Here you can find information about project YALTA
This exotic-sounding title is not only a destination recognized by tourists, but also the name of an international project funded by the Erasmus+ Program, which the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union launched in September 2015. Its ambition is to primarily motivate blind and partially sighted young people to their own activity and civic engagement while, at the same time, to begin their systematic support.
In addition to the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union (ÚNSS), the project has also been joined by the Slovenian Association of Disabled Students (DSIS) and the Platform of Volunteer Centres and Organizations (PDCO). All the three organizations have certain know-how, namely in the field of the specifics of supporting the blind and partially sighted (ÚNSS), the work with mixed youth groups (DSIS), and the coordination and management of volunteers (PDCO).
In our conditions, young people with visual impairment are mostly clustered in schools for the blind and partially sighted. Today, however, several of them are also integrated within their schools, and stay in their regions. Although school is an excellent opportunity for the formation of new friendships and gaining experience, after leaving it, young visually-impaired people have often reduced opportunities to get actively involved in a variety of informal activities.
To prevent the isolation and pasivity of blind and partially sighted youngsters, through a cycle of educational activities within the YALTA project, we attempted to familiarize selected young people with visual impairment as well as without it with various topical issues – E.G. project management, leadership skills, working with peer groups. On the other hand, we also focused on social workers of the UNSS, who frequently come into contact with a young blind or partially sighted person, also for example through the provision of social services. Social workers of UNSS were thus acquiring methods of youth work focused on mixed groups, mentoring skills and knowledge in the field of coordinating volunteers.
We expect that even after the completion of the project, high-quality support of inclusive youth groups will continue, not only by the workers of the involved project partners, but also by any youth worker.