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People with Disability in Armenia, the Promising Workforce

From January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012, the HDP Charitable Foundation (Human Dignity and Peace) will “People with Disability in Armenia, the Promising Workforce” project financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (MATRA PP). The project aims to promote young people with disabilities to get involved in work through employment possibilities and establishment of a replicable model.

State policy promotes integration of People with Disabilities (PWD) in the labor market and the Employment Centers (EC) have taken upon appropriate activities to realize it. To support this further, HDP Foundation set a goal to cooperate with Vocational Schools and employers in the Erebuni - Nubarashen Community in Yerevan, and in City of Hrazdan (Kotayk region) and with the State Employment Center. The project will also establish efficient and up-to-date database of PWDs applying for jobs to help ECs easily track PWDs and register new ones. and the efficiency of current.

A number of meetings were organized in the beginning of 2010 to introduce the project, roles and responsibilities of partner organizations, Steering Committee and Advisory Board, along with the expected results, targets and milestones for each year. HDP’s Dutch partners: Activa Foundation, Workability Europe, Bartimeus had business trips to Armenia to meet with local partner, discuss project activities, workplan and implementation progress; reach consensus on key documents and suggested new methods, as well as fine tune responsibilities of each partner involved in the project.

As part of the awareness component, a 3-day training was organized for the partners and project participants, aimed to present those important tools and methods of awareness raising that would be useful for NGOs which are engaged in disability issues, and in turn carry out awareness campaigns. A complete package of awareness events was developed as a course guide for organizing campaigns during the project.

By April of 2010, the project began to move forward at full swing, as more activities were taking place, involving more partners and counterparts. Project activities, training schedules and the import of the Mast test, a device for testing PWDs’ working competences, were discussed at the partners meeting. The project was officially presented and broadcasted in July 2010 on the Public Radio of Armenia. Within the same month, project implementation entailed assessment of target ECs and vocational schools for physical accessibility and adjustments. This component too was supported by Dutch expert in this area. As the year progressed, HDP and partners were able to divulge more into implementation discovering different challenges and opportunities and planning respective remedial actions and modifications to best meet targets deadlines.

In the fall of 2010 Study tour and training was conducted for HDP staff, Specialists from State ECs and vocational schools (a total of 10 persons) in partnership with Dutch partners both in Armenia and Netherlands. Training participants were trained to execute new job testing methods introduced during the project by Dutch partners. During the trip several visits were organized to a few social enterprises in the Netherlands, to illustrate and show in practice different ways of employment for PWDs (sheltered employment, special shops for PWDs, supported employment).



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