A group of children and young people raising awareness for inclusive education and the rights of people with disabilities.
In 2019, Caritas Armenia started implementing a project “My Right. Inclusive Education in Armenia and Kosovo” in the Shirak Region of Armenia. This project is funded by the Austrian Development Agency and Caritas of the Diocese of Innsbruck (Caritas der Diözese Innsbruck). The overall goal of the project is to provide quality and inclusive education to children with disabilities. As a part of the project, an inclusive youth club called “My Right” was established. At the moment the club has about 20 active members. As a non-formal group of children and young people, the club aims at changing the behavior of students, teachers, parents towards people with disabilities, raising awareness for the rights of people with disabilities and spreading the real meaning and importance of inclusion among our society. For the sake of having an inclusive society, a variety of activities are being implemented and much more is planned, since all club members together with the project staff believe that inclusion is a right and not a special privilege. Every child has an equal right to get quality education and be an active member of our community.
- Together with Caritas Austria, exchange visits were organized during 2019-2020 between the Armenian and Austrian youth to present the issues regarding the inclusion in both countries as well as the UN-convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.
- The club is also active during the COVID 19 situation. During the lockdown, youth club members realized what it means to be isolated from the society and initiated a video challenge with the topic “Lessons for Inclusion’’. #MyRightVideoChallenge was the main Facebook hashtag used for the challenge. Participants are telling how they feel under the lockdown and compare their situation to the situation of people with disabilities.
- In order to ensure a disability-inclusive response to COVID 19, the youth club initiated the elaboration of a few informative materials for people with intellectual disabilities, e.g. easy-to-read material, comics, translations, illustrations and newsletters.
- Online film discussions about topics on inclusion were organized to talk about the difficulties of inclusion in their schools and how to handle them.
- Peer-to-peer trainings were organized to help encourage inclusive education in schools. In the 2019/20 academic year, 289 students from 6 target schools participated in trainings. More trainings are planned for 2020 and 2021.
Submitted by: Caritas of the Diocese of Innsbruck (Petra Flieger). September, 2020. https://caritas.am/my-right-inclusive-education-in-armenia-and-cosovo/