This was the second exhibition at which I was present organized by Prkutyun NGO. Now I’m very happy to let you know that they have set up their own site and the whole information about this center you can find there in detailed.
After finishing auxiliary schools, children or young people with mental disabilities do not have a relevant environment where they could freely communicate with their coevals and even the society. Such children or adults do not have an opportunity of free communication; that is why many of them stay at home. As a result, their psychological complex deepens, and they find themselves in the streets, becoming beggars or tramps. Very often coevals of children or young people with disabilities encourage them to commit different crimes benefiting from their legal irresponsibility.
Because of this very reason "Prkutyun" Center of
Disabled Children NGO established the Diurnal Center of Life Organization (DCLO) for mentally retarded children and young people for organization of daylight life. This happened in 1999 thanks to Shengavit municipality which granted a 700 sq. meter territory for it. It is attended annually by 24-26 children and young people who graduated from the auxiliary school and have not found yet their daily occupation. The center’s activities create such conditions where mentally retarded children are not ignored in the educational sphere, where they can learn and put into practice everyday life skills. Besides, the Center makes parents confident that their children are paid attention to, understood, loved and respected, that is, a child is in a friendly environment, and not alienated.
I’ve known this center for several years and with the youth NGO Servce For Peace, where I’m a volunteer and responsible, I participated in several seminars and workshops held to show the mentally retarded children’s role in society. What I particularly want to mention is the meticulous care and devotion with which the pedagogies, defectologists, psychologist and the President of the NGO Arpine Abrahamyan treat these children. Another thing worth mentioning is that Since November 1, 2005 a charitable dentist’s room has been functioning in the “Prkutyun” Center of
Disabled Children and rendering service to disabled children and their families who are registered at the Center, as well as to members of families – beneficiaries of poverty allowance system of Shengavit district. Twice a year the NGO organizes charitable concerts with participation of well-known performers. Some of these children also become the participants of those concerts and the enthusiasm with which they perform their play prevails over the audience. This is another event for them as the most part of those families are deprived from such undertakings because of enduring social problems.
Here I must note that the Diurnal Center of Life Organization is not funded by the Government and functions only on short-term grants. The organization has actively cooperated with local and international organizations to implement the above mentioned projects. The President Arpine Abrahamyan hopes that in the near future it will be possible to find concerned organizations, individual benefactors to cooperate with which will further to extend organization's achievements and will let them promote the enlargement of their activities. The current problem still remains the payment for the stuff and for charges for electric heating. Per month the pedagogies receive only 5000 AMD (about 11 USD) which is hardly enough for transportation. Now the unlimited devotion of those people can only be imagined. It's obvious that there's is still much work to do with children. That's why, at present further new projects and problems are being worked out for the forthcoming years which will ease children's problems and warm their childish souls.
But what I would like more to talk about is today's event. The exhibition was organized by the Youth branch of Armenian
Church and the most expected guest was its leader Navasard Srbazan Kchoyan. He was the first to welcome the guests and children. Some of the baby clothes which people would buy would go to Zeytun nursing-boarding house. As mentioned the president in her speech “These exhibitions come to prove to our children that they are worthy members of our society, that children with disabilities can help those who are without parents. Vulnerable groups help each other”. This was followed by children’s singing, reciting and performance. As the defectologists mention it is very difficult for those children to cope with it and most of them even refuse to utter a word at the presence of other people. Children are taught drawing, macramé, knitting, embroidery, rice-making, pottery in the Center’s classes of different crafts. Their works do not differ from other non-retarded children's works who incidentally also attend this center. You must see the happiness in their eyes whenever someone wants to buy their handworks. The same emotions are with their parents as they see their children totally integrated in society and being noticed and appreciated. Children’s parents receive half of the income. The rest of the earnings is spent on materials, necessary for the further creative activity of the children.
The center has its psychologist who deals with children’s everyday problems and tries to help and understand them by all means.
After the exhibition they celebrated it with music and dancing. It is such an incredible feeling to see them joyous and al shining with smile.
The exhibition will last more two days. So if I somehow rose your interest, you have time to go there by yourself as we say “It’s better to see once then to listen hundred times”. Don’t hold back and have your invest in this humanitarian event.
If anyone wants to contact the center for more information or would like to assist in its sponsorship this is their web site: http://www.prkutyun.am/index.htm