A new group home for people with disabilities opened in Veles

Today, officially, the first small group home for people with disabilities was opened in Veles. This new living unit with support accommodates five former users of the Special Institution Demir Kapija, and for them twenty-four hours of care will be provided by a team of carers and professional associates from the “Association of Persons with Cerebral Palsy and Other Disabilities – Veles”. The association will provide care through five personal assistants, one physiotherapist and one social worker.

The home for people with disabilities in Veles is financially supported by the EU through the project Together for introduction of more opportunities and respect – TIMOR, implemented by the Centre for Promotion of Agricultural Practices and Rural Development (CeProSARD)Association of Special Educators and Rehabilitators of the Republic of North Macedonia, Special Institution “Demir Kapija”, Municipality of Demir Kapija and Loza Foundation.

The housing unit will be managed by the private community service provider with support in the community for persons with disabilities – Association of Persons with Cerebral Palsy and Other Disabilities – Veles, which has been authorized as a licensed provider of this type of services by the MLSP and will provide users with care, care, better everyday life and inclusion in social life.

The President of the Association, Daliborka Zlateva, announced that within this project they will open four more such homes, one of which is ready and will soon start in Gradsko.

At the opening, Stefan Hudolin, Head of the Cooperation Department at the Delegation of the European Union, said: “These new small group homes represent the models and best practices for responding to the needs of people with disabilities. These homes are a clear example that shows that people with disabilities do not have any special needs and do not require special treatment in institutions. The only need is to be treated equally. “Society must fight discrimination and see diversity as a positive moment.”

The Minister of Labour and Social Policy Jovana Trenchevska said that with the opening of this home in Veles, the deinstitutionalization of persons from the Special Home from Demir Kapija continues. According to the Minister, the implementation of the National Strategy for Deinstitutionalization 2018-2027 “Timjanik”, even in conditions of pandemic reality, is one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

“The deinstitutionalization of people with disabilities enables the inclusion of people and also gives them a chance to contribute to society. We need to forget and remove all prejudices, stereotypes associated with people with disabilities. The small group home gives new tenants the opportunity to feel like equal residents of the community because the home they live in is no different from that of their neighbours. They already have their own room, their own locker and their own intimate corner. Because of the satisfaction, the conditions and the care I have seen here for these people, we will continue with the same commitment, because we are convinced that no one should live on the margins of society. “Deinstitutionalization is a long-term process and requires continuous efforts and commitment, but at the same time it does not come close to European practices and standards in the field of social protection,” said Minister Trencevska.

Our representatives Maria Marinaku, team leader and Bojan Petak, project director, also attended the opening. The project “Supporting Modernization and Deinstitutionalization of the Social Services” coordinates the implementation of EU-supported projects working on deinstitutionalization and modernization of social services in the country.

Deinstitutionalization began in 2017, when more than 480 beneficiaries – children and adults, with and without disabilities – were accommodated in the country’s residential social institutions. Today, there are less than 240 people in these institutions, but not a single child under the age of 18.