Democracy and participation, Social inclusion

Read & discuss: people with & without disabilities

Creators

Who is behind this?

Ivana Petkukjeska

Društvo za pomoč osebam z motnjo v duševnem razvoju Barka

https://www.skupnostbarka.si/

Slovenia

Who is joining forces?

PetrAna (a blog from two sisters from the municipality of Medvode)

https://www.petrana.si/

Slovenia


DEOS Center Starejših Medvode (retirement home in the municipality of Medvode)

https://www.deos.si/medvode/

Slovenia


Municipality of Medvode

https://www.medvode.si/

Slovenia


Partner 4: Library of Medvode, https://www.knjiznica-medvode.si/, Slovenia Partner 5: Kindergarten of Medvode, https://www.vrtec-medvode.si/, Slovenia

Idea

Idea pitch

12 read & discuss events will be organised in open public spaces in different villages in Medvode municipality, which will include various local stakeholders who will read and discuss on different local challenges and solutions. Adults with intellectual disabilities will be actively involved in all stages of the organisation of the events, giving them the opportunity to be self-advocates, more visible, socially included, showing by example their potential to be constructive and active citizens.

Where will your project idea take place?

Primarily Zbilje, but also other villages in Medvode municipality, central Slovenia.

What is the local challenge?

We are the only NGO located in the municipality's rural area that targets adults with intellectual disabilities (PID). When we builded our residential houses, the local residents opposed the idea that PID live in Zbilje. With time, they established personal contacts with PID, and as a result started to accept and even support us. However, this is not the case with the rest of the municipality rural areas, where: 1)PID are generally discriminated; 2)there is a lack of full inclusion of PID and key stakeholders in the discussion of services/no opportunities for PID to self-advocate on their needs and abilities; 3)PID are not given the opportunity to take part in meaningful activities outside home; 4)public events very rarely happen, and people do not gather to discuss public challenges.

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

-The locations where we will set book houses, will become open public spaces for inclusive meetings, increasing the possibilities for engagement
-On our monthly events, different local stakeholders with differing opinions will meet, read and discuss on various local challenges, attempting to find a creative solution
-Vulnerable, stigmatized and invisible groups (primarily PID) will be included in a meaningful activity outside home, network, cooperate and raise-awareness about the possibilities of their contribution to society, therefore increasing their participation and decreasing discrimination
-The small-scale events with a non-formal setting will encourage personal networking and establishing relationships among different stakeholders, therefore contributing to social cohesion

Who are you doing it for?

Primary target group are 20 PID that live/work in Društvo Barka, plus 20 from our waiting list (asked to be involved in our NGO).
Secondary target groups are: families from PID, elderly people (primarily those that live in the DEOS Center, but not exclusively), and children from Kindergarden Medvode. Representatives of the municipality and library of Medvode will also attend all events.
The audience on each event will also comprise other local stakeholders (e.g. businesses, NGOs) and the general public (village residents where the event takes place), who might differ on different events, depending on the topic.
The idea will benefit all residents of the municipality (14,161), as we engage different stakeholders who hold different opinions in an attempt to find a common solution.

How do you plan to get there?

1.Identify locations in different rural areas where 12 book houses will be set
2.Involve adults with intellectual disabilities (PID) in the production (and maintenance) of the book houses in the wooden workshop in our NGO
3.Each month set one new house, fill it with books and organize an event
4.Develop children's book covering the subject of discrimination of PID, and distribute it among children
5.Continuously and widely promote the events to different stakeholders, and actively engage as many as possible (more in the “reaching out to others” section), ensuring that the group of is as diverse as possible
6.Define the first 3 events' topics, then encourage general public to decide upon the next ones
7.Ensure active participation of different vulnerable groups on each event

What are the expected results?

Improved:
1.Social cohesion
2.Living conditions of PID
3.Public knowledge on establishing relationships and actively include PID in meaningful activities outside home
4.Inclusion of PID in the discussion of services of local importanc
5.Visibility and raised awareness about their needs and abilities
6.Quality of life in the community through the organisation of regular and dispersed public events
7.Active participation of PID in public discussions
8.Decreased stigmatisation and discrimination of PID
9.Creation of new open public spaces
10.Residents learn about democracy and co-creation of solutions to local challenges by practising it. They learn how to remain tolerant while holding disagreements, and to accept differences, which are not just in opinions, but also in ability

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

-Once people learn how to become active citizens locally, those skills can be easily applied on European level
-The wide local network of stakeholders that will co-create on this project can be easily structured into a consortium than can partner with others established in other countries in Europe, to multiply or further advance the idea
-In 2021, we will host 8-10 volunteers from different European countries. They will be involved in the project, plus can share good practices from their own countries, or bring new solution ideas home. European youngsters will “learn by practicing” democracy anywhere
-Društvo Barka is part of international federation of L’Arche communities, present in 38 countries. We will share our idea with them, and provide support if case of multiplication

What is your story?

Društvo Barka regularly cooperates with numerous local actors. What we notice is that while one-on-one cooperation do exist, there is still a great room for improvement when it comes to cooperation among a network of actors. The idea to organise regular simple inclusive events, in a non-formal, relaxed manner, is that it will unlock the collective wisdom in the community, which will improve the quality of life for all.

Other aspect is improving the living conditions of PID in particular. We know first hand their physical, psychological and emotional struggles that result from discrimination and exclusion. The presence of our NGO in Zbilje changed the opinion of local residents towards PID. We can do the same in the nearby villages.

€ 46600,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 56600,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Personnel (project manager, finance assistant, workshop)– 26,400
Volunteers – 6,000
Promotion– 15,000
Events -2,000
Book houses - 1,200
Local travel - 1,000
Children's book - 2,000
Office expenses - 3,000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Any type of feedback is more than welcome. Something unclear, how to improve the project design, similar project ideas, potential partners from other countries, anyone who wants to get involved.... everything goes! Thank you in advance.

Team

Društvo za pomoč osebam z motnjo v duševnem razvoju Barka

Idea created on May 25, 2020
Last edit on May 25, 2020

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