On July 27th RCT renewed Contract for financing Kostajnica Community Centre for persons with disabilities with Sisak-Moslavina County, City of Hrvatska Kostajnica and municipalities Dvor, Majur, Hrvatska Dubica and Donji Kukuruzari.
This program started in 2014 with ESF financing which lasted until the end of 2015. As in 2016 there were no available funds from EU instruments and financing of civil society organizations ant their programs from state and other financing instruments was reduced, Kostajnica Community Centre’s work was financed with RCTs own means. In 2017 local community stepped in, through initiative from the local communities that reached the County level. This year the Contract is signed again in the facilities, owned by City of Hrvatska Kostajnica, that were used for Kostajnica Community Centre activities since the beginning.
Around 20 persons with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities participate continuously in Kostajnica Community Centre’s activities. They are all from local communities in Hrvatsko Pounje, which is large, rural and dispersed. Participants come to the Centre twice a week; local Voluntary Fire Departments from Hrvatska Kostajnica and Hrvatska Dubica as well as Majur and Donji Kukuruzari Municipalities help with organizing transportation of participants, as public transport is not available.
In following two years RCT will carry out the project Academic Service learning in organizing inclusive communities with Study Centre for Social Work of the Zagreb Law Faculty as a partner. In this project, social work students will take part in academic service learning in Kostajnica Community Centre and in local communities with mentoring support of RCT employees and their professors.
For RCT, continuous work of Kostajnica Community Centre is a matter of human rights of persons with disabilities: their right to live in their communities, to choose where and how they will live and in what kind of activities they will take part. Our vision for Kostajnica Community Centre is not only the centre for persons with disability but for it to become multifunctional centre in the community where various beneficiaries take part together with persons with disabilities. That is how the Community Centre will contribute to recognition and inclusion of persons with disabilities as equal and contributing members of the community. That is why the local financing is of such importance as it not only secures the financial sustainability of the Centre but demonstrates awareness and willingness of local stakeholders to fully include persons with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities.