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Modern Approaches to Social, Occupational Therapy for Retarded and Mentally Disabled. Intern-ship Programme for Therapists and Management Staff.

The organisation LifeLine, which is the project beneficiary, was established in April 2012 on the initiative of experienced therapists working with the intellectually disabled (with minor to moderate disabilities), ill (muscular atrophy, war victims) and extremely neglected persons (illiterate adults) who do not have access to support from their families. Commissioned by the Georgian Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the organisation runs a daytime centre for 30 wards referred by a social commission. The aim of these activities is to combat the isolation of disabled persons and their families as well as to enable the caregivers of these persons to take up employment.

The centre serves two meals a day and transports wards from the surrounding villages to their activities. It receives a subsidy from the Ministry under the terms of a commissioned task. However, these funds are insufficient for introducing modern therapy methods or improving the conditions within the centre (damaged floors covered with carpets, decades-old benches, outdoor toilets). The centre is faced with a shortage of funds as well as a lack of access to knowledge about modern therapies and tools for applying them.

Modern Approaches to Social, Occupational Therapy for Retarded and Mentally Disabled. Intern-ship Programme for Therapists and Management Staff.

The project addresses the need to support the newly created centre for intellectually disabled persons in the Kakheti region. Training was carried out for 16 therapists employed at the centre. In addition, six workshops were adapted and equipped for occupational therapy, including two completely new workshops: a room for music therapy and one for hortitherapy (gardening therapy). During their internship in Poland, selected project participants were able to learn about the ways to acquire funds for organisations of a similar profile as well as about new methods for conducting therapy with intellectually disabled people.