Disabled people in Macedonia

Special Institution Demir Kapija

In 2017, the Loza Foundation started a project at the Special Institution in Demir Kapija, Macedonia. At the institution, 250 children and adults with different disabilities live under very difficult conditions and under the prevailing circumstances that they are not given their human rights.

In autumn of 2018, the Loza Foundation started a collaboration with the UN Development Program, UNDP, in Macedonia, in which the UN has placed a team at the Department of Demir Kapija. The Loza Foundation provide the institution with clothes, shoes and training materials as well as a rehabilitation facility with four sections. Our common goal is to rehabilitate the residents back to a human behavior and integrate them into society. We hope that within 2-3 years people will be able to move out of the institution into smaller group homes where they can live with dignity. As a part of this mission, in June 2018, 11 children were moved out to smaller, more homelike, group homes.

The project in Demir Kapija is a long-term project where the Loza Foundation wants to inspire the Swedish model of caring for children and adults with disabilities. The needs of the institution in Demir Kapija are enormous. Since 1991, when Macedonia became independent, the situation at the Special Institution has deteriorated. Today it is in a position that is completely unsustainable. There is no medical equipment available and acute sanitary needs such as functioning bathrooms, toilets and hot water. There is also a great need for functioning sewage, lighting and access to heat in the winter.

The Loza Foundation works to ensure that people with disabilities are included in society just like everyone else. Our goal is to make sure that people with special needs, in addition to the basic needs as food, health and hygiene, should have the right to a safe place to call home with the possibility to keep their personal belongings there and to gain access to what is needed to develop as a human being. Our ambition is that the people living at the Special Institution Demir Kapija should be able to move out of the institution to a modern form of group housing where they can live in a more natural environment, and grow as human beings. We want to make sure that these people feel secure in an environment where they can have their own clothes and shoes and that each individual should get the help they need to function and develop.

We believe that everyone has the right to a secure and dignified life.

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