Caritas Ivano-Frankivsk involves local communities to increase socialization of young people with special needs


19.05.2014, Ivano-Frankivsk region
Recently, a round-table meeting on “Role of local communities in enhancing efficiency of social services delivery for people with disabilities” was held in Caritas Ivano-Frankivsk of the UGCC. Among participants were leaders and members of organizations that have been partners of local Caritas in building of network of social assistance establishments for children and youth with special needs. There were civic organization “Dovirya” from Burshtyn city; civic organization “Nadiya Otynii” from village of city type Otynia; and charity organization “Svitla nadiya” from Borogodchany city.

Projects of rehabilitation programs that are implemented for more than 100 children with physical and mental disabilities are targeted at children, youth and their parents for them to feel wanted and accepted. Statistics testifies that there are nearly 10% of disabled individuals from the total number of Ukrainian population. They and their relatives daily face pressure of basic rights to healthcare, education, protection, employment, social communications, self-fulfillment etc.

Guarantee of integration and social adaptation of young people with disabilities in local community lays in unifying of efforts of community, parents and charitable organizations. First of all, parents who bring up children with special needs require great attention and support, they need to believe that despite peculiarity of their kids, they can use public transport, cook simple dishes, do the laundry and iron clothes, do shopping, assist parents in household tasks, realize personal creative skills etc on their own. And only together we can achieve this result!” notes Natalia Kozakevych, Executive Director of Caritas Ivano-Frankivsk.

For the last 5 years local Caritas supports initiatives of parents who have children with special needs, who don’t want their sons and daughters to be closed within four walls, stay victims of problems and emotional stress. Caritas does its best for children and youth with special needs to feel happier, more wanted in society and more self-actualized. Here, they get help in looking for own calling, profession where they can reveal own skills and talents, feel full-fledged members of society.

Social employee of Caritas Ivano-Frankivsk of the UGCC retells: “Children and youth who have special needs with a great pleasure join creative workshops that are organized on the Caritas basis, education and rehabilitation center “Dovirya”, civic organization “Nadiya Otynii”. They enjoy drawing, modeling, embroidery, are absolutely open to perceive something new: willingly master techniques of work with quilling, origami and decoupage.

They make beautiful artistic pieces – greeting cards, souvenirs from beads, decorated frames and many other things. Quality of our children clients’ works is so high that an ordinary person won’t guess that they are made by hands of a disabled child. That’s why in our work we use art-classes for rehabilitation and socialization of disabled children.

Art-therapy not only helps a disabled child to see the world, but is a part of psychological and social rehabilitation. Choosing different types of activities, we try to find approach to everyone and assist a child in revealing own talents. Together we make small steps, and their results are sometimes really measurable that can’t be compared with any other medical therapy or practice with a psychologist. By means of communication and work in a group disabled children change greatly: they become more confident in transport, shop, with strangers and in public places. Creative work impacts development of speech, teaches to control own body, children have advancement of their imagination and attention.”

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