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A house for handicapped people
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Dec 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Too often handicapped people are excluded and stigmatized. Still too often they are robbed of their rights, not taken seriously or laughed at. The Queen-Fabiola-house accompanies people with increased requirements of attendance; we support them to lead a self-determined life in our society (i.e. through participation, lobbying, assistance with administrative tasks, …). The European volunteer service has been lived in this house for 15 years already. We consistently have had positive experiences with the volunteers. A volunteer learns to know exclusion/inclusion by living it very closely; in co-operation with the carers approaches to solving a problem are practiced. The additional benefit within the framework of social competences is of special importance for the volunteers. The beneficial effects for us are numerous: improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants, widening of the horizon for all persons implicated by exchanging on cultural differences and similarities. The volunteers also offer time that the carers often miss in their daily care-giving tasks. Moreover, young people bring along refreshing impulses which enliven everyday life in the house.For a term of 12 months a volunteer from Germany will do his work with us. The volunteer suffers himself from a slight mental handicap. For us it is important to consider the volunteer as a “normal” volunteer, despite his handicap, according to the motto “It is normal to be different”. Our educational objectives are always adapted flexibly to the particular volunteer. We therefore consider the acquisition of competences in the realm of the personal development or maturing process, of the learning of professional actions and background knowledge with regard to different handicaps.The bigger part of the tasks of the volunteer consists of taking care of handicapped people. These generally have a slower rhythm, so that the volunteer must learn to adjust himself to this slower rhythm. By his commitment the volunteer will be able to improve the quality of life of the handicapped people. This improvement will show in different ways. His work consists of attending people in their leisure time and assisting them in their practical everyday activities. The volunteer is always accompanied by a professional carer who helps with words and deeds in the different tasks, i.e. working with autists, starting special activities for handicapped people, configuring specific offers for different ages, communicating respectfully, functioning in a transparent way,…By participating in the project, the volunteer realizes what it means in practice when one speaks of tolerance, equal opportunities, respect and human rights. In practical day to day life, the volunteer learns how important a correct commitment for handicapped people is for our society: handicapped people accept the offers of the society, use public transport, visit events… and can also function as an escort for people who are still more handicapped.This way, the society will get more mature, social and tolerant. The occupation with handicapped people confronts every citizen with his own moral concepts of performance, beauty and intelligence. Values are thereby newly defined.

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