The President of Inclusion Europe shared his thoughts and views on 2022.
Once again, one year has come to its end. This year 2022 has been a very different year. It has also been a sad and shocking year. We have a war in Europe. Russia brutally attacked Ukraine 24th of February 2022. Too many people have lost their lives in this war. Millions of people have been compelled to leave their homes, millions have fled abroad.
But to leave their homes has not been an option for more than 260.000 Ukrainians, people with intellectual disabilities. Their wellbeing is dependable of their carers, professionals working with them in institutions and care homes or their family carers taking care of their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters in their homes.
To help Ukrainian people with intellectual disabilities and their families Inclusion Europe started a special fundraising campaign in March 2022. Our campaign has been a success and we have been able to help by sending money to families in need, through our Ukrainian member, VGO Coalition. By now we have been able to raise around 650.000 euros. And our campaign is still on.
Since the Russian attack, many Inclusion Europe’s members wanted to help Ukrainian people. Some started their own fundraising campaigns, others wanted to give material support or to help those leaving their country. Your willingness to help has been genuine and the results of it tangible. You have proved that our common value solidarity, isn’t just a word on our website.
Thank you all for your help. Thank you all for your solidarity towards Ukraine and Ukrainian people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
Our efforts to help Ukraine and raise awareness of the situation of Ukrainian people with intellectual disabilities and their families became an important part of our work plan. But this year we have also continued our work with the final year of our five-E strategy. The theme of 2022 was Ending segregation.
We could finally, after two years interruption, meet in person again. We could also invite you, our members, to our Europe in Action conference. The conference was organised in Brussels in the beginning of September. It felt good to be able to come together, see each other, have proper discussions and to feel the atmosphere in the room when we were together and not online and isolated behind our laptop screens. We had many truly interactive sessions sharing with each other the good work of many of our member organisations and to make plans for the future towards Europe with no segregation.
From now on we will only have one Conference per year. Both Europe in Action and Hear Our Voices, our self-advocacy Conference will be organised every second year. Next year’s Hear Our Voices will be in Tallinn, Estonia. Our member ENABLE Scotland have offered to host our next Europe in Action conference in Edinburg in 2024.
European Parliament recognised our work by giving award to our project My Talents For Diversity. This award encourages us all in our work towards a more equal Europe. We and our members who participated in My Talents for Diversity project have been able to highlight the indispensability of having respect to everybody’s individual talent and skills when building inclusive and diverse European labour market. The project was funded by European Commission under the “Rights, Equality and Citizenship” programme and the partners were Plena Inclusión, EVPIT, Antwerp Management School.
I wish to express a big thank you to our secretariat, both staff and interns for your hard work, your resilience and perseverance during this demanding year after two stressing years of pandemic. I and the whole Board highly value your commitment.
I also wish to thank all our members and other organisations supporting people with intellectual disabilities and families during these trying times. Your work is essential. My thoughts and respect to all those with intellectual disabilities and family members dealing with the impact of the war in Ukraine. Let us continue supporting each other.
I wish you all a Peaceful Christmas time and hope for a better new year 2023!
Jyrki Pinomaa, President
Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.
This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.
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