Local organizations of the Republic Center – PORAKA, during December 2012, implemented many activities regarding the observance of 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities. According the guidelines given by United Nations, local organizations realized numerous events for raising public awareness aimed towards stressing the problems with barriers in everyday life of persons with intellectual disability.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Radovis had different activities for the observance of 3 December, The International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The programme for the observance followed the guidelines and this year’s theme proposed by the United Nations: “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”. Considering the experiences on local level regarding the barriers that persons with intellectual disability face, and which refer to unequal access to services in the areas of education, employment, health care, transport etc., the activities for observing 3 December were aimed towards reducing the barriers and providing access for these services. In particular, activities were taken in the areas of education and health in order to make these services more accessible for persons with intellectual disability. Therefore, the beneficiaries of the Day center had systematic health check-ups at the Medical center in Radovis. The same day, they were also at the primary school “Nikola Karev”, and together with pupils from the eighth grade participated at a sports lesson. It represented a possibility for the beneficiaries at the day center to be introduced with lessons from sports education in an indoor sports hall. Also, this activity provided opportunity to promote their potentials and possibilities in the field of sport and recreation. On 3 December, at the premises of the day center, PORAKA Radovis organized an event for observing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. There were many guests: the Mayor of Municipality Radovis, Mr.Robert Velkov, representatives of the Council of Municipality Radovis, representatives from the office for local economic development, representatives from public institutions: Center for social work, Institute for health insurance, Medical center, representatives of primary schools “Nikola Karev” and “Krste Petkov Misirkov”, the secondary school “Kosta Susinov”, the kindergarten “Aco Karamanov”, non-governmental organizations and women organizations “Denica” and “Women Action”, parents of persons with disability and local media. Tatjana Kostadinova gave brief overview for 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disability, then the needs and possibilities of persons with intellectual disability as well as their inclusion in all spheres of life. The Mayor expressed his great satisfaction with the work of the day center as a social service, and also made a promise for further support of the work and implementation of the activities of the day center. Moreover, representatives from the public institutions gave different views and comments for reducing the barriers, which persons with intellectual disability face on local level in regards to realization of their rights and their unequal access to education, employment, health care, transport etc. Local TV stations Kobra and Emi covered the event.
For the observance of 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Bitola had the goal to promote the organization in front of all public institutions, other NGOs and private institutions that play different roles in realization of the needs of persons with intellectual disability. PORAKA Bitola, therefore, published leaflets where the principles, the goals and activities of the organization were written. They contacted the Center for mental health, the State Institute for social activities, the Institute for hearing, speech and voice rehabilitation, the Institute for rehabilitation of children with hearing problems “Koco Racin” from Bitola, the primary school “Gorgi Sugarev”, LIONS organization in Bitola, the Red Cross in Bitola and other NGOs in order to observe 3 December together. On 2nd December, PORAKA Bitola participated in activity organized by LION organization in Bitola together with other NGOs. This was an opportunity for PORAKA Bitola to present its activities, then the needs of persons with intellectual disability and to offer further cooperation for overcoming the problems faced by these persons and their families. On 3rd of December in the primary school “Gorgi Sugarev” PORAKA Bitola organized an exhibition of paintings, literary essays and handcrafts made by pupils with disability. That same day, a public debate was held with participation of defectologists, teachers, the director of the Institute for hearing, speech and voice rehabilitation and parents of persons with intellectual disability. The debate was used to present the results from previous activities and the problems which need to be solved. The emphasis was put on the issue of opening a secondary school in Bitola for children with intellectual disability. Different ideas regarding this issue were considered and discussed, as well as ways of their implementation. After the public debate, PORAKA Bitola joined the arts workshop organized by LIONS organization in Bitola, where the Mayor of Municipality Bitola was also present.
According to previous plans, members of the Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Strumica, having in mind the efforts for integrating persons with intellectual disability in the community, observed 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disability together with the pupils from the secondary school “Dimitar Vlahov” – the medical classes. Starting from the long-term goals of PORAKA Strumica for overcoming the prejudice related to persons with intellectual disability and raising public awareness for accepting this category of citizens as equal, members from PORAKA Strumica accepted the invitation from the pupils for joint commemoration of 3 December. This has helped in strengthening the already established cooperation with the pupils from the medical classes in “Dimitar Vlahov”, who visited the persons with intellectual disability on several occasions in the premises of the Social Club. The gathering was organized on 3rd of December in the premises of the secondary school. One of the pupils presented the importance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the importance of accepting the disability, integration of persons outside their homes and developing their independent living skills. The members of PORAKA Strumica prepared gifts for the pupils, handicrafts made at the Social club. The event continued with informal discussion with the psychologist at the school regarding the needs and problems faced by persons with intellectual disability, and also what has been done so far for this category of citizens at local level. This event was covered by one of the local TV stations. PORAKA Strumica participated on a meeting, which was organized by the Mayor of Municipality Strumica. The Mayor holds a meeting with representatives of NGOS from Strumica, every 3rd of December intended for observing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year’s meeting helped in recognizing the actions taken by the local authorities for improving the lives of persons with disability in the municipality and also what need to be done in the future for advancing their rights and their acceptance as equal citizens of the community. The NGO representatives stressed out the most common problems faced by persons with disabilities in realization of their rights, and the Mayor expressed readiness for cooperation and support of the NGO sector in implementation of different actions, which will lead to better lives for persons with disabilities.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Gevgelija, began the observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 30.11.2012 with the youngest pupils in primary schools in the municipality. This meeting had the purpose to raise awareness among the youngsters regarding persons with intellectual disability, how to accept friend with intellectual disability. On 3 December, meeting was held between parents of persons with intellectual disabilities and representatives from relevant institutions where these persons realize their rights. The meeting has been a good opportunity for the parents to be introduced with the news regarding the gathering of documents for realization of certain social protection rights. Information has been given for participation when paying for health care services, i.e. discussion was held about the rights of persons with intellectual disability, the barriers they face when practicing their rights and ways for overcoming these barriers.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Demir Hisar organized several activities for the observance of 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities. During 15th of October till 15th November a competition was held for artistic and literary works aimed for pupils from primary and secondary education on the subject: “Your Kindness – Our Pride”. On 3rd of December, PORAKA Demir Hisar in cooperation with the secondary school “Krste Petkov Misirkov”, the Home of Culture “Ilinden” and the primary schools in Municipality Demir Hisar, under the auspices of Mayor of the Municipality, in the main hall of the Home, held a commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the subject “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”, under the motto: “Your Kindness – Our Pride”. The participants had the opportunity to watch short documentary movie “The Adventures of Sara”. Afterwards the Mayor, Mr.Toni Angelevski, in his speech, emphasized the cooperation with PORAKA Demir Hisar, the partner relations in resolving different issues of persons with intellectual disability as well as the satisfaction from the work of PORAKA Demir Hisar and its results. The president of PORAKA Demir Hisar presented the activities of the organization in the previous year. The main accent was put on raising public awareness, especially among youngsters and youth. Dimce Gorgievski, pupil-educator from the secondary school “Krste Petkov Misirkov” presented the subject “What is Intellectual Disability?”. Nikolina Cvetanovska, another pupil-educator from the same school, spoke about the differences between mental illness and intellectual disability. Through her presentation she explained these different terms and stressed out that mental illness is treatable and intellectual disability is a condition that lasts whole life. The pupils from the primary school “Braka Miladinovci” had prepared a story dedicated to persons with disabilities, their engagement in assisting these persons and accepting them as equal. Mr.Robert Petrevski spoke about the cooperation and the engagement of the professors from the secondary school, who pointed out the successful cooperation developed with PORAKA Demir Hisar. During this event, the three best literate and the three best artistic works were pronounced from the competition “Your Kindness – Our Pride”. Furthermore, PORAKA Demir Hisar gave acknowledgements to individuals for their successful work in raising public awareness among the youth, children and citizens regarding the rights of persons with intellectual disability, and also to institutions for their contribution in realization of the programme activities of PORAKA Demir Hisar and for advancement of the right of persons with intellectual disability. At the end of the event, KUD “Ilinden” had its performance followed by an exhibition set in the Hall of the Home of Culture consisted of arts made by pupils from primary and secondary schools.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Skopje within its observance of 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, had different activities. After the TV station “24 vesti” contacted PORAKA Skopje, short story for the programme “Top Forma” was made, in which sports and recreational activities of the beneficiaries from the Day center have been promoted. The story was broadcasted on 3rd of December. In cooperation with the Republic Center – PORAKA, on 4.12.2012 an Open Day of the day center was held with participation of large number of associates and supporters of PORAKA. The Open Day was organized to raise the level of recognizing and understanding the needs and problems faced by persons with intellectual disability and to raise awareness for the positive contributions arising from their inclusion in everyday life of the community. The activities performed in the day center PORAKA Skopje were presented during the Open Day, and the guests had the opportunity to socialize with the beneficiaries of the day center. That same week, workshop with pupils from “QSI” – International School of Skopje was held, and few days later, the beneficiaries of the Day center PORAKA Skopje participated on an event organized by this school. Within the activities for observance of 3 December, PORAKA Skopje had two more workshops. The first one was with pupils from primary school “Ljuben Lape” and the other one with the volunteers from the Red Cross of City of Skopje.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Stip had a meeting with its members, activists, parents of persons with intellectual disability. During the meeting, Mrs.Tana Nikolova presented the subject: “Healthy nutrition”, which rose interest among the participants. The President of PORAKA Stip talked about the main theme: “Removing barriers to create inclusive and accessible society for all” and also presented the activities of PORAKA Stip during the whole year, as well as the future plans. After the official part, members of PORAKA Stip received modest gifts from the donors: “Bargala” AD Stip, sport shoes, and t-shirts from the Union of Youth VMRO – DPMNE, and the local self-government organized a small reception.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Debar, responded to the invitation from a Center for persons with intellectual disability in Elbasan, Albania and on 29.11.2012 participated in their workshops. This visit was also used to enhance the cooperation between these two centers. On 3 December, the center from Elbasan came to Debar and participated on a meeting organized by PORAKA Debar. The meeting was held with all relevant stakeholders in the area of disability on local level. The Secretary of PORAKA Debar discussed about the importance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and the president of the organization presented the activities realized during the year. He especially stressed the established cooperation and advanced cooperation with organizations from other cities in Macedonia, but also with Elbasan, Korca and Pogradec from Albania.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Makedonska Kamenica had a working meeting with the Mayor of the Municipality. The meeting presented an opportunity to discuss the goals and the activities of PORAKA Makedonska Kamenica, and also the future plans together with the Mayor. The second activity held by PORAKA Makedonska Kamenica was a sales action supported by women from the community. They prepared different gourmet specialties, and the money gathered from the sale will be aimed for future activities of PORAKA Makedonska Kamenica.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Tetovo conducted large number of activities within the programme for observing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. On 30.11.2012 meeting with Mayor of Municipality Tetovo was held, which presented possibilities for widening the cooperation with the local authorities. Also, it gave an opportunity to talk about the problems faced by persons with disabilities in everyday life and possibilities of their solving. On 2.12.2012 debate was broadcasted on a local TV Station. The debate consisted of discussion concerning the importance of 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, with special regards to discrimination, overcoming the barriers for inclusion of persons with intellectual disability and their families in mainstreams of society. On 3rd of December, in primary schools “A.K.Kikis” and “Lirija”, the importance of this day was presented, followed by several performances prepared by pupils. The same day, the beneficiaries of the day center and its staff organized a sales exhibition of handicrafts, and the money gathered shall be used for other activities in the day center. Later during the day, a gathering of members of PORAKA Tetovo and the association “Zlatna raka” was held.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Vinica organized an event at the premises of the day center for persons with disabilities. Participants were beneficiaries and staff from the Day centers in Vinica and Berovo, representatives from PORAKA Vinica and the Center for Social Work in Vinica. During the meeting various handicrafts were presented, and the exchange of experiences between the participants has been beneficial for all. Unfortunately, the envisaged meeting with the Mayor of Municipality Vinica has not been held due to failure to define an adequate term. Also, the foreseen competition of arts and literate works has not been organized since the primary schools had inspection performed by the Ministry of Education and Science. On 21.12.2012 PORAKA Vinica organized a visit to the Special Institute – Demir Kapija, second one this year. In cooperation with the Red Cross, PORAKA Vinica gathered clothes for the residents in the Special Institute, and since the visit has been realized ahead of New Years holidays, modest presents were also given to the residents.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual disability – PORAKA Kavadarci following the guidelines for the observance of this year’s 3 December organized a debate on the subject: “Inclusion of children with intellectual disability in the primary education”. Participants were pedagogues and psychologists from kindergartens and primary schools in Kavadarci and other relevant stakeholders. They presented their views on this subject according their experiences and fully support the inclusion of persons with intellectual disability in education. Participants also discussed the barriers faced by persons with disability when participating in society, for example, inaccessible physical environment, inaccessible ICT. All participants agreed that removing the barriers is a precondition for creating inclusive and accessible society for all. On 3 December, representatives from PORAKA Kavadarci had a meeting with the Mayor of Municipality Kavadarci, and presented its past activities. The Mayor gave a promise to make efforts for removing the barriers faced by persons with intellectual disability on local level. Persons with intellectual disability, members of PORAKA Kavadarci participated at a musical happening in the Sports Hall “Partisan”. All these activities were covered by local media.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Prilep held an art workshop under the motto: “Removing barriers to create inclusive and accessible society for all”, where children with intellectual disability made New Years Cards. Participants on the workshop were also representatives from the local self-government, other NGOs, the Center for social work and members of PORAKA Prilep.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Kumanovo, within its programme for observing 3 December organized a debate with parents of persons with intellectual disability, representatives of relevant institutions and the business sector from Kumanovo. The discussions on the debate were in relation to advancing the rights of persons with intellectual disability in order to improve the social inclusion and their participation in the life of the community. In cooperation with the Day center for persons with disabilities, which is a part of the Center for social work, PORAKA Kumanovo also organized several workshops where children had the opportunity to present their artistic skills and making cookies.
The Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA Kriva Palanka, began the observance of 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 20th of November on a forum session with competent persons who discussed on the subject: “Removing barriers” in all public institutions. Conclusions were reached that barriers have been removed at most of the public institutions and in those where barriers have not been removed yet, it was concluded to contact the local authorities in order to overcome the situation. PORAKA Kriva Palanka, also, organized an art competition among the pupils from the municipalities Kriva Palanka and Rankovce. After the end of the competition, the jury decided to award seven pupils, and also to give two consolation awards which were publicly given on 3rd and 4th of December. The central commemoration of 3 December was held at the day center for persons with intellectual disability with participation of the Mayor of Municipality Kriva Palanka, parents of persons with intellectual disability and representatives of relevant institutions. The Mayor emphasized that persons with intellectual disability should enjoy their rights throughout the whole year, and not only on 3 December, therefore the local self-government would have greater responsibilities towards these persons. The local media also participated in observing 3 December, and cover the whole manifestation. On 4th of December, the observance continued with performances of 150 pupils from primary school in the municipalities of Kriva Palanka and Rankovce. The teachers clearly stated that pupils no longer have repulsion towards persons with intellectual disability, on contrary, increasing number of pupils are willing to participate in these types of performances. This shows that pupils are familiar with intellectual disability and accept these persons without prejudice and antipathy. On 7th of December, PORAKA Kriva Palanka visited two families of persons with intellectual disability. The families received modest presents. Moreover, the visit was a possibility to discuss their rights and to introduce them with the activities of PORAKA Kriva Palanka.