Date: July 12, 2013

For the first time in Moldova, two districts-Orhei and Calarasi-developed and approved strategies to ensure social inclusion of persons with disabilities through the prism of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The strategies are regionally oriented, focused on local capacities and resources and aim at supporting the implementation of the Convention that was ratified by Moldova in 2010. They were developed within the project UN Convention as a Guarantee of Nondiscrimination of Persons with Disabilities, implemented by Keystone Moldova from July 2012 through October 2013 with the financial support of Soros Foundation - Moldova.

In each district, the strategy was developed by a participative group, gathering experts in social protection, human services, education, healthcare, culture, and employment, as well as members of local NGOs. Draft strategies were discussed with district residents during public audiences where citizens participated along with local key decision makers. Afterward, each strategy was approved by the relevant District Council.

Each of the two districts described its strategic objectives in a clear way and used them to develop action plans for social inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Thus, the district of Orhei has the following objectives: to ensure the right to independent and community living, accessible services and social inclusion for persons with disabilities through promotion and monitoring; and to enhance human and financial resource that are required to achieve social inclusion for persons with disabilities.

The objectives of Calarasi district are as follows: to develop inclusive social services (namely to develop community-based services and to promote a healthy lifestyle); to allow persons with disabilities to participate in social and economic life; to adapt and develop the social infrastructure; to improve the district's human service provision capacities; and to raise public awareness.

Keystone Moldova assisted both districts in developing the strategies and held a grant contest to support the implementation of action plans. Two projects were selected to be funded in each district, granted 1,000 USD each.

In Calarasi, funding was offered for two projects supporting social and professional inclusion of persons with disabilities. One project is being implemented by the Dorinta Day Care Center, providing support to children and youth with disabilities and their families. There are plans to help 35 children and young people in difficult situations to develop skills necessary for social inclusion and employment by organizing computer, sewing, macram'e, origami, and housekeeping classes for them. The second project was proposed by Bravicea Town Hall. The project authors intend to open a Community Day Care Center to provide assistance to and support the social reintegration of 14 young people with disabilities and 32 elderly people of the community, thus helping improve their quality of life.

In Orhei, grant money will be used to support school inclusion and employment of persons with disabilities. Vasile Lupu Academic High School in Susleni will focus on forming a non-discriminatory attitude toward children with special educational needs and ensuring this attitude in their school and social inclusion by means of various activities. Moreover, the high school management plans to share best practices in school and social inclusion of children with special educational needs at the district level.

The Physical Disability Support Association of Peresecina decided to build the potential of young people with disabilities by promoting their rights through self-representation activities and to overtake and apply certain national positive experiences in providing jobs to young people with disabilities on a local scale.

The project UN Convention as a Guarantee of Nondiscrimination of Persons with Disabilities is funded by Soros Foundation - Moldova's Equality and Civic Engagement Program.

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