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“Engaging persons with disabilities in decision-making processes”

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Insertion | Laws | Moldova | PUBLISHED ON January 8th 2024
Portrait of Valentina Toporet

© Motivatie

Valentina Toporet is a project manager at the Association „MOTIVATIE” from Moldova. She plans, organizes and oversees the coordinated project from start to finish and guarantees that the project is finalized to the contentment of all stakeholders, within the designated budget and timeline. Also, she is responsible for enhancing the organization's human resources by planning, implementing, and evaluating employee relations and human resources policies, programs, and practices.

In her work, she interacts with various stakeholders such as: donor representatives, representatives of central public institutions (The National Employment Agency (ANOFM), Territorial Social Assistance Directorates, district councils, NGO specialists. Valentina also frequently interacts with people with disabilities and community members.

The Association MOTIVATIE from Moldova is an independent and non-governmental organization, registered in 2002. The association provides supported employment services, expertise in the field of accessibility and disability, and monitors the rights of persons with disabilities. MOTIVATIE also provides humanitarian support and free and accessible transportation.

Valentina participated in numerous trainings and workshops organized by Humanity & Inclusion (HI). In order to strengthen her knowledge on inclusive humanitarian response and inclusive project cycle management. In October 2023, Valentina attended the training “How to collect and use disaggregated disability data using the Washington Group of Questions (WGQ)”. Later, she took part in the training “Inclusive Project Cycle Management (IPCM)” in early November 2023. At the end of November, Valentina attended another workshop on “Capacity building action planning workshop”. The training was delivered under the SYNERGIES consortium project*, “Strengthening social cohesion and resilience of Moldovan society to the challenges of hosting Ukrainian refugees” and targeted humanitarian actors including international NGOs, UN agencies, Red Cross and more importantly, representatives of local Civil Society Organizations (CSO) including Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPD).

Following the training organized by Humanity & Inclusion, Valentina highlights the following learnings: “1) Mainstreaming disability in humanitarian action requires expertise and good knowledge of disability, but most importantly awareness, understanding among donors and civil society organizations that people with disabilities, like all members of the community, have the capacity to participate in the response and have the same basic protection needs. Therefore, more advocacy is needed to promote disability. 2) Must Do Actions be necessary for persons with disabilities to be successfully included in all phases of humanitarian action, and this requires continuous training for all humanitarian actors.”

When asked what inclusive humanitarian action means, Valentina replied, “Inclusion in humanitarian response is very important to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities, who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian situations. MOTIVATIE is an organization that works with people with disabilities, so it is important for us to help improve the quality of humanitarian response and create a more equitable and respectful environment for people with disabilities.”

In relation to the importance of inclusion in humanitarian assistance, Valentina would like to promote the following messages: “All persons with disabilities should be treated with respect at all times, regardless of the context. In all circumstances, humanitarian actors, together with disability organizations and persons with disabilities, must identify and address factors that prevent persons with disabilities from accessing assistance and protection, as well as factors that promote their inclusion and protection. This is necessary both to ensure that every member of an affected population receives the services to which they are entitled and to strengthen the accountability of the response.”

MOTIVATIE is one of the organisations of persons with disabilities that has been using the Twin Track Approach prior to receiving training from Humanity & Inclusion however the Must Do Actions from the IASC Guidelines are new information shared by HI. For mainstream intervention, MOTIVATIE ensures that all the needs of people with disabilities are considered and that they are consulted in the activities and projects it carries out. This is one of the basic principles of the association as an organization for people with disabilities. We mention that all policies are inclusive. For targeted intervention: MOTIVATIE’s mission is to contribute to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities by addressing the specific needs of people with disabilities to empower them and improve their situation (e.g. MOTIVATIE has capacity building for people with disabilities through training on how to claim their right to access and accessibility, resulting in individual people claiming their right at local level).

After the training from HI, Valentina together with her organisation successfully implemented the 4 Must do Actions. To encourage meaningful participation, MOTIVATIE engages and consults with people with disabilities to ensure that the needs of all people with disabilities are met. For example: consultation event with disabled people on respecting the rights of disabled people. In terms of removal of barriers, MOTIVATIE ensures that its events are held in accessible locations and provides adapted transport where necessary. Finally, to have a clear view on the collection and use of disaggregated data, MOTIVATIE collects data on people with disabilities and uses it to plan its next activities.

After receiving training from HI, MOTIVATIE has used the information to successfully replicate and organize the same trainings targeting international humanitarian organizations staff and for social workers from three districts of Moldova.

* SYNERGIES consortium composed of Solidarités International (consortium lead), Humanity & Inclusion and Médecins du Monde. The SYNERGIES consortium is currently implementing the project entitled, “Strengthening social cohesion and resilience of Moldovan society to the challenges of hosting Ukrainian refugees” with the shorter project name, “Moldova Stability & Resilience Project (SRP).” The SRP Project is co-financed by the Agence Française de Développement and Fondation de France.

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Disclaimer
This document is supported by Agence Française de Développement. Nevertheless, the ideas and opinions presented do not necessarily represent those of AFD.

Project works
This project is co-financed by the Agence Française de Développement and Fondation de France.

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