It’s the Five-Year Anniversary of the “Vis” Community Center

Five years ago, the “Vis” Community Center opened its doors in Bacioi and began providing support for children in the community, including children with disabilities and children at risk of institutionalization. Today, “Vis” is an important part of the community. The community center still provides educational, psychological and socialization support for children, but it also prepares children and youth to be active citizens who care about and contribute to the community.

We first opened “Vis” through a grant from the European Commission, in partnership with local authorities in Bacioi and the Speranta Day Care Center. Since we first started providing services and supports, we have watched the children of the village grow and gain a multitude of new experiences and skills.

Perhaps the best way to celebrate the “Vis” Community Center’s fifth anniversary is to share some of our stories.

The “Vis” Community Center held a summer camp, and for one girl, it was her first experience at a summer camp. After participating in all of the activities, she shared her thoughts on her first summer camp.

“I had an unforgettable vacation. I’ve made many friends, having the opportunity to participate in many contests. I’ve realized that I can do much more than I thought I could….I [even] had the opportunity to swim in a real pool for the first time. I was so happy I felt like I was flying.”

The Youth Club at Vis began a Public Achievement program so youth could learn what it means to be a responsible, active citizen. They explored some of the issues of the community, including littering, substance abuse and support for the elderly. By working together, the group decided to visit the elderly in their homes and learn the best ways to help them, including bringing them food. Since the beginning of the program, these young adults have grown into responsible citizens who take an active interest in their community. This year, the Public Achievement program installed a free WiFi zone in the school yard, as well as several benches. Liza said:

“I learned things that I certainly didn’t know. Together with my colleagues from Center Vis, I discovered the problems of our community. I personally found out about the community’s problems. Every one of us proposed different opinions, which helped us discover a problem which every one of us can resolve.”

The Public Achievement program has extended farther than the “Vis” Community Center. Keystone Moldova has trained local coaches from 11 other communities that have started implementing the program so that many more teenagers gain the theoretical and practical skills to find solutions to challenges within their communities.

Thank you to everyone who made the “Vis” Community Center possible! We are looking forward to what the next five years will bring.

About khsima

Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association (KHSIMA) is non-profit, non-government organization working to create opportunities where people can grow, exercise self-determination, and be participating, contributing and valued members of their society. KHSIMA was registered as a Non-government organization at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova on June 23, 2004. KHSIMA’s foremost objective is to promote and develop opportunities in the form of direct service and best-practice training to further the independence of children and families who are in need of service due to disabling conditions, situations of poverty, abandonment, institutionalization, and other adverse societal conditions throughout Moldova. KHSIMA provides services to about 100 children from vulnerable families at two Children and Family Community Centers located in the villages of Tudora and Bacioi. The centers provide educational and social inclusion services for primary and middle school children whose parents are addicted to alcohol and live in very poor conditions; parents who went abroad for work and left the children with the grandparents, relatives or neighbors; and uneducated parents from very poor families. These children are at risk of being trafficked or entering into different criminal activities. Besides the activities within the centers, the children get two meals a day. Community for All – Moldova project is being implemented by Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association on the basis of a partnership established between the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child; Open Society Mental Health Initiative; Soros Foundation – Moldova; Hope and Homes for Children; and Keystone Human Services International. The project goal is to contribute to the reform of care and social protection of individuals with disabilities to increase their social inclusion through: a) The development of community based services that meet the varying needs of people with disabilities and their families/caregivers; b) The development of legal and normative frameworks for the regulation of newly created services as alternatives to institutional care. KHSIMA is active in the promotion of the rights of people with disabilities through the “Joint Media Strategy Group” (JMSG) project. JMSG is formed of active NGOs working in the disability field and has the goal to increase the population awareness regarding the disability issues, to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, to fight stigma and discrimination and to support the social inclusion of persons with disabilities.
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One Response to It’s the Five-Year Anniversary of the “Vis” Community Center

  1. Pingback: 2012: Strides Toward Inclusion for People with Disabilities | Keystone Human Services International

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