As in the past, AKIM/Jerusalem [akim-jerusalem.org.il] continued to welcome volunteers of all ages from countries all over the world for periods of 3 to 12 months. The volunteers did very useful work in the association's hostels and appartements and in the Ben Yehuda Schoool for Special Needs Education in Jerusalem. Also the sponsors' annual 3-day trek "Miles for Smiles" [trek.akim-jerusalem.org.il] took place and reaffirmed its efficiency as a good and proven method for fundraising.
In the frame of the ELLA project, AKIM-Jerusalem prepared a manual for the training appartment program: "The Training Apartment Manual“.
The film "Beyond Words" about Shmuel, a gifted artist, is now available on the ELLA website ella-ella.eu and akim-jerusalem.org.il
The city of Bad Homburg, which has a twin-city arrangement with Dubrovnik/Croatia, asked IB-Behindertenhilfe to support the „Happy Smile“ association from Mostar. "Happy Smile", was founded by parents of people with disabilities and has about 100 members.
Two times a year "Happy Smile" gets a small allowance from the community, otherwise the association relies on sponsoring and contributions from the parents themselves.
Since 2011 "Happy Smile" are allowed to use two small rooms five days a week, in which to provide creative activities for young adults with disabilities. Many of the participants, who have finished school, would otherwise have to stay at home.
This project is the only one in Mostar and the surrounding region. „Happy Smile", in cooperation with the city of Mostar and an inclusive school are planning to develop new ambulant and residential services for people with disabilities. Together with a representative of the „Krotienhilfe Bad Homburg e.V.“, experts from IB-Behindertenhilfe visited the organisation in March 2015 to learn about the situation of people with disabilities in Bosnien-Herzegowina. In a meeting with the mayor of Mostar they exchanged ideas about possibilities of mobilizing support, such as the transfer of know-how and a joint Aktion-Mensch project.
Representatives of the organisation „Happy Smile“, a school of special education in Mostar and the community of Mostar visited IB-Behindertenhilfe in July to get to know the ambulant and residential offered there. Hopefully this was the beginning of a partnership, which will be fruitful for both sides.
In preparation for joining the international federation of Caravan2000, Theatre Pitershed, Russia - the new partner - organized a festival-meeting with the motto:
"Any person, regardless of gender, age, skin color, nationality, disability, can act in the theater!"
The title was "Creative space, equal opportunities", and the purpose was, among others, the creation of the European Movement for Diversity and Understanding in Russia and its future development in cooperation with KARAVANE Switzerland. The results were the planning of a theatre-hall, a theatrical shop and a club KARAVANE friends in Russia.
In addition to the director Mrs. Irina Rogaleva and the coordinator, Mrs. Helena Gorbinova and the members of the youth-theatre Pitershed, the General Consul of Switzerland in St. Petersburg, Mrs. Michelle FALLETTAZ participated. Furthermore the Theatre Two and Ivan Solovyov Moscow, the Studio Theatre "Children of Silence" St. Petersburg, the organizer and initiator of the project, Mr. Otto Walser, Chairman KARAVANE Switzerland participated. We learned that the theatre Pitershed was involved in the documentary film „Worlds“, produced by Ms. Olga Spirkova, which was shown on the film-festival „Berlinale“ in Berlin/Germany.
IB-Brandenburg Nordeast was allocated the „Erasmus+ VET-Mobilitycharter“ for the high quality of their mobility-projects. We congratulate IB-Brandenburg for this extraordinary achievement!
In July 2015, 35 youngsters from Germany, Italy, Ireland and Poland camped together on the property of IB in Neuenhagen, near Berlin. They attended cultural events, did sightseeing in Berlin, swam in a nearby lake, climbed together in a high-wire forest adventure course and played soccer.
The highlight of the get-together was a soccer-tournament, in which 5 multinational teams competed. The project was funded by Erasmus+/Youth in Action.
Seven trainees and their trainers from IB-Neuenhagen and Frankfurt/Oder went to Kaunas/Lithuania for an internship. The event took place in the frame of the „Europe Inclusive“ project and was funded by the LifeLongLearning programme/Leonardo da Vinci. The participants had a chance to apply their skills and learn new methods of housekeeping, cooking and baking.
Furthermore they informed themselves about the country, the people and the culture. All participants got a data medium with photos and dayly reports and finally a European mobilitypassport.
On the occasion of the visit of Mr.Thiemo Fojkar, chairman of the IB-management board, in July 2015, the community of Antalya offered the IB to establish a joint company, they main purpose of which would be to serve the interests of people with disabilities and disadvantages in the region of Antalya.
The community of Antalya wants to develop concepts, that are innovative and exemplary. This is what the municipal rehabilitation-centre, which was designed together with IB-Behindertenhilfe, focuses on at this point in time. In addition to the already existing reha-centre, Mr Fojkar visited the second one, which was opened later on in August. More conversations were held concerning a potential cooperation in offering professional education in Turkey, together with the Darülaceze Foundation and the city of Antalya.
Three representatives of IB-Behindertenhilfe travelled to Nis in the south of Serbia to meet members of the partner-organisation „United in Diversity“. The participants discussed the eventuality
of conducting additional joint projects, such as a bilingual and inclusive day-care facility for children.
The information centre for people with disabilities in the region, which also functions as a contact point, is working continuously: All kinds of activities are provided on a regular basis, as reported by the parents of the young disabled people with great enthusiasm. In addition, a „Cookie-Café“ was set up, which employs people with disabilities and helps reduce existing reservations in the general public about coming in contact with them. A great success for the organisation and for the cooperation with IB-Behindertenhilfe!
September 2015 – July 2016
From Sept. 1. 2015 – July 1. 2016 the partner Dienos Centras (JCD) carries out the project „Your Chance“: The target group members are young people with learning disabilities from institutions of Dienos Centras and young volunteers from Austria, France, Germany and Spain.
The main objectives of the project are:
The Volunteers at JDC work together with youngsters with intellectual disabilities doing: pottery, art, sports, household chores, IT, music, technology, wool felting, theatre and more. The volunteers support and help the young people with special needs who are not capable of working in the group. In addition to the daily activities the volunteers carry out many public projects such as: organizing exhibitions, concerts and sports' festivals for the town community. The main goals of the projects are to show the abilities of young people with intellectual disabilities and to change the public's attitude towards them.
The volunteers organize special events for non disabled young people in the general educational institutions with the aim of promoting the idea of volunteering and changing young people's attitudes towards their disabled peers.
DIFFERENT?! (People laugh, because I’m DIFFERENT. I laugh couse they are all the SAME) - I AM DIFFERENT AND PROUD, YES, I AM DIFFERENT! The target group of this project were five young prople with intellectual disabilities, two without intellectual disabilities and three carers from Lithuania and Spain.
From Mai – November 2015, one pre-meeting, one evaluation meeting and two mobilities took place in Spain and in Lithuania. The project idea was designed by youngsters with disabilities, who have many questions about their identity. The general aim of the project is to help youth with intellectual disabilities to understand and experience their culture and history, their similarities and differences, their strengths and weaknesses.
The project motto: "The best prediction for the FUTURE is the PAST“ The objective for implementation: to offer each participant enough space for him/her to participate, experiment, create, have fun and to learn in non-traditional ways.
The general aim of the project was, that we all gain experience that can help us in everyday life: youth – better social skills; youth leaders - new methodology and new working methods; Experience that will enable us in the future to make other projects of better quality and that add more value; To create strong partnerships between countries, professionals and young people with disabilities, and thatall these benefits will continue long after the project ends; To change public attitudes and to show that young people with disabilities, also have many capabilities. The project's results were presented to the members of the local and international community during and after the project. We now hope, that these presentations will have a long-lasting impact on the design of future policies regarding youth with intellectual disabilities.
Turkey: The Turkish partner „Spastic children´s Foundation of Turkey“ (SCFT) continued also in 2015 with the fundraising-program „Steptember“, which began in Australia in 2011 and which they attended in 2014 (see Newsletter 2014-15): From Sept. 2nd – 29th altogether 435 teams, supported by 2530 volunteers from Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Mugly, Samsun, Adana, Antakya, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras and Kocali participated with a total of 246.309.610 steps.
The 17-month project “Creating Educational Programs on Anti-Discrimination on par with EU Standards” will end in March 2016. The project is part of the European program "Civil Society Dialogue Between EU And Turkey", which SCFT is conducting together with the Italian partner CESIE. In order to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities in Turkey, the project aimed at adjusting the elementary school curriculum in accordance with the European Union policies.
In order to reach the goal of the project the following actions were implemented by the project team: Mutual study visits took place in the two partner countries. The visits offered opportunities to gain knowledge of current regulations and practices in the struggle against discrimination of disabled individuals. The first visit was conducted in Istanbul, and included a visit to the İstanbul City. The second visit took place in Palermo, Italy.
The final output of the research activity was the compilation of a comparative report on the educational practices in the field of disability anti-discrimination in Italy, Turkey as well as in two other selected EU countries, England and France. The team also developed recommendations for alternative classroom activities. All training materials (activity cards, introductory guides for teachers and informants, animation movie and more) were prepared by the project team. 43 guidance teachers and vice-principals in 21 schools subsequently underwent training. Following that, awareness seminars were conducted for nearly 17,000 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders in 21 elementary schools in the district of Ataşehir’s. These seminars give attention to what is understood by disability and the discrimination against the disabled individuals in Turkey. The project will end on 14th of March 2016 and all results of the project will be submitted to the Ministry of Education of Turkey.
In the framework of the same programme, ten trainees in the fields bricklaying, painting and gardening from IB-Brandenburg Nordeast completed an internship in Turkey. They also received the European mobiliypassport.
"Our House of Europe", from October 24th – 30th, 2015
41 young people with disadvantages from France, Poland and Germany met for seven days in Bernau, near Berlin, to learn about the theme „Europe“. At the focus of the meeting was a simulation of the European Council. Furthermore, the participants got to know Berlin and Bernau via rallies, they visited facilities for young people and organized evenings where each country and its culture were presented. All of them had a lot of fun and they look forward to the next meeting, which will take place in Dunkerque/France in Autumn 2016.
November 11th – 14th 2015
The big ELLA-Congress took place in the Europe-House/Schloss Miller-Aichholz in Vienna/Austria. The participants included representatives with and without disabilities as well as the members of the ELLA Advisary-Committee and the project management group with their assistants.
The title of the Congress was: „United for Inclusive Education: Moving Beyond Traditional Learning“. The aim of this event was, to evaluate the project-results two years after ELLA's inception and to communicate these results to a broad public. The Austrian partner ÖJAB, who hosted the event and was responsible for its administration, invited top-class guests from the political and administrative spheres as well as students and teachers from all over Austria.
The congress was held under the patronage of the Austrian Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer. After the welcoming by Mr. Michael Thiele, Managing Director of IB-Behindertenhilfe and Vice-President of Caravan 2000 and by the Managing Director of ÖJAB/Austria, Dr. Monika Schüssler, inaugural addresses were held by Dr. Robert Bechina, Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, Expert on Disability-related issues/Austria and by Mr. Mag. Billy Batware from the regional Academy of the United Nations, Head of Management, Strategic Planning and External Relations, Austria.
Although not all reports were delivered in easy language, the participants with and without disabilities listened attentively and applauded the presentors vividly. Later on, the results of the
ELLA-workpackages were presented in separate workshops, in which the participants could try out the particular methods that were presented. In order to address the interests of all the congress
participants, ÖJAB invited additional speakers from outside of ELLA, who administered workshops with the theme „Inclusive Education“. All workshops were attended by a good number of people who
appreciated and applauded the presentations. A pannel discussion took place on the last day, with the participation oft the Minister of Social Affairs, Labour and Consumer Protection/Austria, Mr.
Rudolf Hundsdorfer, Mrs. Mag. Bettina Glatz-Kremser, Member of the Managing Board of Austrian Lotteries, Mrs. Mag. Ursula Simacek, CEO of the Simacek Facility Management Group/Austria, Mr.
Mag. Michael Sicher, MSc, Founder of CEOS on Wheels/Austria, Mr. Nico Langmann Austrian Worldclass Wheelchair Tennisplayer and Mr. Michael Thiele, Managing Director auf IB-Behindertenhilfe/Germany (please see at: ella-ella.eu/news).
The participants enjoyed the congress which ended with a glittering Inclusionparty.
The general assembly of Caravan 2000/Germany took place on Nov. 18th, 2015 in Kassel/Germany.
The Assembly members evaluated the ELLA project and discussed plans for 2016. Regrettably, only a few members participated this year, compared to the year before, when the general assembly was held in the frame of an „Aktion Mensch“ project („Day and Night for Diversity and Understanding“). Because we wish to welcome a big number of members and friends again, we resolved to plan the next general assembly in the frame of an international conference, for which an application will be submitted in the frame of Erasmus+.
The general assembly of Caravan 2000/international took place in Vienna Nov. 13, 2015. Firstly, the members of the Russian organisation „Theatre Petershed“ presented their work. Their application for membership in the Caravan was unanimously approved by the international board, which met directly after the Assembly. Thus, Caravan 2000 now has members in 16 countries.
Information about Pitershed can be found at: https://vk.com/pitershed.
Another application for membership was submitted by a Spanish organisation, but since they were not present at the Assembly, the decision on its membership was postponed.
The Caravan's outgoing president, Ms. Magda Skiba, reported on the activities in 2014 and 2015, particularly those in the frame of the ELLA project. This report was unanimously accepted.
The most important topic was the election of the nine board-members: The new president is Michael Thiele/Germany, vice-presidents are Magda Skiba/Poland and Ivana Stajkovic/Serbia. The other board-members are Regis Alvin/France as treasurer, Irmela von Toerne/German as general secretary, Marita Jonols/Sweden, Tommy Papp/Greece, Tarik Bitlis/Turkey and Osman Ozturk/Turkey. Kerstin Klepsch/Austria, Ino Cornel/Nederlands and Stefan Rothschild/Israel were appointed as coopted members.
November – December 2015
"Inclusion for a Better Future" from Nov. 11th – Dec. 2nd 2015
Seven experts in the fields of social work and vocational education and two members of the Association for International Cooperation from Palestine, visited Neuenhagen to learn about the field of vocational education for persons with special needs in Germany.
Also in 2015, IB Brandenburg Southeast welcomed a large number of Polish interns for several weeks, particularly in the field of gastronomy.
In the project „Healthy, wealthy and wise“, the participants learned about healthy cooking, how to deal with the culture of the partner country and how to take responsibility in the group.
The target group consisted of 28 young gastronomy-trainees from disadvantaged families from Poland, Finland and Germany. The project gave the participants the chance to try out what they had learned, exchange information with their peers from the other countries and improve on their social and verbal competences.
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