One more step towards the introduction of the "School of Supported Living" in two social institutions of Transcarpathia

One more step towards the introduction of the "School of Supported Living" in two social institutions of Transcarpathia


In the context of preparations for the introduction of the "School of Supported Living" at the Vilshany Children’s Orphanage and the Social Abilitation and Rehabilitation Centre "Parasolka" (Tyachiv), the Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya organized an online meeting of the heads of these institutions, Bohdan Kykyna and Oksana Lukach, with Swiss colleagues, members of the Presidium of the Association "Parasolka", Andreas Schmid and Silvia Zimmermann, who have experience in effective transformations of social institutions in Switzerland.

The meeting focused on specific action plans: for institutions, responsible staff, and wards who will be directly involved in the pilot phase of the supported living implementation.

"These details are extremely important. First, the institutions have different starting points. At "Parasolka", from the very beginning of the institution’s opening, the wards have been gaining experience in self-sufficiency in everyday life, and now they have introduced so-called "days of independence" when young boys and girls, accompanied by instructors and teachers, deepen the acquired skills. Therefore, it is important to prioritize the issues of financial literacy, time management, perception of personal and common space, etc. Instead, in Vilshany, the agenda is focused on everyday life – how and what to cook for the table, how to plan your day and daily activities, which means that we will be talking about a certain training period. Secondly, we need to develop a roadmap for further actions, where each participant in the process will understand what needs to be done and in what sequence. We have access to the experience and skills of our Swiss colleagues, we have conducted a comprehensive analysis of the potential of our institutions, and we continue to have a dialogue with our wards. It’s time to move on to the stage of implementing a common vision, especially since this is a significant component of the deinstitutionalization reform being implemented in the country", said Nataliya Kabatsiy, director of the CO "CF "CAMZ".

Swiss colleagues emphasized the importance of modernizing the process on the part of the staff. Of course, everyone will be gaining experience in organizing supported living for the first time, but at the same time, as a mentor, they must assure the wards that new challenges and tasks will be easy for them to master and that they can count on support and assistance at every stage.

"This path will not be quick and it will definitely not be easy, but correctly defined goals and a vision of the future result will help to overcome this path and enjoy the achievements of the wards. There is a real-life example that illustrates this process. When it comes time to give up diapers and potty train a child, it is a difficult decision for parents, because it is obvious that life was easier and calmer with diapers. However, there is an understanding that this step is necessary, it is part of human evolution and development. Similarly, supported living is a way from self-organized everyday life and simple everyday things to self-organized life – a comprehensive integration into normalcy. Believe me, the first successes in this will inspire to master more difficult cases. This is confirmed by our own experience. At first, we worked with clients with mild disabilities, and then we began to help clients with more severe disabilities with adaptation", Andreas Schmid shared his experience.

In both institutions – in Vilshany and Tyachiv – construction and repair work is underway to equip new premises, which will actually be used as a training department for supported living. Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya has taken over these processes, attracting assistance from Germany and Switzerland. Currently, the arrangement of living rooms, common areas such as kitchens, sanitary units, and recreation areas is being completed. The projects of these locations were developed taking into account the needs of the target group, so that the wards could acquire new skills in convenient and comfortable conditions.

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