Activities of the Republic Centre – PORAKA Activities of the Republic Centre – PORAKA and its social services during the COVID-19 pandemic
During 2021, in a situation with COVID-19 pandemic, the main priority of the Republic Centre – PORAKA is providing support to the users of the Day Centres for persons with intellectual disability and their families, i.e., continuing the realisation of the adapted programme activities of the day centres.
The Republic Centre – PORAKA is implementing all necessary preparations for working with physical attendance of the users in the day centres for persons with intellectual disability: the premises and the equipment have been disinfected, the adequate protective equipment has been purchased, a schedule for work with the users in groups has been made and the protocols for working in day centres for children/persons with disability are consistently followed.
Considering that some of the families of the users in the day centres and bearing in mind the epidemiologic situation and the possible health risks for their children, did not agree to be included with direct work with physical attendance, the day centres have continued to perform adjusted individual educational programmes in home using telephone, internet, and video communication.
The adapted programmes for psychosocial support and the adjusted individual educational programmes are unified and are being conducted in each Day Centre within the Republic Centre – PORAKA’s network. Within the realisation of the individual educational activities, the everyday communication with the users and their families continued. The priority was to engage the users, i.e., to give guidance and tasks for conducting activities that would maintain their skills and possibilities. Within the psychosocial support priority has been given to support, advise, reasoning, encouragement for easier understanding and dealing with the situation we are all in. Different types of communication have been used that are suitable for the users and their parents/guardians, including telephone calls and video communication if the user/parent/guardian are using Viber, FB Messenger, Zoom or other application. Special attention has been given to those users who are more independent since they are in greater risk of inappropriate behaviour, i.e., not respecting the official recommendations and limitations.
The Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Skopje
The activities in the Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Skopje are being realised according to the foreseen programmes for work and in accordance with the Protocol for work in the day centres for children/persons with disability. In the past period numerous activities have been implemented alongside the regular ones. On 30.6.2021 multimedia event was organized by Theatre Pi, the Republic Centre – PORAKA and PORAKA Skopje. The event consisted of an exhibition of photographs taken by several users at the Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Skopje, and one of the users took part in the musical performance during the event.
During the European Football Championship 2020, several activities in the Day Centre were related to football. Workshops were held for making paper jerseys of our representation, the users were writing the names of our footballers, drew football fields and footballs, and trophies. Also, the users were sharing photos of them cheering for Macedonia during their matches.
After a year and a half spent under the pressure imposed by the corona virus, this summer some of the users and their families took vacations by the sea, mountain, or lake. They shared photos of their holidays. The summer was frequent topic in the workshops and the planned activities starting with proper beach manners, drawings of beach props, favourite vacation spot and summer impressions.
As all other citizens, persons with intellectual disabilities were also affected by the corona virus. The devastating effect it had on both health and the world economy left its mark on these people as well. Following the World Health Organization’s recommendations and the recommendations from the Ministry of Health in our country, some of the users of the Day Centres of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Skopje together with their parents voluntarily registered for vaccination. At first shy with few isolated cases, but later, the number of vaccinated users increased. This is certainly due to the mutual sharing of positive experiences regarding the immunization among the membership. Some of the users went abroad to be vaccinated. By respecting the vaccination recommendations as the optimal way to prevent the spread of the virus, persons with disability have contributed to preserving the personal and the public health. This certainly opens new possibilities for safer work in the Day Centres during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Stip
The activities in the Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Stip have been realized regularly and in accordance with the protocols for work. Apart from implementing the individual and group programmes for work for gaining independent living skills, several other activities were implemented with the partners of PORAKA Stip as well.
At the University Library Goce Delcev, some of the users and their parents, together with the engaged personnel, attended the promotion of three books by the author Emilija Zlatkovska Anastasova on 9th of July 2021. Parts of the books were read by the members of the literary centre at the Euroart Academy, followed by a musical performance on violin.
On 12th of July 2021, in cooperation with the Association CIVITAS, online workshop was realised with Sonja R.Jovanovski, Director of the Institute for Culture and Art at the International Slavic University. The discussed topics were: “Communication as a life skill” and “Emotions on a piece of paper”. The next day, ADEING Stip donated medical footwear with orthopaedic support for the users at the day centre.
The engaged personnel in the Day Centre, on 14th of July, took part in the online focus group organized the Coalition of Youth Organizations SEGA, in partnership with SOS Children’s Village North Macedonia, Volunteer Centre Skopje and Women Forum Tetovo. During the focus group, the persons engaged in the Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA had the possibility to share their opinion and contribute to the improvements of the youth policies according to the needs of young people through discussions on various topics that affect the youth.
On 23rd of August, MMS Real Media for Real People published a story about one of the users in the day centre, Blagica Parizova, titled “When I hold Ace by the hand, I walk around the whole town”.
Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Prilep
The activities at the Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Prilep continue to be implemented in accordance with the protocols for work. Most of the activities during the past period were aimed towards raising awareness regarding the personal health. Discussions were made regarding the health and medical devices and aids were practically applied. The users had the opportunity to get acquainted with digital devices and to learn how to use them independently on themselves and others. Also, the users started to make aids according to the Montessori method, which showed to be practical and beneficial. The last days of the summer are used to implement outdoor activities. For example, space orientation, i.e., searching for and recognizing certain institutions, facilities, names of local restaurants and recognising important symbols. At the same time, the users had the opportunity to learn about the traffic signals and appropriate behaviour in the traffic. The goal of these activities is to make the users independent, to learn to orientate themselves according to other nearby objects and facilities and to behave safely in traffic.
Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Radovis
In accordance with the safety and protection measures and the protocols for work, the activities in the Day Centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Radovis are implemented within the foreseen programme for work. In the past period numerous activities for gaining independent living skills were implemented. Different occupational and sports and recreational activities were regularly implemented, as well as activities for maintaining the yard and harvesting fruits from the garden.
The Deputy General Director of the Mine Bucim, Nikolaco Nikolov, who retired in August, marked his retirement with human gesture. Namely, in exchange for a gift on his retirement and the retirement of two other directors, Vasilij Borutski and Ilija Filipov, the funds were donated to the day centre of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Radovis. Part of those funds were donated personally to the users, and part were aimed for the needs of the day centre and will leave a personal mark of Nikolajco Nikolov as one of the long-time supporters of the day centre and sincere friend of the users. As a token of appreciation, on behalf of the Centre for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Radovis, the President Violeta Srbakova, presented a plaque to Mr.Nikolov, for personal contribution and continuous support of the day centre for persons with intellectual disability. Nikolajco Nikolov sincerely promised that he will continue to be a devoted friend and supporter of the day centre.
Social Club of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Strumica
The Social Club of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Strumica realized its planned activities in accordance with the programme for work and the protocol for work in the Day Centres for children/persons with disability. In the past period, numerous activities have been realized with the aim of promoting the possibilities of the users at the Social Club. Health brochures were regularly used, so that users could learn about preserving and improving their own health. Therefore, they also used educational videos that they searched on the Internet.
The Internet was also used for watching different video clips in order to make handicrafts, but also for various educational contents, and for listening to music. Additionally, several thematic workshops were implemented for creating hand-made products.
Furthermore, the users were included in activities for improving their own physical health. They regularly practiced stretching exercises and regularly used the exercise equipment in the social club. The activities for gaining practical skills were not left our either, i.e., activities for maintaining the hygiene in the social club and in the home were implemented.
Social Club if the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Bitola
The Social Club of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Bitola realized various creative and musical workshops according to the foreseen programme in the past period. Part of the activities were realized in the premises of the social club, and part of them outdoors, i.e., at the city square in Bitola. The creative workshops were aimed towards the possibilities, potentials, and the personal wishes of the users. Many of them showed knowledge, interest, and motivation to make something more and different than before. The finished handicrafts and drawings, then the social games, sports and recreational activities according to their possibilities, as well as the work on the computer, demonstrated once more, that the constant work, more attention, socialization and support, provide results for better and fulfilled life for the users.
Some of the users attended the cultural manifestation “Bitola Cultural Summer Bit Fest”, which was organized outdoors. The users had the opportunity to attend two concerts with famous musicians from Macedonia and the Ex-Yugoslav countries. For some of the users, it was a first time to attend this type of event, and therefore, they were nervous at first, but as the music was playing, they started to enjoy and to have a good time at the concerts.
The musical workshop with Stefanija Milevska, singer-songwriter, who works with persons with disabilities, was held at the social club on 22.7.2021. Nine users took part in the workshop, and demonstrated skills, cooperation, and joy. Together with the musicians, they performed several songs, and tried playing different musical instruments – guitar and a violin.
One of the results from the continuing cooperation with “Anastasia Centre” – Stefanija Milevska are the free lessons in solo singing for Elena Petrovska, solo singing and guitar lessons for Teodora Dimova. The lessons are already held once a week at the “Anastasia Centre”.
Social Club of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Vinica
The work at the Social Club of the Republic Centre – PORAKA in Vinica is realized in accordance with the foreseen programme for work, In the past period, the regular activities were implemented. Several workshops were held on the topic Summer, where the users had the opportunities to show their creative abilities. Also, different handicrafts and decorative figures were made. The cognitive and educational activities for improving the possibilities of the users were regularly realized. In the past period, special attention was paid to gaining practical and hygiene skills, both personal and hygiene at home and at the premises of the social club, as well as the protection measures against the corona virus.