The strengthening of self-help potential
The strengthening of self-help potential for disable people in the Eastern Ukraine
(April, 2014 – June, 2016 under “Action Mensch” financial support)
During 2014-2016 years Chernobyl History Workshop together with German-Ukrainian partnership network and the International Educational Centre, Dortmund and under “Action Mensch” financial support was conducting a project “Strengthening of self-help potential for disable people in the Eastern Ukraine” taking Kharkov region as an example. A range of important events, directed to the realization of its main idea of non-governmental employment of disable people, was conducted within the project.
Firstly, it was carried out the work on the uniting of efforts and arranging the cooperation between non-governmental Chernobyl unions and organizations of disable people. Despite the fact, that majority of the liquidators of the Chernobyl NPS breakdown consequences and displaced people from the exclusion zone had a degree of disablement, till this time there was no such cooperation with social organizations of disable people in Kharkov region. These non-governmental organizations have similar objectives of their work, one of which is to improve the living conditions of their members.
One of the factors which promote the considerable improvement of living conditions for disable people is opportunity of their employment assistance.
In three pilot towns, Bogoduhov, Lozova and Vilcha, of Kharkov region they created the consultation centres of self-help initiative for promotion of information, legal and practical help in employment assistance to disable people.
Particularly, the consultation centre in Vilche provided people with more than 600 consultations of different types.
These consultation centres of self-help initiative activity working on a permanent basis in connection with current situation in the Eastern Ukraine also have become the centres of giving the assistance to displaced people from zone of military conflict.
One of the main directions of these consultation centres activity is a support in creating the social enterprises. Legislatively existing opportunity to set up a social enterprise and get a state support is still very rarely used in Ukraine. The biggest obstacle on the way to successful founding of social enterprise is widespread negative and unconcerned attitude both of authorities’ representatives and of the society. A wrong opinion that social enterprise has preferential tax system and that disabled people can’t do successful business took strong roots.
At the same time, the attention is not paid to the fact, that successful social and employment integration of disable people help the government to reduce social expenses.
The organizations taking part in the project conducted several informational companies timed to the International Day of Disabled Persons on the 3th of December in order to attract the society's attention to these problems.
More than 20 representatives of Chernobyl unions and organizations of disable people took part in the seminars on concepts formation and making business plans for social enterprises creating including the legal peculiarities of official registration of such enterprises during the conducting the project. As a result, the first social enterprise “SotsIntel” was registered by the participants of the seminar in 2015. The founder was non-governmental organization "Kharkov Centre of young disabled people and their family members" rehabilitation “Right of Choice”.
With the aim of improving the level of informing the society about lives of disable people it was presented a thematic calendar for 2016 “Unbounded people” (Bezmezhni lyudy) within the project. The calendar contains photographs and cites of disable people from Kharkov who have achieved significant successes in their professional carriers.