Developing a pilot advocacy service in Belarus to protect the rights of children with severe disabilities and children with life-limiting conditions

In 2016 PLB ‘Belarusian Children’s Hospice’, in cooperation with the private and public law body ‘HealthProm’, started to work on the implementation of the action entitled ‘Developing a pilot advocacy service in Belarus to protect the rights of children with severe disabilities and children with life-limiting conditions’. This action is being implemented and is funded by the EU.

Action coverage: Minsk, Mogilev and Gomel regions.

Action duration: 3 years.
The overall objective of the action is to protect and promote the rights of children with severe and complex disabilities and with life-limiting conditions and their families in Belarus in accordance with principles of the UNCRC and UNCRPD.
The specific objectives:
Increased capacity of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice to protect the rights of children with severe and complex disabilities and with life-limiting conditions and their families at local, regional and national levels;
Developing and piloting a new model of community-based advocacy service for children with severe and complex disabilities and with life-limiting conditions providing vulnerable families in regions with access to advocacy, legal advice and support services;
Raising awareness of the rights and needs of children with severe and complex disabilities and with life-limiting conditions and their families.
Target groups:
Families raising children with life-limiting conditions and with severe and complex disabilities.
Health and social care, educational facilities rendering services in Minsk, Mogilev and Gomel regions.
Health and social care professionals, students, about 800 persons.
Civil society organizations, human rights defenders, community members, working in the area of rights support children with disabilities. 
Community, about 10.000 persons.
Action’s activities:
Provision of legal advice and support to families of children with severe and complex disabilities and with life-limiting conditions, raising awareness and training on advocacy for specialists, volunteers, parents and etc. Organizing a study visit for the Belarusian Children’s Hospice staff to the UK. Developing methodologies and training materials on palliative care. Sub-granting schemes for regional CSOs. Online services for parents. Round tables, professional information days, press conferences, public awareness raising campaigns. Production of the relevant publications.

Strengthening the Capacity of Charities among Community and Businesses

From April 2016 till January 2017 the Belarusian Children’s Hospice implemented the action ‘Strengthening the Capacity of Charities among Community and Businesses’ funded by the Eurasia Foundation. 

Action duration: 10 months
Overall objective. Capacity-building of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice to improve the quality of palliative care services to families raising children with disabilities and strengthening the capacity of charities within the community and among businesses
Specific objectives. Raise awareness of community and businesses to strengthen the capacity of charities, to motivate community and businesses to provide charitable support to families raising children with disabilities. Attract former student volunteers, business people and other like-minded people who share ideas, objectives and values of palliative care to the action implementation.
Action’s activities
Doors Open Days at the Belarusian Children’s Hospice for community and businesses. The objective of such events is to disseminate information on the activities of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice, as well as highlighting charities in general . In 2016 the Open Days took place as follows: September 17 with the Legends of world biathlon, October 7 – ahead of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, December 7 – Pre-Christmas meetings.
Within the frames of the action, the video ‘The Value of Time in Life’ was produced. Information materials and leaflets on the activities, new ideas and perspectives of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice were developed and published. All these materials were distributed at different events and meetings.
The Annual report on the Belarusian Children’s Hospice activities was developed and published. Moreover, the action included the development and implementation of the community ‘The Friends of the Hospice’ to provide more opportunities for people who take an interest in rendering quality palliative care to families raising children with disabilities, to coordinate their work and increase the efficiency of palliative care to families raising children with disabilities. There was also a round table with representatives from businesses, the local community, media and governmental bodies.

Winners of the contest of local initiatives

In April the Belarusian Children’s Hospice announced a contest of local initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the rights of children with severe and complex disabilities and their families. It was held thanks to the implementation of the action ‘Developing a pilot advocacy service in Belarus to protect the rights of children with severe disabilities and children with life-limiting conditions’ funded by the EC.

Here are the winners – the charitable organisation Centre for social services to different population categories and the cultural and information institutionSocial film studio’.
Thanks to all participants who showed interest in the contest. Together we can achieve more!