NGO “Bridge of Hope” is guided by the principles of the social model of disability. We focus on removing the disability barriers and trust in the full abilities and potentials of children with disabilities and their families. NGO “Bridge of Hope” was established in December of 1996 to help children and youth with disabilities and their parents to overcome their isolation and to help them participate in community life on an equal basis with others.
Our mission is to protect the rights and dignity of children and youth with disabilities and their families and support their social inclusion in the Republic of Armenia.
Social inclusion is promoted through advocating for access to basic education, community-based services, and equal opportunities.
The main directions of our activities are:
- Promoting access to education
- Providing community-based services of a high quality
- Advocacy, lobbying and awareness raising.
Ever since its establishment NGO “Bridge of Hope” has implemented over 70 projects. Our programs have resulted in changes in policies, practices, ideas and beliefs in Armenia towards protection of rights of children with disabilities and their inclusion. Our activities are directed to secure the fundamental right of children with disabilities to “…. enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community” (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 23).
We believe that the greatest resource for helping children with disabilities is the immediate family and the community around the household. That is why we give special importance to support children with disabilities in an inclusive environment together with their peers. This means not only allowing children with disabilities to be in close proximity to their typically developing peers, but also maximizing their role in the society.
Our priorities are:
- Promote the introduction and reinforcement of a general inclusive education system at all levels of education (pre-school, secondary school, pre- and middle vocational, higher education).
- Promote the active participation of parents in the education process of their child by strengthening communication and cooperation between the school-parent-pedagogical psychological team.
- Promote the active involvement of people with disabilities and their families in the protection of their rights.
- Raise public awareness on issues related to people with disabilities from the standpoint of the social model and gender equality.
- Promote the accessibility of the environment (public places, services, transportation, etc.) for people with disabilities.