Social Inclusion Network for People with Disabilities
The project seeks to create ways for people with disabilities to take ownership of their futures.
The public council for social inclusion of people with disabilities begins its operations in Pazardzhik – all disabled people’s organizations in the districts discuss inclusion opportunities with local authorities. (Photo: Health for Everyone Association)DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES Many disabled people in Bulgaria continue to be excluded from society. They face serious impediments to leaving their homes because of a lack of adequate integration services. People with disabilities often lack access to health and social services, employment and income. Access to work is associated with higher levels of income, autonomy, health and well-being. The process of social inclusion leads to increased access to information, access to employment and training, and an adequate infrastructure for vocational programs, designed to provide job skills and work experience for disabled people.
GOAL The overall objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of people with disabilities and Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) to equally participate in society through access to training, employment and services, and to create ways for people with disabilities to take ownership of their future, and to be actively involved in designing and implementing solutions to fit their own interests.
- Increased public awareness of people with disabilities, their problems and opportunities for social inclusion;
- Enhanced capacity of people with disabilities and DPOs to participate in policy-formulation and decision-making;
- Creation of opportunities for training, employment and new services for people with disabilities so they can be empowered to take ownership of their lives.
- Establishment of a National Network for Social Inclusion for people with disabilities in Bulgaria. The network will consist of 28 regional partnerships in every region with local DPOs, local authorities and businesses. Four training centers offer capacity building and training, as well as peer group training services for 1,000 people over a one-year period.
- Establishment of 12 social enterprises providing disabled people with jobs in a supportive environment and opportunities for skills development through business activities. Sixty people with disabilities will be directly involved in the management and operations of the social enterprises. When functioning at full capacity, the social enterprises will serve at least 240 disabled people per year.
- Providing DPOs in the country with a replicable model of indigenous, locally sustainable partnerships for social inclusion. Establishment of a national network of specialists sharing information and cooperating in projects for the benefit of people with disabilities.
- Creating a mechanism for empowerment of people with disabilities through policy advising and support for DPOs to ensure participation of disabled people in the policy-making process.
1. Selection of local DPOs to be included in the network;
2. Regional information seminars;
3. Identification of local stakeholders for social inclusion partnerships;
4. Establishment of 4 training centers and training of trainers;
5. Motivation trainings for disabled people;
6. Regional roundtables for social inclusion of people with disabilities and formulation of regional/local strategies for improved access to employment, training and services;
7. Business advice, mentoring and coaching of social enterprises for employment of disabled people;
8. Formation of self-help groups of disabled people and provision of peer group trainings;
9. National information campaign about the Network for Social Inclusion;
10. Trainings in advocacy and leadership for DPOs and local partnerships, and Charters for social inclusion to be adopted in every region.
ASSOCIATION "HEALTH FOR EVERYONE" “Health for Everyone” Association is a non-profit organization registered in Pleven which provides a full range of services and technical auxiliary devices for people with disabilities. Since 2002, Health for Everyone has successfully run a social enterprise and has established a network of 15 offices and 34 branches throughout Bulgaria. The annual number of beneficiaries of the services of Social Enterprise “Health for everyone” is 5,000 disabled people.
The mission of the organisation is to offer accessible services and to create the necessary conditions and opportunities for the integration of people with disabilities, and in the long term – to improve their quality of life.