Institution for disabled is given extra support during the corona pandemic

The poorest, most vulnerable people in Europa have been hit hard by the current pandemic. Loza Foundation is dedicating extra resources to alleviate the consequences for the residents at the Demir Kapija Institution in North Macedonia. Not only within the framework of the ongoing EU project, but also with additional support activities.

“During the summer, we transferred some of the project resources to finance protective equipment, but the employees at this institution are overworked, exhausted and several are on sick leave. This has forced us to initiate parallel measures to assist them with support staff, reduce the workload and improve the quality of the health care”, says Sabina Grubbeson, founder of Loza Foundation. 

The corona pandemic has been utterly challenging for both the residents and the staff members at Special Institution in Demir Kapija. The TIMOR project funded by EU has an aim of moving the patients with disabilities to more humane community-based living conditions and this is still progressing according to plan, but additional efforts are needed.

”Several of the residents at Special Institution in Demir Kapija are at risk as they have underlying pulmonary diseases and this, in turn, requires new ways of working during the pandemic. The staff members have also got very challenging working conditions, and some have even been signed off sick due to their underlying illnesses.”

The additional support staff that are being recruited are absolutely necessary in order to give the existing personnel some much-needed relief and at the same time, increase the overall quality of the health care provided at Demir Kapija. Loza Foundation has therefore decided to fund three support staff for three months.

“Donating on a monthly basis to Loza Foundation or even a single, one-off gift will help the residents of this institution a great deal and will also help EU-project TIMOR to proceed as planned.”

Read more: EU grant to Loza Foundation – Demir Kapija-residents can finally move out from the institution

Loza Foundation is working for the most vulnerable people in the poorest countries; the hidden, forgotten areas and citizens of Europe. Thanks to kind donations from private individuals as well as companies, Loza can carry out concrete, hands-on projects in the field, where it is most needed.



A brief outline of TIMOR, a project funded by the EU

TIMOR stands for Together for Introduction of More Opportunities and Respect and is supposed to run for a period of three years. Its purpose is to move people with disabilities to more humane conditions in community-based group residences, educate personal health-care assistants and use information about people with disabilities to increase general awareness in society, which will help to prevent prejudice and opposition.


EU grant to Loza Foundation – Demir Kapija-residents can finally move out from the institution

They have had to endure horrendous living conditions and deprivation for most of their lifetime, but thanks to an EU project, the residents of institution Demir Kapija in North Macedonia can finally move out.

“This is amazing news. No human being should be forced to live like that”, says Sabina Grubbeson Secretary-General of Loza Foundation, which has been jointly awarded an EU grant with two other organisations to assist and contribute during this development process.

Ever since the start in 2017, Loza Foundation has been committed to helping the most vulnerable people in the poorest regions of Europe. One project that has been given lots of focus and attention is all about improving the inhumane living conditions for the disabled people at the Demir Kapija institution in North Macedonia. Now, at long last, times are changing. In December 2019, EU Commission authorised the project with the goal of emptying the institution over the next three years and all the residents will be moved into smaller group residences instead.

“The approval of this project shows that the work we do through Loza Foundation really does make a difference. It means so much for the progress of human rights and future developments for the situation of people with disabilities in North Macedonia. We obviously hope this will inspire and spur bordering countries on to follow suit.”

Read more: The Demir Kapija institution in North Macedonia is being refurbished 

The EU project began in January 2020, when Loza Foundation was jointly awarded an EU grant with organisations CeProSARD and Association for Special Education and Rehabilitation with a purpose of leading and securing a smooth transition from special institution Demir Kapija and the final termination of the institution as it is today. In total, the move involves 200 people, where the residents will be offered activities and support to suit each individual. Loza Foundation will mostly contribute with rehab materials and equipment for the new residences, but also closely follow the work and be a resource in this development and the challenges this extensive work will no doubt involve over the coming months and years.

Read more: Cycle4Europe 2020 will continue to cycle for the most vulnerable people in Europe – 1,000 km from Sweden to Norway

“We will be present at the new residencies and ensure that everyone is given a safe place and an everyday life and routine that works for them. It is important to remember that this will be a huge challenge for many of these people as they have lived in institutions for most of their lives. It might be frightening to have to face the world outside of the walls of the institution. It might also be a test for the society around them and we want to encourage the community to meet these people with warmth and kindness to contribute to a positive change in society and bring this type of stigmatisation to an end.”

Local, non-governmental organisation that works for sustainable development of rural areas.

Association for Special Education and Rehabilitation:
An association of special needs teachers, occupational therapists and psychiatrist.


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