For almost three years, Loza Foundation has been part of an EU project called TIMOR, where the purpose is to develop group homes for disabled people in North Macedonia so they can move out of the antiquated institutions where they have been living. Through this EU project, Loza Foundation came into contact with a local driving force focusing on social enterprising, Daliborka Zlateva, who is starting several, privately managed group homes in 2022.
“In 2022, Loza Foundation supports EU project TIMOR with a sum of 200,000 SEK, and through this donation, we are also supporting Daliborka’s hard work establishing and running these privately managed group homes. In practice, this means that more disabled people can get out of the institutions, and new employment opportunities are created, contributing to a more inclusive society. Furthermore, with local enthusiasts like Daliborka, more group homes can become a reality in the geographic locations where they are most needed, even after Project TIMOR is finished”, says Sabina Grubbeson, Secretary-General, Loza Foundation.
In the autumn of 2021, it became apparent that the state would not manage all the group homes needed to house the disabled people of North Macedonia, who needed to move out of the outdated institutions. So, through the TIMOR project, a national campaign was launched with the aim of offering parties from the private sector to run group homes.
“The state of North Macedonia will continue to pay for part of the costs associated with each resident, e.g. pay the rent for the properties, but private initiatives and parties are needed to develop, run and manage the group homes”, Sabina Grubbeson explains.
Daliborka Zlateva has run an association for people with cerebral palsy for many years, and the purpose is to “create a world without any obstacles, but with the same opportunities for everyone”. Over the last ten years, they have created job opportunities for the disabled and offered temporary relief for the parents.
“The team working on the TIMOR project came into contact with Daliborka when they were searching for potential business partners in the private sector. Daliborka is full of energy. She is humble and empathic, while she also has extensive experience in running social enterprises in North Macedonia. I am so happy for all the people who have already moved and will be able to move to the group homes Daliborka are building. Her warm, open-hearted commitment makes the people around her feel safe, and for anyone that has lived under the appalling conditions of the institutions, the feeling of being safe in the group home is certainly restorative”, says Sabina Grubbeson.
Furthermore, the Association for People with Cerebral Palsy that Daliborka founded manages therapy and activity centres for disabled people. It also has access to land where medicinal herbs such as lavender and marigold are cultivated. The herbs are pressed, distilled and sold as essential oils. The business is partly funded by GEF SGP (Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme), and the revenue from their operations is used to develop the group homes further and create new ones.
“Everyone has the right to a residence where they are met with respect and care. For the disabled people living in an institution, such as the Demir Kapija institution that Loza has done reports on before, Daliborka’s hard work and commitment mean a lot. More disabled people will soon gain access to a calm, dignified and safe environment that will feel like a proper home. Many of the people living in these institutions today have never had any personal belongings or clothes of their own. And even if the transition phase may be frightening when you have never experienced a life outside of the institution’s wall, the long-term result will be an enormous improvement”, says Sabina Grubbeson.
In 2022, Daliborka has already started one group home, another facility will open in mid-June, and two more will be finished before year end. All in all, 20 people with varying degrees of disability will be able to move into the group homes Daliborka will create this year.
“It is amazing that we, through the TIMOR project, have been able to enter into such a rewarding partnership with Loza Foundation. Our organisations and operations complement each other perfectly, and thanks to our partnership, we will be able to offer even more disabled people a dignified residence. We will also provide relief for parents who are caring for their disabled children at home”, says Daliborka Zlateva, chairman of The Association of People with Cerebral Palsy.
Loza Foundation supports the EU-funded TIMOR project with an annual sum of 200,000 SEK in 2020, 2021, and 2022. This aid is, for example, used to develop the group homes for disabled people and to educate the personal assistants who will work at these group homes. Project TIMOR – Together for Introduction of More Opportunities and Respect – is implemented by CeProSard “Center for Promotion of Sustainable Agricultural Practices and Rural Development” in North Macedonia in partnership with:
- Loza Foundation
- Association for special needs teachers and rehabilitation therapists in North Macedonia
- Special Institution in Demir Kapija
- Demir Kapija town council
The project is financed by the European Union
Loza Foundation will continue to support Daliborka’s work and privately managed group homes even after the three-year EU project finishes in December 2022.
Right now, Daliborka needs a minibus to enable the disabled residents of the group homes to get around, make doctor appointments or go shopping, but also to visit new places and make new friends that will help enrich their new life in freedom outside the institutional walls. Loza Foundation is currently investigating the possibilities of being able to donate such a minibus.
Would you like to support the work of Loza Foundation and contribute to Daliborka’s group homes? Please send your donation to bank account 900-6248 or Swish 900 62 38 (only available in Sweden). Also, please state” Daliborka” in the comment section.
For further information, please contact:
Sabina Grubbeson, founder and secretary-general, +46 733 21 38 23, info@lozafoundation