The main issues that IM and partners address in the region of Eastern Europe are the weak capacity of the civil society and excluded groups who cannot effectively demand access to their rights.
At the root of this lies the weak accountability of the state towards people. This creates a cycle of poverty and exclusion. Thus, in all the region, democratic deficiencies are closely linked to the widespread prevalence of social exclusion. IM aims to tackle both angles.
In Eastern Europe IM works with partners in Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. The countries share many of the same problems regarding weak democracy and exclusion of vulnerable groups. Therefore, IM runs an integrated program for the three countries, sharing the same objectives and activities.
These are the main objectives for the region:
- Social inclusion of persons with disabilities, which is one of the most disadvantaged groups in all countries of the region;
- Economic empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities and vulnerable youth with a weak economic status and poor level of political influence.
- Building the capacities and skills of partner organizations in order to strengthen their role as drivers of change – be it at local, regional or national level.
- Contributing to putting in place the necessary space and conditions for the partners to play their roles in the processes of societal change. As part of this, IM will enable a joint platform connecting all partners in the region promoting a positive collaborative culture and introducing innovative facilitation methods and using best expertise in this area.
The first two objectives are closely inter-connected and can be characterised by a common “Community for All” approach.
This means that it is not possible to enable a person with disability to get a job and an income without having in place at least some basic social inclusion in the community – this starts with support by the family members, building and re-designing accessible infrastructure and ensuring a supportive environment at work.
It means that IM wants to contribute to united communities where all members feel and act equal, and it is done in the spirit of the UN Convention for the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities. Also, the aspect of sustainability in the community development is very important.