FHI 360 Moldova

People with Disabilities: Force for Change in Moldova

“A year ago I could not submit my first petition to the mayor of Edineț town in person, because the ramp to the City hall was not accessible. My assistant helped me to submit the document. Now, around 1,300 people with disabilities can visit the city hall building and talk directly with the authorities,” said the 38-year old Edineț resident Ludmila Golteanova.

Ludmila wrote a petition in hopes of getting a wheelchair ramp installed at thetown hall building. She was inspired to action after attending a few trainings organized by Motivațieand carried out with the support of Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society (MPSCS), a program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by FHI 360.

Motivație, a civil society organization working to improve the lives of people with disabilities, is training Ludmila and 17 other people with and without disabilities across Moldova to engage in public decision-making. These activists are learning to effectively engage citizens and the media, and equipped with the knowledge about people with disabilitiesrights, are keeping the authorities accountable. The people with disabilities activists’ hard work is already showing results: “The group from Edineț managed to influence the Civil Registration Office and town hall to build ramps for people with disabilities. In Hâncești town, the Head of the State Inspection for Construction invited our group to verify the compliance to the standards of the newly built Regional Sports Center along with the Inspection experts,” explained Igor Meriacre, the Director of Motivație.

 “When you stay isolated at home for a long time, you start to believe that you are useless. This training made me confident in my own power. Not being able to use my legs or hands was not such a big obstacle for me to get involved any longer. I wrote my first petition with a pencil in my mouth, and in a few months, I could see the result,” proudly stated Ludmila.

According to Edineț’s deputy mayor Rodelia Vasilcov, Ludmila’s letter provided the impetus for the city officials to improve the entrance to the hall. “Ludmila, being an expert in accessibility of buildings for people with disabilities, offered important advice on how to build the ramp, which was very useful. We do not have any other such experts in town,” noted the deputy mayor.

Inaccessible facilities at Moldova’s only international airport present another hurdle for people with disabilities from Moldova and those visiting the country. Last summer, Motivație activists organized a flash mob and tested accessibility at the airport. Now, the organization is working with the airport management to adjust its facilities to the people with disabilities needs and is training the airport staff in providing support to disabled people on travel.

Much work remains to be done. Motivație will continue improving the lives of Moldova’s more than 183,000 PWD by engaging them in public life, and keeping the authorities accountable in fulfilling the commitments made under nationally and internationally binding documents that guarantee people with disabilities rights to participate in public decision-making, work, and travel. Motivatie’s expertise and continued technical assistance will help the authorities make these commitments a reality both at the local and national level.  

 
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Get to Know the CSO that Represents You!

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