(Română) Festivalul cultural Miraje 2017

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(Română) Vizită nemți

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Projec closing conference

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BUILDING BRIDGES BY WORKING TOGETHER

“For us, the need for a project like this is obvious. Blind children who are placed in special educational institutions are separated from other children – They need to have the opportunity to interact with their sighted peers.” 30.8.2016 Florentin Rădulescu from the PONTES Association is one of persons behind the project ‘Passport of success for children and youth with visual impairments’ in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Blind people and individuals with limited sight in Cluj County are at a significant risk of social exclusion. Today, less than 1% of them participate in the formal economy. Through the project, Florentin and his colleagues aim to break social isolation at an early stage by connecting visually impaired children with their sighted peers while giving them the opportunity to learn valuable skills. Working together The project includes after school workshops where children work together with sighted volunteers. The workshops focus on different themes. Some target vocational counselling, while others focus on teaching the children skills that will help them in their daily life. Among those is a cooking class where they prepare their own dinner. Learning basic everyday skills such as how to make food can do a lot for the children’s confidence and independence. The project reaches 100 visually impaired children and around 200 sighted individuals. Many of the sighted persons volunteer their free time to join the after-school workshops. Among those is Veronica, a 26 years old who participates in a creative workshop where the children use play dough to learn about shapes. She initially found out about the project through friends who also participate as volunteers: “I decided to volunteer because I enjoy doing creative activities and I think it’s very fulfilling to be able to help others.” Connecting people Florentin notes that in addition to learning new things, simply participating in the project can be a great experience for the children.  As such it is an important step in breaking social isolation: “Instead of spending their weekends staying home and getting bored, they get out and meet other people – they’re very happy to get in contact with their peers.” Florentin Rădulescu is one of the people behind the ‘Passport of success’ project. Photo: Christophe Vander Eecken He furthermore emphasises that the project is...

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(Română) Comunicat de presă

The project “Passport to success for children and youth with visual impairments” is seeking to reduce the inequity and social exclusion of children and youth with visual impairments through the participatory involvement of local public and private social actors in a medium and long term sustainable network in the community. The project is funded with financial support of RO10 – CORAI Program, a program funded by SEE 2009-2014 Grants and managed by Romanian Social Development Fund. The total value of the project is of 1.117.802,33 lei, out of which 1.004.691,33 lei represent the grants and 113.111,00 lei represent the private contribution. The project is implemented over 18 months, from 07.05.2015 to 31.10.2016 in Cluj county by the Pontes Association, the Directorate of Social and Medical Assistance Cluj-Napoca and A.S.C.O.R Cluj (Association of Romanian Orthodox Students Cluj). The project aims: 1. To develop a network of specialists that will offer assistance both to public institutions and to children and youth with visual impairments in order to identify and solve the problems they face. 2. To launch an information and awareness campaign on the problems faced by visually impaired (called Listen to the Unseen City), that involves the organization of various sensitization sessions for public institutions, students and employers. The public institutions representatives were informed about the competences visually impaired have and the needs they have when dealing with public institutions. Students, employers and employees experienced the situations visually impaired live every day. The sensitization activities included activities where children and youth with and without visual impairments participated (such as walking blindfolded using a white cane and dinners in the dark). Also, children and youth with visual impairments were involved in other activities such as trips and creative workshops. There were organized meeting with potential employers and an international seminar where experts from Belgium participated, they accepted to offers solutions to improve the environmental accessibility. 3. To involve 115 children and youth with visual impairment in activities such as psychological counselling, vocational counselling, recreational activities, social activities and activities that are meant to develop their independent living abilities in order to reduce the inequity and social exclusion. For more information about this project, please contact us by e-mail at the address office@pontes.ro or by phone at:...

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Listen to the Unseen City campaign

“How is it not to see? asked me a child of about 5 years old, some while ago. I said, close your eyes and try to go around the room. After several changes of direction, the child entered a furniture. Well, how is it? I asked. It’s great, but I just do not know where I’m going. ” The “Passport to success for children and youth with visual impairments”, initiated by Pontes Association in partnership with ASCOR Cluj, and DASM Cluj- Napoca, aims to answer questions, but also to help the visually impaired in their direct relation with public authorities through the campaign, “Listen to the Unseen City”. March contains a number of social visibility events, the first international seminar on social inclusion of disabled persons, predominantly those of view, where there were invited international experts. Experts from Belgium, presented the situation at the country level, suggesting ways to implement solutions, in Cluj- Napoca or Romania. It is extremely important to create a working group at City Hall, together with NGOs involved parties to agree the possibilities and how to operate with them. The campaign organized an awareness session at the Casino in Central Park, where a number of 50 students, they were asked to accept the challenge of blind condition, orienting itself using the white cane. Dinner in the dark, have you ever put the problem to eat without seeing? The ‘Listen to the UnSeen City “campaign answered this question at least for a number of about 200 people. And not only that, if for the seers is an unusual experience, then it should be noted that the waiters are blind and yet they covered the whole dining. At the end of the activity, the reaction is unanimous, we want more! The “Passport to Success for children and youth with visual impairments,” sends a message to other social groups, in various awareness sessions were presented technologies necessary for the blinds, being discussed evidently their skills. We learned to be or massage therapists or teachers in specialized schools or until the 90 employees of workshops padding. Although shy, professional areas evolved so that blind persons can be programmers, radio dj, call center operators. Through this project, we answer questions about relationship, providing so-called “relational...

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An extra step into the “Unseen City”

Wednesday, March 9, from 18:00, inside the Casino – Urban Culture Center in Cluj-Napoca, dozens of students took part in a session of information and awareness on visual impairment carried out under the campaign “Listen to the UnSeen City”.   Guests received a practical guide called “Small Steps for a big help,” which exemplifies situations where blind people can be helped in streets, trolley passers-by those who see the light of day. Also, Florin Radulescu, one of the organizers, who is blind, invited the guests to participate in interactive demonstrations with devices adapted, being able to find useful information about the deficiency of view and understand the needs of people with this disability. Guests who had the courage to experience for a few minutes, the world of this deficiency have been covered eyes and were offered walking sticks and they, along with a companion, also from the public, walked around to acknowledge the difficulty of visual impairment. “When I was a teenager, I walked without a cane. It was hard to accept this deficiency, but with time … I used to. A big problem is the lack of the city traffic lights with audible warning. They are a real danger. It happened twice to be injured on the crosswalk, “said Florin Radulescu. Florin added that it happened in Cluj in a trolley to be asked by a driver why doesn’t he stay at home because he is a danger for the drivers. The driver told him that because Florin was unahppy in terms of information on the following bus stops. Among the organizers are Ana Căşvean, Florin Radulescu, Dan Lionte- malus Oana Şchiopu, Georgiana Avram and Alina Paul volunteer. The event is organized under the project “Passport to success for children and youth with visual impairments” is initiated by Pontes Association in partnership with the Department of Social and Medical Assistance Cluj-Napoca and the Association of Romanian Christian Orthodox Students in Cluj-Napoca, funded with financial support of RO10 – CORAI program, a program financed by the EEA Grants 2009-2014 and managed by the Romanian Social Development Fund. The project aims to reduce inequalities and social exclusion of children and young people with disabilities (the visually...

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(Română) Comunicat post-eveniment Seminar Internaţional

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(Română) COMUNICAT SEMINAR INTERNAŢIONAL

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Pontes creates love bridges between hearts on Valentine’s Day!

Pontes Association, an NGO created by a group of young visually impaired people from Cluj-Napoca organizes today, February 14th, 2016, a special dinner in the dark, celebrating love. This event will take place at Cluj Arena and is expecting around 60 guests. The hosts of the event will be 15 young people, some of them being visually impaired and others dealing with weak sight. They will greet the guests at the official reception of Cluj Arena and then, after all introductions having been made, they will lead the guests, in complete darkness, to the room where dinner will be served. We are organizing this event especially for our fellow people aiming to help them achieve a better understanding of what it means to not have any sight at all, to learn how they can really help us if needed, but also to give them the opportunity to fully enjoy the existence of their sight and to be more content with themselves. We would like each of you to live the feeling of accomplishment given by what you are and by your life experience, in spite of all the drawbacks of life. The richness of all perceptions of all senses turn us into true labs in which life takes place every second and daily concerns often steal from us the opportunity to contemplate the miracle which we witness. Today’s event is part of a broader campaign of awareness on visual impairment carried out within the project “PASSPORT FOR SUCCESS FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED CHILDREN AND YOUTH” funded with financial support of the RO10 – CORAI Program, funded by the EEA Grants 2009-2014 and managed by the Romanian Social Development...

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