The project “Life of Dignity”

The NGO “BelAPDIiMI” started realizing a new project “Life of Dignity” in October 2011.

Project aim is to expand the possibilities for improving the quality of life of disabled children and young people in the Republic of Belarus through dissemination of ideas of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Project duration – 24 months (2011 – 2013).

Place of project realization – 52 cities of the Republic of Belarus and 9 districts of Minsk.

Participants:

• children and teenagers with disabilities – from 1000 to 1500;

• families which look after children and teenagers with disabilities – from 1000 to 1500;

• primary organizations — 61 in different regions of Belarus;

• representatives of state bodies and local Administrations – in 52 cities and 9 districts of Minsk;

• members of local community – in 52 cities and 9 districts of Minsk;

• specialists from health-care, educational and social protection institutions, who render assistance to children and teenagers with disabilities.

Project activities:

• to train trainers and carry out educational trainings in schools (topic – children’s rights);

• to carry out seminars, trainings and round tables;

• to carry out working meetings in the regions;

• to learn foreign experience during a study visit for representatives of the ministries;

• to issue informational materials about the Convention, and brochures about assisted living and activities aimed at raising the awareness of people of rights of children and young people with disabilities.

In 2006, “with the aim of stimulating, protecting and guaranteeing full and equal realization by disabled persons of all the rights of people and basic freedoms, and also promoting their dignity”, the United Nations General Assembly accepted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. The document came into force in 2008. It was signed by 140 countries.

In the last two years together with UNDP, a lot of work has been undertaken so that Belarus joins the Convention: a comparative legal analysis of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and the clauses of the Convention has been carried out, suggestions aimed at perfecting the state policy related to disabled people have been presented. Though the Convention has not yet been signed in Belarus, it has a great influence on the social policy in the country.

Information access for disabled people is an instrument of promoting the rights of people; a possibility to overcome poverty in the wide sense of the word, to provide a wider access to education for everybody, to encourage employment, and on the whole – to create an inclusive socio-economic development.

The main challenge for all of us is to change the society’s attitude to the problem of disability radically which means to create a favorable environment for the activities of disabled people, to improve the system of their rehabilitation, to promote the improvement of the quality of the life of disabled people.

Anna Lapchik, project coordinator

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