Social inclusion

Regional Center for Deinstitutionalization winner


Who is behind this?

Sonja Bezjak

Museum of Madness, Trate



Idea pitch

In Museum of Madness we share the story about Slovenia being one of the most institutionalised countries in the world. We aim to raise awareness on the right of people with disabilities to live independently and be included in community. But also to identify people’s needs and upon that establish first community services in the region, where is the largest share of institutionalised. The idea is to show how to shift from institutional to community services within existing public budgets.

Where will your project idea take place?

Village Trate, SI- 2213 Zgornja Velka, Podravje and Pomurje regions, north-eastern Slovenia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

We will implement the project in a region, in which the first and by now the only institution in Slovenia was closed. However, the development of community services which would serve as a replacement for institutions, has not been successfully obtained. The practice of institutions has become a self-explanatory solution, to the extent of the decision makers not seeing beyond the institutions. The common vision for a long-term care funded by local authorities is still building new institutions, which is against Article 19 of Convention of Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). With this project we will bring in focus needs of people with disabilities living in rural areas and promote their right to live independently and being included in the community.

Who are you doing it for?

We will use different methods and techniques, such as person centred planning, empowerment, advocacy, democratic forum, to bring together different voices and to advocate and empower people with disabilities. Our primary target group are people with disabilities, who are pushed to the edge of society and are often invisible, excluded and forgotten in institutions or threatened to be institutionalized in the next 3-5 years. We will also focus on the relatives of the disabled or the elderly, who are exhausting themselves at home because of the lack of services within a community or are forced to put their loved ones in institutions. We will inform the politician decision makers who are not aware of their own infringement of the CRPD.

How do you plan to get there?

1st step will serve as an identification of the needs, an experienced social worker will prepare personal plans with at least 35 people who need support to be able to live independently in community. In 2nd step we will focus on the needs of people in their local environments and test possible community services. Together with various stakeholders we will identify possibility of collaboration between the municipalities in the region regarding guaranteeing the funds for providing services, which support people’s needs, within a community. In 3rd step we will present community services tailored in pilot upon individual needs and coordinate the preparation of the action plan for the establishment of community services supporting independent living in community for people with disabilities.

What are the expected results?

A new network of stakeholders will develop a regional plan for community services. To specify this furthermore:
- personal plans with at least 35 people will be designed
- at least 6 consultations or assemblies in the local area will be carried out
- regional network of advocates for deinstitutionalization will be established
- local news on achievements (reaching the households) will be issued
- new services tested and established in community (pilot)
- a plan for developing community services within the next five years will be designed
When the project is over, the key stakeholders in the region will be aware that building institutional capacities for long-term care is counter human rights, people will be able to ask for first community services and sign tripartite agreement

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

Since people with disabilities present a silent and invisible minority there are no specific political arrangements focusing on their rights. In the current situation they do not have any influence over their lives. Having to leave home without one’s wish is the worst interference of a person’s right to decide about their own life. It is the worst interference of a person’s freedom. People with disabilities will be fully engaged in this project. Based on the person-centered plans we will carry out a pilot and test which services would respond their needs. These interventions will help us to design and establish first community services already during the project. With this project we would like to gain the funds to support inclusive participation in democratic process.

Why is this idea important to you?

The Museum of Madness was established by locals, who were raised next to the one of the biggest total institutions in Slovenia. We are personally linked to the story since our ancestors worked in this institution. Only several years after the closure we were able to understand that the empty castle should become a memorial space of difficult past and a place of social change for a better future for all people with disabilities. Our idea got a strong support from experts in deinstitutionalization. In our team we serve this idea as volunteers. We have already achieved a lot, but to reach a serious movement towards changing the way decision makers think of the problem, we need funds to employ a person who will on daily basis work towards this. We see the museum as a motor of social change.

€ 44700,-

Total budget

€ 44700,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

32.000 € employment (12 PM)
3.000 € travel expenses (transportation for the people with disabilities)
2.500 € brochures and other materials
2.500 € catering
1.200 € computer, mobile phone
2.500 € business plan for establishing the regional centre for deinstutionalisation
1000 € payment for lecturers

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Is the idea understandable? We had problems to present the idea very briefly :-)

Project Journey

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Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on Aug. 3, 2020

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