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Samara City Public and non-profit Organization of Disabled People Using Wheelchairs Desnitsa Association
Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 30 Nov 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Samara Non-governmental Organization of wheelchair users “Desnitsa Association”was established in 1997. It is affiliated with Samara Regional Public Organisation of the All-Russian Society of the Disabled. Their mission is to provide integration of the disabled people of Samara region into society and to promote the ideas of independent life philosophy and social approach to disability.Main goals are: • protection of rights and interests of disabled people; • providing disabled people with equal opportunities to participate in all spheres of social life;• integration of disabled people into society.Demand for international volunteers in the work of “Desnitsa Association” is based on the following circumstances and condition of its members:- Sixteen people are wheelchair users of I group. They live alone and that is why possess a dramatic need of any kind of assistance. It is important to provide them not only with social care but also with personal communication. Five of these people need care. First of all, they need assistance in the place where they live, and also when visiting medical institutions or participating in cultural events;- Thirteen members of our organization are the disabled children. They can also be the target of volunteers’ activities. The volunteers could serve as personal supporters for each of these children. The volunteers could choose the ways of interaction with the families who have disabled children;- Thirty nine members of our organization are wheelchair users of group I aged over 60 years old, twenty of them are over 70. All these people need assistance in social activities as well as during their visits to doctors and cultural events;- Hundred seventy eight members of our organization, also the invalids of group I, are aged between 20 and 60. Due to their age peculiarities, they also need assistance in their social activities;- Our organization regularly organizes a big number of social events specially for the disabled people. This surly requires material and human resources. In such cases the work of international volunteers is very effective and irreplaceable.Desnitsa is mainly interested to host people who are interested to work with the disabled people. The theme of the project is one of the most difficult and demanding. Work with people is not easy, especially if we talk about working with people with fewer opportunities and special needs. The volunteer should have at least some prior experience with disabled people. Even personal experience helps a lot. Very importnant is being positive and open-minded. The same time the volunteer should be ready to do a lot of routine and physically hard work. This requires a lot of patience and tolerence. The volunteer will be able to gain the following skills and knowledge:-Russian language skills, even if he/she does not speak any Russian, this project is a unique opportunity to learn the language on the level of every day communication;- see the nature, history and culture of the Samara region;- face the phenomenon of “mysterious Russian soul” and Russian mentality;- learn to find way in the unknown city;- learn to communicate with the disabled basing on the social attitude towards disability;- learn the philosophy of independent life and inclusive education;- get informed about the problem of the disabled people in Russia, limited access to most spheres of social life, communication barrier (stereotypes, fears);- get to know the details of Russian Law concerning the problems of the disabled people and the activities of NGOs;- gain skills of office work, work with office equipment, household machines and technical means of rehabilitation;- free participation in seminars and trainings where he/she will be able to gain skills of working in an NGO and in social sphere in general. It is expected that the volunteer's participation will contribute to his/her overall growth, both personal and professional. Volunteers will be able to gain an understanding of the situation that disabled people face in Russia and learn how to work with the disabled. We hope that the target group, the participants, and the host organisation will all benefit from the intercultural exchange that this project provides. The activity should provide an opportunity for the host organisation's staff to improve their social and communication skills and to learn about the situation for disabled people in the volunteers' home countries, which might help them better understand how to deal with the situation in Russia.The project is expected to improve and diversify the host organisation's quality of service. The beneficiary here is the target group: local young people.
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