A Healthy Start - Phase III: Promoting the Rights of Children and Youths with Disabilities in Armenia - Securing the consolidation in Tavush Marz | Mission East

A Healthy Start - Phase III: Promoting the Rights of Children and Youths with Disabilities in Armenia - Securing the consolidation in Tavush Marz

Project Status: 



Development Objective: Changing social attitudes and healthcare practices towards greater inclusiveness for children and youths with disabilities and giving voice to those affected by the marginalisation of the disabled in Armenian society.

Immediate Objectives:

1. To consolidate in one Marz a replicable comprehensive model of integrated, inclusive community- based services (identification, referral, rehabilitation, intervention, surveillance) for children with disabilities/special needs including a coordination mechanism for all involved governmental and civil society structures.

2. To consolidate advocacy achievements and sustainability of Disability Advocacy Coalition and its members at community, Marz and national level in order to support the Armenian government with the implementation of UN CRPD.

Support to Armenia



Despite the fact that the Armenian government has ratified on May 2010 the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, there is still a big stigma attached to disability, and health education and social services are not in a position to deliver equal access to services for disabled children and youth.

This project is the third phase, building on 2 earlier successful Mission East projects under “A Healthy Start”. The Healthy Start project was designed to address the lack of coordinated and integrated rehabilitation services for children with disabilities and special needs. A strong focus is placed on the development of a model of community based and integrated services, combining medical, rehabilitation and education structures to ensure a holistic and rights based approach towards inclusion of children with disabilities/special needs and their families in all aspects of society.

The first phase was implemented in 11 communities in the Armavir region between January 2006 and April 2009, when the 2 year second phase started going to 2 other regions in Armenia: Gegharkunik and Tavush, both regions are with a very high level of poverty and a strong need for interventions focused on disabled and vulnerable children and their families. This third and consolidation phase is implemented in Tavush marz only.

Although the Healthy Start project in general has been successful, this third and consolidation phase is essential to address remaining gaps and prepare the presentation of the established model to the Government of Armenia (GA as well as to finsih the one-marz model. This third phase ensures long term sustainability by presentation of the developed model of community based integrated services to the respective government and civil society structures in Armenia as well as by strengthening and empowering people with disabilities and their organizations to advocate for their rights and inclusive development.

This project is just as in the earlier phases partnering with two local partner organizations (Arabkir - Institute of Child and Adolescent Health and Bridge of Hope NGO).



Key outputs planned for this project:

1.1 A replicable model of community based integrated services for the identification, referral, rehabilitation, intervention and surveillance of childhood disabilities/special needs is consolidated based on experiences from HS I and II and implemented at all levels throughout Tavush Marz and through collaboration of CDRC/RC, civil society and local government structures.

1.2 Inclusive, community-based services and structures are established throughout the Marz and advocacy and awareness on disability rights raised.

1.3 A comprehensive Marz model of an integrated, community-based rehabilitation and support system is presented to the Government of Armenia.

2.1 The Disability Advocacy Coalition and its members – specifically organizations of people with disabilities - have expanded their function as a strong disability movement in Armenia, participating in and influencing the development and implementation of disability policies ensuring adherence to UN CRPD framework and increasing public awareness through advocacy activities.


Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Project code:



Tavush marz, Armenia