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

Project Code: 
ARM-SHUMD-013
English
Project Status: 
Complete
Project Background: 

 

Background: 

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).

Project Aims: 

 

Aim:

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

 

Action: 

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.

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Towards Education for All 3: - Supporting the Sustainable Development of Education For All Children with Learning Difficulties in Armenia – Securing the Consolidation

Project Code: 
ARM-SHUMD-012
English
Project Status: 
Complete
Project Background: 

Background:
“Towards Education for All” (TEFA) project, a partnership between Mission East and the local partner NGO Bridge of Hope, had been envisaged in 2 phases: Phase I, September 2003–September 2007, and Phase 2, September 2007-November 2009, and was initially designed to address a lack of government policy and technical ability with regards to inclusive education for children with special needs and to build capacity of civil society to advocate for equal opportunities and access to education for children with disabilities.

To date, inclusive education in Armenia has been institutionalized through improved national education policies and legislation, new special education curricula, incorporation of inclusive and special needs education in ongoing school-teachers training programs of National Institute of Education (NIE), improved capacity of NIE to continue training of schools in inclusive education through its own human and material resources 6 courses of teacher education of the Department of Primary and Special Education of State Pedagogical University (SPU) towards a rights-based, social-constructivist approach to meeting special needs that was adopted by SPU as a teaching programme for the faculty.

In order to consolidate achievements, there remains a clear need to train teachers and students of the biggest teacher training University, the State Pedagogical University in inclusive education theory and practice. The  project  specifically is focusing on supporting the civil society and the SPU to reform SPU teacher preparation programmes for both general education and special education, enabling the new general teachers to meet special educational needs in mainstream classrooms.

Action:
Some key activities are: Support the State Pedagogical University (SPU) to improve their theoretical and practical teacher training curriculum by becoming more inclusive by developing “Methodological guidelines for students practical placement in inclusive schools” and “Observation Workbook of students’ practical placement in inclusive schools” and train 15 mentors  to mentor the students’ practical placement and coursework in inclusive schools.

Training and workshops will be organized for DAC NGOs and Parents Network to improve their advocacy and lobbing capacities to a level to contribute seriously in awareness raising and attitude change among the professors at SPU and their students.

National network of parents groups will be empowered by support of BoH parent leaders to improve its skills and abilities in spreading parents’ messages nationwide.

Organization of totally 50 advocacy activities (meetings, training, forums, exhibitions, film festivals, debates, conferences, etc) to raise awareness among SPU student and lectures on disability issues and the rights of persons with disabilities.

Organization of forums of SPU students’ council on “Disability and Human Rights” and creation of an alliance with students of SPU to strengthen the disability movement in Armenia.

Support to Disability Advocacy Coalition (DAC) to establish a multi-stakeholder task force and network on inclusive education to facilitate learning and developments in inclusive education.

Organisation of national conference on ‘Education for All in Armenia – achievements and challenges.

Project Aims: 

Project Aims:
Development Objective: Contribute to the efforts of Armenia in achieving targets of ‘Education For All’ Flagship on the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities: Towards Inclusion and Salamanca Statement on special needs education by reforming teacher initial education/ preparation in Armenia.
Immediate Objectives:
1) To increase the knowledge and understanding of State Pedagogic University (SPU) students and lecturers in the principles and practices of inclusive education. 
2) To consolidate lobbying and awareness raising actions of civil society on issues of special needs education, inclusive schools and teacher training.

Major Donor: 
Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Project Code:
 ARM-SHUMD-012

Location: 
Armenia

Donation for Armenia
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A Healthy Start: - Promoting the Rights of Children and Youths with Disabilities in Armenia, Phase II Tavush and Gegharkunik

Project Code: 
ARM-SHUMD-011
English
Project Status: 
Complete
Project Background: 

Background:
Despite the fact that Armenia is a recent signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2007, 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 children and youths with disabilities. This project is building on successful Mission East pilot project “A Healthy Start” which has been implemented in 11 communities in the Armavir region since December 2005 and is now extending similar activities to 2 other regions. Both Gegharkunik and Tavush regions have a very high level of poverty and a strong need for interventions focused on vulnerable children and those with disabilities and their families. This project is implemented in partnership  with two local partner organizations (Arabkir - Institute of Child and Adolescent Health and Bridge of Hope NGO).

Action:
The project includes the following activities:
- Establishment of a disability surveillance and identification system so there is reliable statistical data available on disability
- Establishment of Mainstream Family and Child Centers in 20 communities in the project area
- Establishment of Community Based Support Groups  and mobilization of community efforts and resources to advocate for disability rights
- Generating community based Action and Advocacy Plans, based on the local situation and priorities
- Generating positive changes in public attitude and acceptance in targeted communities towards the Children and Youth with disabilities (CYWD) and their families
- Assessing the health status of the children with developmental problems/ disability in target areas and develop appropriate intervention plans
- Train staff of Marz Child Development and Rehabilitation Centers in both regional capitals to provide sustainable rehabilitation care for the children from target communities as well as other areas of both marzes
- Establish strong Civil Society organizations who are advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities on regional level
- Support a Disability Coordination Council with its representation in Marzpetarans and support the Disability Advocacy Coalition advocating and lobbying on behalf of persons with disabilities and their families and coordinating disability issues.

Project Aims: 

Project Aims:
By the end of the project children and youths with disabilities in 20 Armenian communities will  have access to mainstream services including access to school and health facilities. In addition, families of these children will have the necessary knowledge and skills to organise themselves in Community Based Support Groups  to provide support networks and advocate for disability rights. Other key project aims are the establishment of a sustainable system for prevention, identification and treatment of childhood disability and empowerment of disability organizations to undertake coordinated advocacy towards national and regional authorities.

Major Donor:
 
Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Project Code:
 ARM-SHUMD-011

Location:
 Tavush and Gegharkunik, Armenia

Donation for Armenia
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