Two new units for supported living opened today

Two group homes for supported living were officially open today in Demir Kapija and Negotino. They will accommodate nine people with intellectual disabilities, former residents of the Special Institution – Demir Kapija.

Group homes, as part of the project “Getting a Life – Deinstitutionalization of residents of Demir Kapija Institution”, are a model of independent living for people with disabilities and are one of the best practices to meet their needs.

This is the second unit to open in Demir Kapija, and Negotino already has three. In total, the Special Institution – Demir Kapija runs seven units, two of which are in Skopje. Today, five adults and four children found a home, with the 24-hour support of a team of professionals.

Nicola Bertolini, Head of the Cooperation Department at the Delegation of the European Union, said that the independent living units are a clear example that shows that the needs of people with disabilities are not special and that they do not need special treatments in institutions, their only need is to be treated equally. He stressed that the EU is constantly assisting the Government in strengthening the capacity of institutions and public policies, improving the accessibility of institutions and employment, and providing systematic support to the deinstitutionalization process, all with a view to integrating persons with disabilities into society.

The Minister of Labor and Social Policy Jagoda Shahpaska, at the opening of the housing units, emphasized that care givers and professionals who will work with users will be able to apply an individual approach, to build a relationship with each of them, to understand their needs, but also to identify and strengthen the strengths and potentials of users. “With the deinstitutionalization process, we have enabled no child under the age of 18 to be placed in a residential institution. From the initial number of 480 users in these institutions, we have reached a number of less than 250 users. “With the support of the European Union and together with the civil society sector, we are building bridges of trust in the care of the most vulnerable categories of citizens,” the minister said.