other organizations. Leaders of Ukrainian NGOs will use the acquired knowledge in creating new public organizations if necessary. They will initiate creation of new problem partner groups and later on partnerships to benefit development of children.
Creation of resources regarding early development of children has always been one of the priority tasks for the International Children's OMNI-Net Not-For-Profit Organization. OMNI-Net is open for mutually beneficial cooperation with state institutions and non-government organizations both in Ukraine and abroad. The final aim of such cooperation is joining efforts of medical professionals, teachers, psychologists, special needs children parents, and general public in creation of conditions to at most realize the natural potential of each child, to develop his (her) personality and better integrate into society.Date of report: December 8, 2006