Improvement of the life of handicapped people with the OZ Barlička civic association

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“We have been cooperating with the Carpathian Foundation for years now. It started with Margarétafest, a festival for handicapped artists, which we organize every two years. The Carpathian Foundation’s support also allows us to organize summer camps for handicapped youths and for the elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which have in recent years become a highlight of their summer. The main idea behind the initiative is to bring the world, new people and new things closer to those who cannot travel themselves.”

Apart from one-time activities, we also see great potential in community activities. Therefore, we decided to open the Spare Time Centre and the community garden in order to improve public space, strengthen relationships and bring together various age groups – children, the youth, adults and the elderly. The Carpathian Foundation supported the creation of a community garden next to our building as well as the creation of two other gardens in Šidlovec and in Veľký Šariš. Young people from the older community garden in the Sídlisko III housing estate thus got a chance to share their experience and, at the same time, learn from older, more experienced gardeners during joint workshops. We have opened the gardens to the general public, too. After we completed the garden, we wanted to open an inclusive playground for all children. We saw the unique potential resulting from us bringing together a barrier-free community garden, children from the inclusive playground and the elderly from the neighbouring blocks of flats and from the facility for the elderly nearby. We appreciate that the Carpathian Foundation cares about children’s safety and they allowed us to invite playground experts to ensure the safety of individual playground components. Moreover, low components, the fence and the explorer’s pavement were built with the help of volunteers taking part in our community workshops and events.

After 50 years, the garden needed repairs and adjustments, too. Using our own resources, we purchased material and worked to repair the dangerous places so that the entire garden was safe for children. We renewed the training space, too, in order to be able to organize meetings and trainings in the field of children’s safety as well as safety for all inhabitants of the housing estate. We continued to focus on safety even beyond the playground and the garden. Even though the number of road accidents decreases, we still see crashes involving vehicles and children which have serious and, often, permanent consequences. Therefore, we worked with the Carpathian Foundation to devise a mobile playground to be used to train children how to behave safely in traffic. Working as volunteer assistant teachers at this playground are young people in wheelchairs.“

In 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, we have supported OZ Barlička with a total sum of €14,170 .