Community development, Social inclusion

NO LIMITS to connect

To virtually present and connect the programs and activities that empower people with disabilities to be actively engaged at the region of Bela krajina and Novo mesto.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Maja Babič

Zavod Brez ovir, so. p.

https://brezovir.si

Slovenia

Idea

Idea pitch

Based on our professional and personal experience we conclude that people with disabilities are uninformed regarding their rights, opportunities, and ways for inclusion into general public. Appropriate cooperation between regional NGOs and policymakers is lacking. Our idea is to build up an online “live” platform, developed and evolved by and for people with disabilities, that will provide information regarding rights, activities and supportive programs that enhance their civil engagement.

Where will your project idea take place?

South-eastern Slovenia: the region of Bela krajina and Novo mesto

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Despite being the largest region, Bela krajina faces various obstacles in all areas. Furthermore, low investments in that region bring about further issues such as:
- There is a lack of social, political and cultural activities in Bela krajina.
- NGOs are not connected and active enough.
- Area is mainly rural.
- Has bad connection with other areas (bad roads, public transport).
- The unemployment is almost the highest compared with Slovenian average.
- The inhabitants feel they are being systematically excluded and discriminated by the government.

Who are you doing it for?

The beneficiaries of this project are all people with disabilities: people, who are coping and living with long-term physical and mental limitations that may prevent them from full and equal engagement in the society.
People with disabilities often do not have information that could improve their lives and help them to live equally with other general public. They are not aware of their rights and do not participate in various activities. On the other hand, the government and many Slovenian NGOs support various programs where people with disabilities can be involved to strengthen their social, political and financial inclusion, but they do not know how to take the advantage of it.

How do you plan to get there?

The first step for project coordinator, who is a person with disability, is to contact all NGOs, state offices and community services in the region to invite them to participate. We will create a database of parties involved and their activities in the field of working with people with disabilities.
The second step is to develop the platform that is customized and evolved by and for people with disabilities. Various ways will be established to bring and exchange relevant information:
- Online meetings every second week, carried out through contact’s area (four times a year a guest from power structures will be invited) or personal meetings at our office (accessible to people with disabilities) for those who are not on-line.
- Presentation of programs and activities in the region that are suitable for people with disabilities (events calendar).
- Blogs written by people with disabilities – about problems and obstacles they face, their lifestyles, etc.
- Live streams on different topics.
- On-line lectures on specific problems.
The third step: after six to eight months on-line work with all stakeholders we will organize the round table, where people with disabilities will have an opportunity to present their problems and find common solutions with opposite parties to overcome them.

What are the expected results?

The main expected result is to improve lives of at least forty people with disabilities in Bela krajina and Novo mesto. When contacting us, we will regularly monitor the activities of parties involved. Our project coordinator will conduct a personal interview with the participants and monitor the improvements that person has achieved during cooperation.
The cooperation between people with disabilities, NGOs and power structures will be improved. The outcome of the on-line meetings and round table is to initiate the formation of the regional Council for the people with disabilities. The body consisting of the representatives of people with disabilities and NGOs. That will lead community and government services to find solutions to the problems that people with disabilities face.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Our idea is not only to inform people with disabilities in Bela krajina and Novo mesto of their rights but also to encourage them through on-line meetings to seize the opportunities to be included in various spheres in society (social and political activities, employment, cultural programs, etc.).
With “live talks”, blogs, streams and lectures people with disabilities will empower themselves – physically and mentally, thus possessing the key (knowledge and willingness) to contribute to the development of their community.
The Council of people with disabilities will connect different stakeholders in Bela krajina and Novo mesto. People with disabilities, community and government will build the foundation for further cooperation and solving problems of people with disabilities.

Why is this idea important to you?

The goal of our team is to help the people with disabilities to overcome problems they face by being excluded from the society and social life, in which they are still seen as “non-contributory” and “unlikeable” part of the society. We want them to be heard by local authorities in Bela krajina and Novo mesto. “Live” platform seems like an excellent opportunity to fulfill our mission. The team possesses the knowledge and skills in the field of working with excluded groups - people with disabilities, local minorities, families with multifaceted issues. Our team member is a resident of Bela krajina and is familiar with the local situation. We are sure that a good project will result in empowerment and active citizenship that positively contributes to the development of the whole community.

€ 52000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

- Employment of person with disability = 19000€
- Web site-platform (customized by and for people with disabilities) = 6000€
- Travel expenses = 2500€
- Payment for webinars, live streams = 3000€
- Booklet and other paper materials = 2000€
- Media expenses = 2500€

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are constantly looking for improvements and fresh ideas to improve lives of people with disabilities. Making connections and exchanging good ideas with others who have the same mission is important for us. Therefore, we would appreciate every comment and feedback about our project!

Team

Nataša Kovačič

Idea created on April 23, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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