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Project Tutors’ Bridges" — learning from the Danes

22 november 2018

November 12 −13 partners of the project Tutors’ Bridges from Petrozavodsk and Narva visited Copenhagen, where they had opportunity to study the experience of working with people with special needs in the mental and cognitive sphere in terms of acquiring social and professional skills; creating conditions for returning to work for people with disabilities.

In Askov Foundation — public organization established in 1942, NGOs from Petrozavodsk and Narva got acquainted with the experience of the Foundation to give social psychiatric help by providing their clients with the opportunity of social communication, obtaining certain professional skills. The organization has the ability to take about 40 people a day, the time of communication with visitors depends solely on the needs of visitors. Some of the clients, having passed a certain course of social therapy, work in a cafe or shop of the Foundation, others get an employment opportunity in accordance with their professional skills.

The financial capacity of the Foundation is provided by its participation in various social projects and sponsorship.

Birte Hansen, coordinator of the Office of environment and planning of municipality of Copenhagen, used the example of the Office’s staff currently employed in the urban improvement system to speak about ways to preserve jobs for people with disabilities and to create conditions for returning to work for people who have suffered illness or injury. Such people usually work with the help of assistants or mentors. The scheme works on the basis of the current legislation of Denmark.

The next day, NGOs from Petrozavodsk and Narva visited one of the shelters of the WeShelters organization, which has a network of social shelters and hostels and provides social psychiatry services. People living in the shelter have the opportunity to engage in gardening activities on the territory of the shelter, as well as to work in the improvement on a contractual basis within the city. Residents of the shelter work only voluntarily: thus, out of 100 people living in the shelter, no more than 10% are engaged in horticultural activities.

Another organization, Grenessminde Foundation, which was visited by the delegation, is located outside the city and has a large area reserved for organic farming. Products Grenessminde acquire the restaurants and cafes of Copenhagen, as it is certified as environmentally friendly. The organization provides employment opportunities for young people with special needs between the ages of 16 and 30. In addition to gardening activities and services for landscaping (Green Service), Grenessminde provides an opportunity for young people to be trained and to get skills in other professions: bakery, metalwork and woodwork. During training young people are provided with a dormitory on the territory of Grenessminde. Business relationships Grenessminde allow young people trained to find permanent work in certain enterprises.

The program of the visit was prepared by the Danish partners of the project, Miljøpunkt Nørrebro organization, and all the participants of the trip noted the high level of the content of the program and its organization.

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