FACT SHEET: Empowerment and Rehabilitation for People with Disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Snapshot:
Total Funding:  $269,520
Project Duration: September 2013 - 2015
Implementing Partner: SUMERO 
The Challenge
Bosnia and Herzegovina signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in 2010, but has made little progress in implementing it. People with disabilities represent one of the most vulnerable and hidden groups in the country. With no structured state system of social care or community-based services, they and their families have nowhere to turn for support. They are wrongly viewed as incapable of participating in everyday life and excluded from society and, worse, are often placed in institutions that are located in remote areas and further removed from society. This is not in the spirit of the Convention.
Our Program
USAID’s project, Empowerment and Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities, will enhance the quality of life and facilitate the full inclusion of people with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina society. It will support and strengthen four empowerment centers that will teach disabled people the personal skills so they can live independently. It will also advocate for specific improvements in social and health care for disabled people, and raise awareness among the general public about their specific needs and contributions to society. This project complements activities under the “It’s About Ability” Project, in which USAID is partnered with UNICEF and the European Union. 
Implementation and Results
The expected main result of this project is the firm establishment of four service and empowerment centers for people with disabilities. These centers are operated by organizations that teach personal skills to enable people with disabilities to live independently. They provide rehabilitation services such as speech therapy, Braille alphabet, educational and sport and recreational activities, but they also provide training in cooking, grocery shopping, fire prevention, safety, and networking. These four empowerment centers will provide services for 500-1,000 direct beneficiaries. 
The project will also conduct a comprehensive study on current social and economic status of people with disabilities, and will advocate for legislative improvements in social and health care for them. Society-wide educational efforts include professional development training for center staff, workshops in elementary and high schools to create more favorable attitudes towards people with disabilities, and seminars and trainings in advocacy and promotion of human rights for disabled people and the local organizations that represent them. 
For more information, please contact:
Drazena Peranic, USAID/BiH Development Outreach and Communications Specialist, via e-mail: dperanic@usaid.gov.

Last updated: August 11, 2014

Share This Page