Launching event of the USAID and LCIF Children with Impairments Project – extension

Today the USAID and LCIF Children with Visual Impairments Project (CwVIP) marks the launch of the project’s extension for another 36 months. The Children with Visual Impairments Project co-funded by USAID and Lions Club International Foundation and implemented by the South East European University, works to increase the quality and accessibility of educational services for persons with visual impairments.  The project focuses on literacy, by publishing textbooks in Braille in the local languages and early diagnosis of visual impairment, through the organization of eye screening campaigns for children of preschool age.

On this occasion, CwVIP also marked the opening of the first Support center for visually impaired persons in Macedonia. The Support center will support visually impaired persons, and their families, with a wide range of activities and workshops relating to healthcare, education, psycho-social support. Additionally, these workshops aim to improve professional soft skills to increase the level of work-readiness among visually impaired persons.

The center will serve as a basic social service provider in cooperation with the National Union of the blind persons in Macedonia. The services provided will work to ensure that the visually impaired will have an opportunity not only to become aware for their rights, but also will lobby for better inclusion in the society and quality of life for these individuals.

An additional, goal of the project is to promote involvement of visually impaired people and to motivate them to become active advocates for their rights, as well as encourage their communities and other vulnerable groups to work for better social inclusion of persons with disabilities. Through these activities, we hope the visually impaired will be able to have a more engaged and active personal and professional life.

Mr. Edward Gonzalez of USAID Macedonia, Mr. Slobodan Vukicevic of Lions District 132 Macedonia, Ms. Nikolina Trajkovska of the Union of blind persons of Macedonia, Mr. Shpetim Latifi of SEEU and Ms. Suzana T.Paunovska – Secretary of the City Red Cross of Skopje made remarks at the event.

Furthermore, a round table discussion took place, where persons with visual impairments with successful professional careers shared their personal experiences with the audience.

CwVIP started in October, 2014 and the Support Center for visually impaired person is a new project component managed by the City Red Cross of Skopje as a subcontractor.

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