The Government supports the initiatives of non-governmental organisations helping handicapped people and their families. Those organisations are eligible to submit applications in response to the call for proposals with an allocation worth almost HUF 171.5 million in total to be closed on Wednesday which seek to launch local, regional or national programmes to combat isolation, Károly Czibere told the press.

The Minister of State for Social Affairs and Social Inclusion of the Ministry of Human Capacities said at his press conference held on Monday in Budapest: their goal is to enable civil society partners seeking to extend a helping hand to develop their services designed to encourage social inclusion and to improve the quality of life, or to launch new services.

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He stressed: the Government does not leave families raising children with disabilities or looking after handicapped or disabled relatives on their own in their daily struggles and does not let them be isolated, but provides every assistance for them, and this is why it also supports the services provided by NGOs.

In a cohesive society, we cannot allow that looking after a handicapped family member should become a straight path to impoverishment, he said.

He told the press: with the call for proposals launched every year, the Government seeks to help and encourage partners in civil society which have been operational for a long time, are embedded in their respective local communities, have gathered extensive professional experience and are thoroughly acquainted with the needs of handicapped people. In his view, we need services of a type which „the national system of care services is unable to provide”.

The Minister of State mentioned among „best practices” parent assisting groups, legal consulting services, and the programme of the Salve Vita Foundation entitled „A job for you, a dream for me” which seeks to find jobs for handicapped people and persons with altered working capacity.

Katalin Vég, Managing Director of the Foundation, one of the winners of the former call for proposals highlighted that the most important objective is not to allow people with disabilities to become isolated. By her account, as part of their programme, 270 applicants were able to try „their dream jobs”, mostly in work places where people with disabilities were not previously employed.

She pointed out that, during the course of the programme, both handicapped workers and employers were able to obtain a first-hand experience of reality, and to acquaint themselves with the available opportunities. Meeting in person is the most effective method to disperse fears, she said.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)