A three-year project funded by the European Union – ‘Enhancing Social and Economic Inclusion through Independent Living’ – is under way after MEUSAC assisted the Malta Federation of Organisations Persons with Disability to garner the funds.
The project, which started last month, involves five participating countries and is set to end in August 2020. The objective of the project is to create a set of modules which will assist persons with intellectual challenges to engage in independent living. The modules will focus on improving communication, literacy and numeracy skills.
The project involves research, the development of modules, pilot activities and a multiplier event which takes place in a partner country. Enhancing the target group’s communication skills and other abilities will help provide the group with necessary tools for integration. As part of the project, a two-day conference was held between 19 and 20 October, 2017. Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia met with the project’s participants from Malta, Belgium, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Greece and Belgium.
Dr Farrugia thanked MEUSAC for its sterling work in supporting NGOs, government entities and local councils in the EU funding application process and providing the organisations with the ideal funding stream to sustain the projects they would want to implement. The NGOs discussed with Dr Farrugia the nature of their work in their country of origin, which mainly involves supporting persons with a disability and persons diagnosed with Autism. During the meeting, an NGO representative from Northern Ireland lamented the fact that there was a need for more funds in this area as 1 in 40 children were being diagnosed with autism in her home country.
Dr Massimo Ellul, a representative of the local NGO, said that Malta was the only country in the EU where the national disability organisation works on a voluntary basis, which, he said, made things harder for the NGO to cope with all the activities that take place to help better the lives of persons with a disability. Dr Ellul thanked MEUSAC for supporting the organisation in the application process and said that it was also thanks to the government agency that such projects can be implemented.