Mission East Armenien
By Karen Sophie Krag 5 Sep 2023 |

A sustainable future for children with disabilities

A generous donation from the Erik Thunes Legat has enabled Mission East to target special rehabilitation programs for Armenian children and young people with disabilities. Here the chairman of the Erik Thunes Legat explains why they have chosen to support Mission East.

Mission East works together with Erik Thunes Legat to support the integration of children and young people with physical, mental and psychosocial disabilities in the remote province of Tavush. An effort that badly needs extra focus.

In the past, these children and young people have faced severe discrimination and lived in isolation from the rest of society. They have been cut off from physical rehabilitation and psychosocial support, but today they have access to local treatment.

Local anchoring and long-term development

The project was implemented in cooperation with Mission East's Armenian partner Bridge of Hope, which is doing a great job among this particular target group. Bridge of Hope is in continuous dialog with different actors - from the parents to the Ministry of Education.

Mission Øst armenien rehabilitering

We find that the project is firmly anchored in cooperation with the Armenian partner organization Bridge of Hope. Both local and regional authorities, schools and also the parents of children and young people with disabilities are involved. This results in a high degree of local anchoring and sustainability, which we at Erik Thunes Legat value very highly, says Christian Thune, chairman of Erik Thunes Legat.

The Erik Thunes Legat prioritizes long-term development that invests in the future of Armenian children and youth with disabilities. Because it is by empowering these children and young people today that we can help them break down the social, cultural and economic barriers that prevent them from participating in society on an equal footing.

Impact and results

- For us, it is exciting to follow the results and the long-term impact. Therefore, it is important for us that the monitoring of such projects is in good hands. This is the case at Mission East, says Christian Thune.

With the grant from the Erik Thune Grant, 329 children and young people with disabilities received services in four Mission East supported centers in Tavush Province. This includes 289 children and young people under the age of 18 and 40 young people aged 18-25.

These children and young people received individual support for their well-being and learning. They had access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and art therapy. In addition, there was a special focus on improving and maintaining their mobility, speech and mental capacity.

So far, 298 families have benefited from the support. Parents have improved their knowledge on rehabilitation and received psychosocial counseling and technical support to overcome bureaucratic and discriminatory barriers in education, social welfare and health care.