When it concerns them – they have a say

First group meetings of activists in Perrënjas and Librazhd, organized by IRIS Network member Partnerë për Fëmijët, have marked the successful beginning of the implementation of the project “Strengthening Citizenship and Advocacy with Persons with Disabilities” in Albania. Meetings have connected young people with disabilities, their parents and family members with representatives of local authorities and relevant institutions involved in delivering social services to disabled.

Project implementation is ongoing in two municipalities with high rate of people with disabilities – Perrënjas (app. 600 among 27000 inhabitants) and Librazhd (app. 950 in a community of 50000 citizens). Within the project, Partnerë për Fëmijët is investing efforts to motivate and educate youth with disabilities to advocate their rights and teaching how to institutionalize their participation.

Project activities are directly engaging 125 beneficiaries. They are learning how to develop conduct surveys, analyse data and develop priority action plan, lobbying to relevant institutions ensuring adequate social policies and practice. Approximately 1500 youth with disabilities are to be indirect beneficiaries.

Being a young person with disability in Albania means narrowed opportunities for a decent future and lack of social integration. Ineffective institutions and social stigma leave youth with disabilities and their parents in non-optimistic chances for improving life conditions. The necessary support for this vulnerable group of youths as well as to authorities in integrating people with disabilities, comes through project. The mission of the project is to provide young people who are struggling with different types of disablement with proper social services, based on their expressed needs.

The project “Strengthening Citizenship and Advocacy with Persons with Disabilities” is one of 12 projects financially supported by IRIS Network through small grants programme “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSO networks”.

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