Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope

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On October 15 in Chisinau, Moldova, 27 people gathered from various parts of the country to learn about a creative, collaborative process to bring people together to plan for a positive future. Elizabeth Neuville, Executive Director of the Keystone Institute in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the United States, guided participants through this PATH process, which was originally created by John O’Brien, Jack Pearpoint, and Marsha Forest. PATH is a planning tool used to assist people, families, teams, and organizations to design a positive future and make committed action steps toward that vision.

The participants had a background in a wide variety of interest areas and projects. Some worked to developed individualized community services, such as supported living, foster care, shared living, and community homes. Others worked toward family reunification and preservation or served on mobile support teams to support families in their homes. Others served people who have recently left institutions. Family members and people who serve economically vulnerable children and families also participated in the workshop, where they learned and practiced the powerful and unique PATH process of planning.

The group learned the method of developing a “PATH” for an inclusive Moldovan society that welcomes all people. They then had the opportunity to practice various roles as they formed a team to develop a PATH for one of the workshop participants. Everyone, including the recipient of the PATH, worked together to create a vision of the future for that one person.

It was a vibrant, engaging, exciting day, and participants left feeling as if this process will be of great use to them in helping people and those who love and assist them. Not only will the PATH process help people to support others to answer the question “What do I do tomorrow?” but it also creates a vision of a future full of promise and hope.

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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