Disabled Persons Center for care, education and recreation in Didim - Turkey
According to DIYED (Association for the disabled in Didim and its surroundings) observations and experience there are about 2.000 disabled persons living in Didim. Only 580 of them, mostly the poorest, are registered by the disabled organization, which is trying to serve them with its limited capacity. Through the lack of knowledge and skills of their families, the disabled do not get the appropriate help they need. The children do not go to school and hardly leave their homes. The grown-up disabled are mostly unable to work and cannot provide for their families, they face discrimination, and are kept at home. Somehow, families even do not tell that they have disabled children.
DIYED, a non-profit organization, which was founded in 2006 is working actively and got a good reputation in Didim and its surroundings. Lately, it was rewarded with the title of 'Best Non-Government Organization (NGO) in the field of work with disabled' in Turkey.
Didim Rotary Club is supporting and cooperating with DIYED since its beginning, donating crutches, wheelchairs and organizing charity events for them. We noticed that there is a big social need to bring the disabled and also their families out of their homes and get them involved with the community. So, an idea came up to create a recreation center, where the disabled and their families could come out of their houses and take part in public life. This center will allow them to socialize with other people and even participate in sports activities. Parents can come to the center for support and education about the government benefits and available provisions in the district. Furthermore, in this recreation center there can also be a care facility for the disabled, where the families could leave in daytime their disabled family members in case they are ill or unavailable in any case.
To make this idea a reality, Didim Rotary Club has already performed ground work with Didim Municipality in their to support of this project and has requested an unused land for the use of this project. As a result, Didim Municipality has provided 2.500m2 land (valued around 1,250,000 USD) with 2 old unused buildings in the city center. These two buildings have total size of 435m2 closed space but are in bad physical condition. These buildings enable us to create not only a park, but also a service center.
A cooperation contract signed between Didim Rotary Club and Didim Municipality and DIYED states the duties of each organization, which are as follows:
Didim RC will design the whole project (park, playground and buildings) and renovate the two buildings as they need a big remodeling. Both buildings will be designed as special education and day-care center comprising of two classrooms for education and training, a day-care room, office / staff-room and bathroom facilities. Didim RC will provide all the interior fittings and equipment.
Furthermore, Didim RC will provide the playground items/equipment as we are especially interested in the educational benefits for the disabled children.
Didim Municipality will provide in kind donation to renovate the park with landscaping and new illuminations (valued around 75,000 USD ). It will be responsible for the structural work of the buildings. Furthermore, the Municipality will provide sustainability after completion of the project. It will continue to cover the costs for one driver of the DIYED owned transportation bus, it will also provide costs for two DIYED staff members necessary for the administration of the center. Furthermore, it will be responsible for the operational maintenance costs of this center.
DIYED (Association for the disabled in Didim and its surroundings) After the center has been renovated and opened for service, DIYED will fulfill the daily administration, prepare and implement the education programs, and also will reach out to disabled persons who have not been registered in their database who can benefit from this center. The center will provide educational courses to the families on physical therapy, motor skills, communication methods and socialization awareness for the disabled.
To provide the necessary qualified personnel needs of the center and City of Didim, DIYED will provide vocational training certificate courses to day care workers in cooperation with İŞKUR (Ministry of Labor and Safety department). The graduates of these programs can be employed in the center for day-care or in the homes of the disabled.
There will also be a little café in one of these buildings. The café will be operated and staffed by DIYED with its own disabled people, thereby increasing the social awareness and exposure of the disabled. It will also generate income to help sustain the costs of the center.