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

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

Project Status: 

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:

 Tavush and Gegharkunik, Armenia

Donation for Armenia

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).

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.