European Union Delegation to Singapore

Supporting young people with disabilities from Russia in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic

12/11/2021 - 10:29
Public Health and Social Protection

The project, implemented by “Life Route” Charity Foundation, will focus on helping young people with mental disabilities in Russia realise their full potential in education, employment and everyday life. It will focus on making a person with disability seen and heard, and on the promotion of ideas of equality and inclusion in all spheres of life. A major goal of the project is to provide the person with the tools they need to lead independent and dignified lives and make informed autonomous choices.

Brief description: 

Despite some progress made in recent years, lives of people with intellectual and mental disabilities in Russia are still far from perfect. Very often, they lack the opportunities that are enjoyed by their non-disabled peers. This is true both for people living at home and for those who reside in care institutions.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit this group especially hard. Either locked at home with their overwhelmed families or in crowded institutions, denied their usual support networks, young people with disabilities suffered not only from the dangers of the pandemic itself, but also from social isolation and lack of support.

We believe that everyone deserves to lead full and meaningful lives, regardless of their diagnosis and disability status. Everyone should be able to learn, live independently, have fun and enjoy meaningful relationships with people around them. The project will focus on helping young people with mental disabilities in Russia realise their full potential in education, employment and everyday life. It will focus on making a person with disability seen and heard, and on the promotion of ideas of equality and inclusion in all spheres of life. A major goal of the project is to provide the person with the tools they need to lead independent and dignified lives and make informed autonomous choices.

The project author - “Life Route” Charity Foundation, is one of the few organisations in Russia providing all-encompassing support to people with mental disabilities and their families. Based on its good practices the project will not only develop programmes of independent living and supported employment, but will also share the best European and Russian social work practices, provide training to organisations all over Russia, and promote de-institutionalisation and independent living philosophy. 

As well as those general areas of activity, the project will promote the rights of women with disabilities, support the volunteering movement, promote self-advocacy, and help the families of people with disabilities in their everyday struggles.

Key activities and projected results:

The key activities of the project will be focused on the person with disability, their rights, well-being, independence and visibility.

  • The supported living and supported employment programmes will allow people with disabilities live and work where and how they choose to;
  • A special programme will be dedicated to empowerment women with disabilities to learn their rights, find their voices and build their identities;
  • Part of the project is promotion of the volunteering movement, finding ambassadors of the independent living philosophy and promotion of the disability movement;
  • Families of people with mental disabilities will receive support and advice;
  • Educational activities of the project will disseminate best European and Russian social work practices among Russian professionals and the general public, with a special focus on person-centred approaches: practices and tools that help everyone set their own life goals and achieve their dreams;
  • Communication activities of the project will promote the image of people with disabilities as visible and independent members of the Russian society, capable of leading full and meaningful lives.

Duration: 01/05/2021 – 30/04/2024 (36 months)

Total Project Budget:  € 648,123

EU Contribution:  € 580,000

Location/s:  Russiа, Moscow and other regions in Russia

Implementing Partners:  “Life Route” Charity Foundation

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