On february 15, 2020, Motivation Romania Foundation celebrated 25 years of programs in the service of children and adults with disabilities in Romania. Twenty-five years, 28,000 lives changed for the better.
We gathered in this booklet images from Motivation`s programs over these 25 years, but many remained outside. Out of print, but not out of the minds of those who work at Motivation, or of the many who went through our programs. Some of the people we work for – wheelchair users – became independent living trainers, wheelchair technicians, regional team coordinators or managers at Motivation. As each of us, when they acquired their new personal independence, they also achieved the freedom to make other choices: what sport to practice, where to live, where to work, what cause to support. Some chose to stay, others left.
Either way, we know we reached our goal – to give back freedom of movement to persons with mobility disabilities.
The children with medium and severe disabilities we took from placement centers starting in 2003 became young adults. For us, they are `our children`. Ștefănuț and Georgiana left our world, but we believe they had good lives with us. For the other 25 young adults, we remain a family for good and for worse.
We all work on or behind the `stage` to make possible the provision of services, their funding or their administration in conditions of safety and responsibility.
We send our thanks to all those who are or used to be with Motivation along the years!
Motivation has 15 regional teams. We donate annually over 1,000 appropriate wheelchairs, respecting the WHO recommendations, with support from donors and sponsors who give to the Wheelchair Fund. We organize mobility and independent living sessions and camps for at least 35 children and adults using wheelchairs, country wide.
Motivation remains a family for 25 youth with medium and severe disabilities taken from Placement Centers. They live in 5 family-like homes. Some can work, with support, in the carpentry or at the occupational workshops, at a car wash for Motivation`s vehicles, in the greenhouses or even at the wheelchair warehouse.
The #EnAble Parking Campaign to free up parking places for persons with disabilities is present in shopping centers throughout the country.
We test a new approach on the provision of socio-professional inclusion guidance for persons with spinal cord injuries. Our approach proposes a complex intervention for reintegration after an accident that results in spinal cord injury. Motivation`s multidisciplinary team (independent living trainer, wheelchair technician, socio-professional orientation specialist) assesses the situation of each person with disabilities, creates an inclusion plan and provides support for achieving the objectives identified together with each client.
Motivation consolidates the internal training program for wheelchair provision and independent living training staff. New team members attend courses on working with people with disabilities and providing appropriate mobility services that meet the WHO standards. More experienced team members attend intermediary and high-level courses that help consolidate knowledge, improve services, and develop mentorship and teamwork practices.
We initiate #EnAble Parking campaign to free up parking places dedicated to persons with disabilities that are illegally occupied by persons without disabilities. Motivation and partner shops make available special parking signs, information leaflets and car stickers for drivers with disabilities and for those without disabilities supporting the campaign.
We create #TeamMotivation, which includes fundraiser-athletes with and without disabilities. We participate annually in at least 3 mainstream sports events, where we raise funds for Motivation`s programs.
Motivation creates regional teams in Cluj, Satu Mare, Constanța and Buzău. We support the creation of 8 social economy entities by some of our regional teams. These provide models of inclusive employment for persons with disabilities, accessible transport services and income generation for social services dedicated to persons with disabilities.
We create and register the Accessibility Map and Mark, as instruments whereby we assess buildings in Romania from the viewpoint of accessibility for persons with reduced mobility. We introduce Gentle Teaching – a new working method for children and youth with medium and severe disabilities – and we train disability specialists on its use.
Motivation becomes part of the World Health Organization working group that develops the Guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less resourced settings. Two new Motivation regional wheelchair provision and training teams created in Neamț and Bihor counties.
The teams promote appropriate wheelchair provision following the 8 steps recommended by the World Health Organization.
We start building the Motivation camp in Văratec, Neamț county, a wheelchair accessible place we created to give future Motivation beneficiaries opportunities to go out in nature as an alternative way of developing independent living skills, of sharing experiences, building friendships and creating local support groups.
Our first meeting with members of the IMPACT International Alliance, in 2001, leads to initiation in 2003 of the IMPACT Romania Program for 33 children with severe disabilities from Tâncăbești Placement Center, and 4 children with disabilities from the organization SOS Children`s Villages, transferred to the Foundation`s group homes.
We consolidate wheelchair sports by launching the first wheelchair tennis program in Romania, after affiliation to the International Tennis Federation.
We inaugurate the Independent Living Model in Bragadiru – a completely wheelchair accessible house where wheelchair users learned to adapt their homes, to participate in household activities, learned personal care and wheelchair skills.
Motivation Romania takes custody and renovates the Bragadiru Culture Home, to create the Bragadiru Community Center for Youth with Special Needs. The building included wheelchair accessible accommodation, training rooms, conference hall, physiotherapy and medical assessment rooms, kitchen and dining hall, as well as offices of Motivation staff during 2000 and 2009.
Motivation renovates and uses spaces at the `Horia Hulubei` High School in Măgurele to organize wheelchair skills and independent living trainings there. The active rehab program grows to include camps, seminars and training sessions throughout the country. Motivation Romania`s team members work with more and more wheelchair users.
During May – September 1993, a team of specialists from Motivation Charitable Trust, UK, creates the first wheelchair workshop in Romania. The local team produced, over the next two years, 300 wheelchairs that were donated to patients at the neurosurgery section of `Bagdasar – Arseni` Emergency Hospital in Bucharest. Between 1994 and 1995 the team created a new workshop, where they produced and donated 100 wheelchairs to children with disabilities at ASCHF-R organization.
To develop sustainable programs that improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in Romania.
We aim to grow Motivation into a regional leader in social inclusion of people with disabilities through actions leading to an independent and active life for them and to attitude changes among people with and without disabilities from the community. Motivation will continue to provide expertise to similar organizations in Romania and East Europe.
Motivation grows through our own strength, we continue to develop a regional network of mobility and independent living services for people with disabilities, and we learn to become self-sustainable and to support our clients from the incomes of our social enterprises.
Transparency, Responsibility, Trust
- To facilitate the access of people with disabilities in Romania to quality mobility equipments for truly independent living.
- To support the supply of sustainable local services for people with disabilities.
- To facilitate independence and access to rights for people with disabilities.
- To increase community participation in service provision for this group