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Mahachkala Disability Support Centre

The Mahachkala project started in April 2006 at the national conference held in Pskov, following a meeting in this context with the head of a group of active parents (“Association Vie sans Larmes”) in Mahachkala (Republic of Dagestan).

Project value: 154’108 – SFr

Funds: Pro Victimis Foundation, Geneva

Some disagreements between our local partners, a change of location to accommodate the centre’s activities and the tense political situation in the region forced us to somewhat reshape the project and delay its implementation, but work could finally begin in April 2009. The first step was to allow the Russian collective “Life without tears” to completely renovate and equip the vast premises they had been able to obtain to install their reception and rehabilitation centre for disabled children.

After a few weeks of work to make the building habitable, “Life without tears”, thanks to the funds collected, were able to start equipping the ten rooms of the centre, which include: a games room, a computer room, a speech therapy cabinet, a sensory room, a kitchen, a consultation centre, the director’s office, and a sports room.

They also built a large hall, with a table and couches. The children are cared for by two teachers, a speech therapist, a psychologist, a therapist and a physiotherapist. A social lawyer, coordinators as well as volunteers and students in law, pedagogy and psychology are also present for childcare and advice to parents. These positions are funded by another fund.

It soon became clear that a vehicle was also needed for the centre’s specialists to travel to other towns and villages in the region to provide care and advice to families affected by the disability. An extension of funds made it possible to buy it at the beginning of 2011, putting an end to this project.

The Mahachkala Centre is now a safe facility for parents and children with disabilities that also benefits people isolated from the surrounding area.