Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe”

The project "Our voice counts!" is implemented by the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 in partnership with The National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries in Romania, the Association Startlight Petra and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway, and benefits from a 88.430,24 euros grant from Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014 -2021. The content of this page does not necessarily reflect the official position of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021; for more information visit www.eeagrants.org. More details about Active Citizens Fund Romania are available at www.activecitizensfund.ro.”

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Fundraising event

Through the project, our association benefited from an organizational development component by organizing a fundraiser for the organization's programs. The fundraising took place through two actions: an online fundraising and an event that took place on February28th, 2023, during which we presented the activity of the association and invited the young people involved in the project (students from special and mainstream schools) to a joint workshop where they made objects to celebrate March 1st: cards, charms, bracelets, etc. Those present at the event who thought they want to support the association's activity were invited to support it through donations. The activity took place within the project "Our voice counts!", project implemented by the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 in partnership with the National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries from Romania, Startlight Petra Association and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway, with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants 2014-2021. The aim of the project was to change the mentality and attitude of the citizens of Bucharest, Buzău and Râmnicu Sărat through advocacy activities that promote human and children rights, designed to combat stereotypes, prejudices and practices of exclusion and marginalization that affect children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, and their families.

About Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

The news article can be downloaded here

 

Street Events

The public campaign with an emphasis on vulnerable groups took place between November 2022 and February 2023, both in the 3 locations of the project (Bucharest, Buzău, Râmnicu Sărat), as well as in 4 other cities (Ploiești, Galați, Brănești, Călărași), and included various actions from presentations and discussions on the project and the rights of people with disabilities, with an emphasis on young people and children with visual and hearing impairments, to workshops dedicated to digital stories made by children themselves, to artistic moments, workshops dedicated to sign language or the use of Braille equipment, the distribution of materials to citizens, with an emphasis on the young population (leaflets, posters, bookmarks). Over 5.500 people were informed following the running of the campaign. Also as part of the Street Event, we met with representatives of non-governmental organizations that are active in the field of human rights and vulnerable groups, as well as with representatives of central and local authorities relevant to the context of the project (Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, ANPDPD, DGASPC, etc.) to discuss with them the way in which they can take action related to the demands expressed by young people with visual and hearing impairments in the Manifesto developed in the awareness and advocacy campaign. The activities took place within the project "Our voice counts!", project implemented by the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 in partnership with the National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries from Romania, Startlight Petra Association and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway, with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants 2014-2021. The aim of the project is to change the mentality and attitude of the citizens of Bucharest, Buzău and Râmnicu Sărat through advocacy activities that promote human and children rights, designed to combat stereotypes, prejudices and practices of exclusion and marginalization that affect children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, and their families.

About Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

The news article can be downloaded here

 

Bucharest, December 9th, 2022

Report on citizens' perceptions of people with disabilities

The Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development – Agenda 21 announces the launch of the Report on citizen’s perceptions of people with disabilities. The study was elaborated within the project "Our voice counts!", project implemented by the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 in partnership with the National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries from Romania, Startlight Petra Association and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway, with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants 2014-2021. The aim of the project is to change the mentality and attitude of the citizens of Bucharest, Buzău and Râmnicu Sărat through advocacy activities that promote human and children rights, designed to combat stereotypes, prejudices and practices of exclusion and marginalization that affect children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, and their families.

The research was carried out after conducting an opinion poll (1200, 18+) - in the municipalities of Bucharest, Buzau and Râmnicu Sărat. Its objectives were aimed at identifying the level of awareness of the needs and rights of people with disabilities, as well as validating the importance of some proposals aimed at contributing to the respect of these rights, with a view to social affirmation and the foundation of practices/policies appropriate to the reference categories.

Some of the conclusions of the study show that: in general, the rights of people with disabilities are little known; most of the participants in the survey rather believe that people with disabilities encounter difficulties in asserting their rights in Romanian society; the biggest contributions to the lack of affirmation of the rights of persons with disabilities are due to the educational and family environment of the person with disabilities (beyond the sectoral policies and strategies dedicated to the issue of the rights of persons with disabilities, it is important to access informal mechanisms); the level of awareness of the Romanian society regarding the rights of persons with disabilities is generally at a low level.

At least at the declarative level, people with disabilities have a positive (conciliatory-protective) social image, according to the opinions expressed by the people participating in the survey. In other words, the agreement regarding some cliché statements (frequently used in the public space) about people with disabilities has a low frequency. In conclusion, the social representation of the disabled person excludes their culpability (burden, incapable, permanently dependent on help, etc.).
Regarding the attitude towards the rights of people with disabilities, it was found that almost 80% of those who answered the questionnaire have a rather favorable attitude, and almost 6% - a rather unfavorable attitude (the rest being the people who did not answer the this question).

Among the recommendations resulting from the study, we mention the lack of information of the population (of society, in general) regarding the existence and content of reference rights. The absence of a strong connection between the knowledge of the rights of persons with disabilities and the latter's possibilities to assert and promote their rights in Romanian society signals that the issue of rights is located in an area characterized (rather) by disinterest and passivity. Regarding the distribution of opinions regarding the barriers that contribute to the lack of affirmation of the rights of persons with disabilities, the analysis of the extremes indicates a notable difference: the educational environment of the person with disabilities (62%) and the social circle, other than the familiar or kinship (53% ).

Beyond a common perception that "people with disabilities are dealt with by Social Assistance", the existing specific measures and policies (incidence in employment, housing, taxation, the legal field, etc.) are almost unknown. That is why there is a need for better communication and public information, in which concrete content is presented, not generic announcements... Moreover, in addition to information and awareness campaigns - which rather aim at notoriety (knowledge) and social awareness (awareness of the issue of reference) - actions dedicated to resource allocation mechanisms intended to support and promote the rights of people with disabilities are also needed (for example, presentations by specialists, dissemination of good practices for collecting and allocating resources, implicitly ensuring the replicability of these practices, etc.) .

The full study is available on the association's website www.agenda21.org.ro

For more information, contact person Nina Cugler, president of the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development – Agenda 21, e-mail ninacugler@agenda21.org.ro

About Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

The news article can be downloaded here

 

Educational awareness sessions

Educational awareness sessions in schools were part of the awareness and advocacy campaign. They were organized in the seven partner mainstream schools, as well as in other schools in the three locations of the project, as well as in other cities. The meetings facilitated discussions between students and successful people with visual or hearing impairments, who talked to the students about what disability means, about their journey in life, the barriers they have faced from the perspective of disability, successes achieved and the importance of integration in society of disabled people. Some of the educational sessions were also attended by students from special schools, which added value and interactivity to the meetings. At the project level, 11 face-to-face sessions were organized with 353 young people, and 2 online sessions with 151 students. The meetings were organized within the project "Our voice counts!", project implemented by the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 in partnership with the National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries from Romania, Startlight Petra Association and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway, with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants 2014-2021. The aim of the project is to change the mentality and attitude of the citizens of Bucharest, Buzău and Râmnicu Sărat through advocacy activities that promote human and children rights, designed to combat stereotypes, prejudices and practices of exclusion and marginalization that affect children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, and their families.

About Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

The news article can be downloaded here

 

Position paper of young people with visual and hearing impairments

On May 26th, 2022, a meeting took place during which young people from mainstream and special schools, together with volunteers and teachers, worked together to develop the manifesto identifying the barriers faced by young people with visual and hearing impairments and the requirements for their remedy addressed to the authorities. The meeting took place within the project "Our voice counts!", project implemented by the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 in partnership with the National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries from Romania, Startlight Petra Association and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway, with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants 2014-2021. The aim of the project is to change the mentality and attitude of the citizens of Bucharest, Buzău and Râmnicu Sărat through advocacy activities that promote human and children rights, designed to combat stereotypes, prejudices and practices of exclusion and marginalization that affect children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, and their families.

Some of the young people's demands are: medical services provided for the approvals necessary to obtain the certificate of a person with disabilities, the inclusion of the minimum necessary information (prospectus) in braille for medicines, the employment of mime-gestural interpreters in public institutions to facilitate the access of people with hearing disabilities to public services, the purchase of braille devices in institutions and companies to facilitate the employment of people with visual disabilities, the development of textbooks adapted to people with visual and hearing disabilities for both secondary, tertiary and higher education. These are just some of the needs identified at the meeting. The full manifesto can be read here.

About Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

The news article can be downloaded here

 

Workshops to identify the barriers faced by children and young people with vision and hearing impairments
 

After the training courses, the next step in our project were the workshops where children and young people with visual and hearing impairments from the seven partner special schools worked together to identify the barriers they face socially, economically, educationally, access and mobility, etc. They are part of the awareness and advocacy campaign and are a first step for the development of the Position Paper that will result from the campaign. Fourteen such workshops with over 280 young people took place in the months of March - April 2022. The conclusions from the workshops were synthesized in a document as a basis for the youth manifesto that will be presented to the relevant authorities. The activity took place within the project "Our voice counts!", project implemented by the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 in partnership with the National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries from Romania, Startlight Petra Association and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway, with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants 2014-2021. The aim of the project is to change the mentality and attitude of the citizens of Bucharest, Buzău and Râmnicu Sărat through advocacy activities that promote human and children rights, designed to combat stereotypes, prejudices and practices of exclusion and marginalization that affect children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, and their families.

About Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

The news article can be downloaded here

 

Training courses

A series of training sessions took place within the project "Our voice counts!", project implemented by the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 in partnership with the National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries from Romania, Startlight Petra Association and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway, with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants 2014-2021. The aim of the project is to change the mentality and attitude of the citizens of Bucharest, Buzău and Râmnicu Sărat through advocacy activities that promote human and children rights, designed to combat stereotypes, prejudices and practices of exclusion and marginalization that affect children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, and their families.

The training course dedicated to project volunteers took place online on October 28th and 29th, 2021, respectively November 10th, and benefited from 27 participants. On November 18th and 19th, 2021, respectively November 22nd and 23rd, two more training courses took place, this time dedicated to children and young people with visual and hearing impairments from the seven partner special schools. The training sessions focused on the following topics: presentation of the project, human, children and people with disabilities rights, interactive exercises, barriers faced by disabled people, with an emphasis on visually and hearing-impaired people, the connection between environmental issues, climate change, human rights and the need to involve young people. The module supported by the Norwegian partner benefited from his expertise in working with volunteers and in advocacy actions that promote human rights, using modern means and technologies as a communication strategy. Subsequently, the 64 young people with visual and hearing impairments held another 13 training courses for 273 of their colleagues in their schools in the months of January - February 2022.

About Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

The news article can be downloaded here

 

 

Bucharest, September 23rd, 2021

The voice of children with visual and hearing impairments matters
Press release

 

The Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 announces the launch of the project "Our voice counts!". This is implemented in partnership with The National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries in Romania, the Association Startlight Petra and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway, with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The aim of the project is to change the mentality and attitude of the citizens of Bucharest, Buzău and Râmnicu Sărat through information and advocacy activities, promoting human and children rights, designed to combat stereotypes, prejudices and practices of exclusion and marginalization that affect children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, and their families.

Children and young people with visual and hearing disabilities have a low capacity to know and claim their rights, experiencing difficulties in social integration and integration into the labor market. The project proposes a series of educational sessions, information campaigns, street events and meetings with local authorities, meant to contribute to raising awareness about the rights of people with disabilities and their integration into the community.

"Our voice counts!" is implemented between August 1, 2021 - September 30, 2022, in Bucharest and Buzau County, in 7 special schools and 7 schools in mainstream education, and is addressed mainly to children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, aged between 11 and 26 years.

The "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities "explicitly recognizes disability as a human rights issue and mentions barriers to attitudes and the environment that prevent their full and effective participation in society." Through the awareness and advocacy activities that the project proposes, children and young people will have the opportunity to make their voices heard and ask the authorities for the necessary measures for their full social integration", said Nina Cugler, president of the Association for Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21.

For additional information, contact person Nina Cugler, president of the Association for Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21, e-mail ninacugler@agenda21.org.ro, Ștefania Stănică, Project Coordinator - National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries in Romania, e -mail anbpr_ro@yahoo.com

„ About Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.”
Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe”

Download the press release here

 

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