Erasmus+: Focus On Including Volunteers With Disabilities (Trip to Austria)
On May 24th the ‘Training course on methodologies for recruiting, applying and mentoring inclusive voluntary projects’ took place in Vienna, Austria. It lasted five days and three people from Comrat had the opportunity to participate in this program: Vasya (a person with disabilities confined to a wheelchair), Maria, (his mother), and Vanya (Miras Moldova’s volunteer who attended as a translator).
Barbara Eglitis and her staff at Grezenlos, a program specializing in creating opportunities for people with disabilities and based in Austria, coordinated this program which is financed by the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme. The stated goal of the project was promoting inclusion in international projects by developing a set of adjusted inclusive methodologies for different disabilities including physical disabilities, learning disabilities visual limitations and others.
People from 25 different countries were invited to participate so this was a great opportunity to meet new people, see their different realities and to understand the struggles people live with in each country. The holding organization created a space for the exchange of the diverse experiences of the participants. For Vasya this was a whole new experience since he had never taken a plane before. In his words, the training itself was really interesting, but what surprised him the most was that “compared to Moldova, Austria has a very different level of accessibility for people with disabilities. There, every place is adapted and accessible for everyone.”
Throughout the training they learned how to make projects and to plan activities targeting different groups of people with special needs (wheelchair users, visually impaired participants, hearing impaired participants, etc.). It was a good experience for our participants and they came back with a wider knowledge of how work with and for disabled people is done in various countries. They also returned with an idea of what should change in Moldova to improve the local situation.