Votes Received: 560
The inter-regional No Borders No Limits Forum offered roundtables, masterclasses, and a festival focusing on the battle against discrimination and the integration of people with disabilities into communities. The event drew people from eight different Ukrainian oblasts to Poltava.
With the Interregional Inclusive No Borders, No Limits, the village of Narizhya in the Semeniv region of the Poltava Oblast hosted the area’s largest ever fully inclusive event for people with disabilities. Over three days, 120 people from eight Ukrainian oblasts explored efforts to address the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities in the project funded in part through the Active Citizens programme as part of the annual Rohoziv Kut Festival.
Liubov Hrek of the Semeniv Regional Organisation of Disabled People says: “This event has focused on issues faced by people with disabilities and the elderly and their role in community life. The successful implementation of the project at the local level has provided us with the impetus to continue at the regional level.”
Comprised of three main parts, the project first engaged its audience with lively roundtable discussions that featured its oblast, regional and town elected leaders, as well as local businesspersons and agricultural concerns, NGO reps and others. Secondly, the event offered masterclasses with instructors from the National Academy of Creativity for Disabled People and an exhibit of the arts and crafts they produce. And finally, there was the festival proper offering a concert by people with disabilities performing in seven disciplines: children’s performances, popular song, dramatic acting, choreography, dramatic reading, instrumental performance and folk music. The festival also featured a theatrical performance set at Lake Burchak, where there was also a dance party and live musical performances.
Ms. Hrek adds: “Taken together with the recreational sports competitions we held, this was a unique effort for the Poltava Oblast. We see this especially in that we drew participants for eight more oblasts. We were able to make excellent contacts and demonstrate what kind of active life is possible for people, and especially children, with disabilities. It helps foster tolerance and the integration of people with disabilities into a community, as well as combating discrimination against them.”
There were a lot of reasons for the project’s success, organisers stressed. This was a chance for people to enjoy some active time off at Luke Burchak and to express themselves creatively. It was also a chance to meet others and share lived experience with those involved in addressing issues facing people with disabilities. This has spawned a new community assembled around this cause.
The project continues, having received funding for local council budgets and also from agricultural firms and scheduled projects. One example: in August 2018 in the village of Narizhia a similar event was held—the 5th annual Rohoziv Kut Inclusive Festival.
The 6th annual Rohoziv Kut Inclusive Festival is set for early August 2019, with disabled guests invited from the countries of Moldova and Belarus. Similar inclusive events have been held in the towns of Balta, in the Odessa Oblast; Pokrovsk, in the Donetsk Oblast; in Vinnytsia and Boyarka.
THE PROJECT’S SECRETS OF SUCCESS
1. Inclusivity (reflecting the various population demographics of the region).
2. Innovation (reflecting the use of novel and creative methods and approaches).
3. Potential for adaptation and dissemination (the project can be applied both locally and globally).