There are being implemented three projects under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities campaign in the city of Babruysk.
The implementation of the Convention to which Belarus acceded on October 3, 2016, would ensure equality in all spheres of public life. And activists from Babruysk have a list of plans to work on it. On February 28, a press lunch was held in the city, during which there were presented projects being implemented in the framework of the campaign "Agenda 50".
- Belarus has a rather hierarchical management system, while the local agenda proposes to look at the issues of people with disabilities through the lens of their personal views, and those of their representatives and people who work with them every day, explained to the participants of the press lunch Mikhail Matskevich, deputy director of the Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities. Therefore, the main objective of the campaign is to create local agendas in five pilot towns. This is a strategic plan for 3 - 5 years which will include specific actions to implement the Convention on the ground.
Mikhail Matskevich, Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
According to Sviatlana Linkevich, chief specialist of the Department for Assistance to Employment of the Babruysk City Executive Committee, there are organizations in the city, as well as across the country, which are obliged to hire people with disabilities by the decision of the City Executive Committee (this obligation is called “protection”). In addition, the Department offers those people professional training and adaptation to the labour activity at the expense of the city budget. Last year, the "protection" ensured employment of 52 people; some were engaged in entrepreneurial activity.
Sviatlana Linkevich,Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
However, "protection" can not embrace all those in need. Therefore, out of the three Babruysk projects, two are related to the employment of people with disabilities. The first of them is “Shkola pracauladakavannya” ("School of employment") which Volga Salanovich, a representative of the Babruysk primary organization “Nadzeya” ("Hope") from the Association of Assistance to Disabled Children and Young People, and Tatsiana Pukala from the club “Milasernaść i zdaroue” ("Mercy and Health") of the Belarusian Red Cross told us about. According to the speakers, the project aims to create conditions for the employment of people with disabilities by dealing with companies and institutions of Babruysk, as well as to provide people with disabilities with necessary skills and competences for the employment.
Presentation of the project "School of employment", Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
All this is paid the main attention to in the project "Shkola pracauladakavannya" which educates 30 young citizens from 18 to 31 years. One group of 15 people has already passed the three-month course that included trainings on CV writing and job hunting, showing films, making tours. The result of the school work on teaching the competences was the fact that almost all of the students were subsequently invited by potential employers to second interviews, and one person has even got a job. Still, the project is expected to ensure more global results: at least two Babruysk state-owned enterprises must provide accessible environment for employment of people with disabilities. Besides, it is planned to draw up a list of accessible working places under the project, to develop a guide for employers on the employment of young people with disabilities.
Volga Salanovich,Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
Tatsiana Pukala, Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
Disability is not an obstacle to success
Another project aimed at employment is called “Kroki da pospechu” ("Steps towards Success") and it has been implemented in Babruysk since September 2016. Its participants are territorial centers of social services (TCSS) of Leninsky district, the Republican PA “Asablivy svet” ("Special world"), Center for entrepreneurial activity of people with disabilities “Vuzel” ("Node") and the Management for Labour, Employment and Social Protection of the Babruysk City Executive Committee. The participants have been since developing an action plan for job hunting and creating a system to ensure the employment of people with disabilities in the city.
Under the project, a survey has taken place on possible types of employment. A number of training seminars on entrepreneurship, marketing and advertising, handicrafts have been held.
Presentation of the project "Steps towards Success", Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
- People with disabilities have the prejudice that their social group is "unable to work", although such a phenomenon does not actually exist, said the representative of TCSS of Leninsky district Tatsyana Sinkevich.
Maryna Abazovik from the PA “Asablivy svet” added that such stereotypes do have not only people with disabilities, but also the very society, since a "charitable" attitude has long formed towards those with special needs.
The nearest major event in the framework of the project "Kroki da pospechu" will be a seminar-consultation on employment, planned to be held within 3 months.
- In April, we want to invite representatives of a very successful IT company from Russia, 80% of programmers of which are people with the complete vision loss, while they perfectly manage to compete in the global IT market, said Maryna Abazovik.
"We are the same as everybody else"
Chairman of the Babruysk unified organization of the PA "Republican Association of Wheelchair Users” Liliya Lamanosava spoke about the project “Spytaj miane” ("Ask me") implemented jointly with the TCSS of Pershamaisky district of Babruysk.
Liliya Lamanosava, Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
- We organized the project, because we want to say that we are the same as everybody else, we just move a little bit differently. People know little about wheelchair users, sometimes they want to help or to ask something, but do not know how to do it. The aim of our project is to reduce the level of discrimination against wheelchair users on the basis of their disability, and to eliminate barriers in interpersonal relationships.
The project activities will be taking place within three months - in March, April and May. There has been a group created on Facebook, “Babruysk na kaliosach” ("Babruysk on wheels") which has all the events published with the city wheelchair users involved. The authors of the project are preparing leaflets and banners to be placed everywhere in the city to attract people to the events and to show that wheelchair users live the same life like everyone else, have families and children, go in for sports and do everything on their own.
Presentation of the project "Ask me", Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
Agenda unites people
Actually, all of the projects’ authors have been actively working on the creation of the local agenda for Babruysk, and they have noted the positive dynamics of this work.
- We want to achieve good results in the implementation of the Convention in our city; we have plans in this regard. I believe that it is absolutely possible for any person with disability. The main thing is to have a personal motivation for full active life. We have in mind a number of projects to be developed, and the Convention makes it possible to affect every sphere of civil society life, Maryna Abazovik is convinced.
Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
Answering the question of the "EuroBelarus" information service on the work on the creation of the local agenda for Babruysk, she noted that the main result was the formation of teams of people from different organizations, both public and private, who have started dealing with problems in the field of disability, while they have never worked together before.
- We have many active, enthusiastic people with unconventional thinking, willing to work with the issue. The process of creating the local agenda was definitely good for us, summed up Mrs. Abazovik.
Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
And Mikhail Matskevich added that the creation of an online database of vacancies for people with disabilities, as well as bringing businesses to cooperation as partners, not as sponsors, can be considered a collateral effect on the results of the campaign.
Photo by "EuroBelarus" information service
The material was prepared in the framework of the international project "Rights of People with Disabilities: agenda for Belarus (Agenda 50)".