During renovation of streets In Liepaja, raised guidelines are deposited into the sidewalks in order to aid visually impaired people with getting around.
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Ganību street 197/205 Liepaja,
LV – 3407
09.03.2011 Author: LNB
About the social rehabilitation center for people with disabilities
„Dvēseles Veldzes dārzs” (Garden of Soul relieve)
We would like to address you regarding our future intention – a project. We hope that you could understand the needs of the people with disabilities and could support our efforts to improve their quality of life.
Liepājas Neredzīgo biedrība (Liepaja Society of the Blind) unites more than 480 partially-sighted and blind people, as well as people with other disabilities from Liepaja and Kurzeme 11 districts. Organization focuses on rehabilitation, employment, education, environment accessibility and other issues, which are related to real return of people with disabilities to the community. We try our best to assist, in close cooperation with local government, businesses, individuals and other interested persons, as well as keep in touch with any of our people, in order to prevent falling into captivity of depression, loneliness, and apathy as a result of their disability.
Speaking with the members of Liepaja society of Blind, conversations often reveal their longing for natural beauty, the rural peace - voices of birds, perfume of the earth and flowers, the satisfaction of self-performed agricultural work. Many of them are just as trapped in the house walls, without being able to enjoy the things we feel so self-evident. But also people with disabilities have opportunities, they get to know this world by touching, listening to, tasting, by inhaling its fragrance. Only in the silence of countryside, enjoying God-given wealth and greatness of nature, feeling the change of seasons, it is possible to relax from the city turmoil and find peace and mental balance. If blind people or people with other disabilities have not their own rural house or have no friends and relatives who are willing to accommodate them, they are excluded to enjoy this feeling.
We intend to establish a countryside social rehabilitation center for people with all kinds of disabilities "Dvēseles Veldzes dārzs." To implement this project, we are looking for supporters and benefactors, who would be willing to devote resources for our intention.
Liepaja Society of the Blind has found a property in the countryside - in Ziemupe, Pāvilosta district, where it would be possible to establish this social rehabilitation center. The property is composed of 4.7 ha of land and 1.3 ha of forest. Dwelling house is in satisfactory condition, there are several household buildings. The Baltic Sea is a few kilometers from the farm.
The aim of the rehabilitation center will be focused to provide rehabilitation opportunities for disabled people in rural environment, to provide assistance based on Christian core values and promote personality development. The intended social rehabilitation center "Dvēseles Veldzes dārzs" would be a place where people with disabilities could reside for a longer time, in unhurried rural environment, meeting with other people, carrying out small rural chores themselves. In the property, which Liepaja Society of the Blind would like to purchase for the implementation of this idea, at the moment dwelling house with auxiliary buildings are located. Dwelling house is technically in good condition and it is possible to renovate it. For this purpose, it is intended to raise money from various funds, writing and implementing projects. It is noteworthy that the society of the Blind has many years of successful experience in implementation of various projects. The costs of property adjustment are partly intended to cover from private donations and receiving support of entrepreneurs.
Please be informed that with the Ministry of Finance's decision Nr.490, since October 12, 2005 Liepaja society of Blind is assigned a status of public benefit organization, which allows the benefactor to receive tax discounts.
Funding for provision of services is planned to attract by means of projects, as well as continuing a long term State social rehabilitation programs and projects that Liepaja society of Blind people carry out. Establishment of the new rehabilitation center would allow to diversify and significantly improve already existing services. We are thinking to ensure continuity of services through cooperation with local governments and their social services.
By the time under the umbrella of the proposed rehabilitation center is planned to establish social enterprise, when for such enterprise establishment and operation will be developed appropriate legislation in Latvia. With our proposals regarding the social enterprise we have approached the Ministry of Welfare, Liepaja City Council and other responsible institutions. And until acceptance of such social enterprises at the national level, we hope to create an auxiliary farm of social rehabilitation center, which would operate in the field of gardening and fruit growing. There rehabilitees could learn skills of field work, carrying out market products that would allow the center to obtain additional funds for the maintenance of center and agricultural products for needs of rehabilitation center inhabitants. Perhaps, by time, this farm could be developed within biological farming lines.
In the emerging center the provision of social rehabilitators and other staff redundancies we are planning to attract through the State Employment Agency project "Action for certain groups" („Pasākums noteiktām personu grupām”) opportunities of subsidized jobs offered for people with disabilities, it means that part of employees would be people with disabilities. Altogether in the emerging center it is planned to employ 10 people.
Such projects are already commonly known in the world - these are so-called "Sense gardens". There are planted aromatic plants, trees, shrubs, with placed inscriptions in Braille, installed fountains, paths with different coverage, benches, swings and lanterns. There are sounds of the singing birds, rustle of wind, and silent music in the evenings. Blind people can touch all, smell and hear. And they can do it unhindered. It is an opportunity to relax, as well as the opportunity to learn what this or that plant looks like. There is an opportunity to work in the garden - plant, weed, harvest. We believe that this is a great idea, and by the time it will be implemented also in our country, because around the world the sight disability is recognized as the most severe disability.
Liepaja Society of the Blind is ready to work, raising funds from a variety of projects, companies and individuals to equip and develop the emerging social rehabilitation center, but our intentions hinder the fact that currently we do not have sufficient funds to purchase the property, which prevents us to participate in the project tenders for this purpose. We are aware that all of the above mentioned intentions and plans can be implemented only over a longer period and in close cooperation with various partners, so we are ready to work and cooperate. We look forward to your response and attentiveness, providing financial support for acquisition of the property, creating first such kind of center in Latvia!
With Best Regards,
Chairman of the Board: Māris Ceirulis
Liepajas Neredzigo biedriba (Liepaja Society of the Blind)
Reg. Nr. 40008093846
Address: Ganību iela 197/205, Liepāja, LV-3407, Latvia
Bank: SEB Banka AS,
IBAN konto: LV84UNLA0012000701456
SWIFT code: UNLALV2X
With note "For Garden of Soul relieve"
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