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April, 2024
April 2024
Viva-MTS: “Personal Assistant” program changes popular mindset in regions
29/02/2024 16:44

Viva-MTS: “Personal Assistant” program changes popular mindset in regions

When a child needs special care, it is difficult for the parents to cope with the psychological and other problems arising from it on their own. Separations are frequent in families with such children. Years ago, especially in the regions, the perceptions of the problem and its solutions were different, the families in that target group rejected even the idea of another person entering their family. With the efforts of Viva-MTS and the “SOURCE” Foundation, the “Personal Assistant” program, implemented for eight years, has broken that stereotype: today, the presence of a specialist is not seen as something unacceptable, instead it is viewed as a vitally important support. In Armenia, this service has become one of the most sought-after and valued services for families with children with moderate and severe disabilities.

The parents of 12-year-old Julietta from Gyumri have noticed positive behavioral changes in their child with cerebral palsy (CP). In two years, as a result of the program implemented in eight months, Julietta’s urge to isolate from others, limit her contacts and depend solely on the mother have reduced significantly. Thanks to the specialized assistant, the girl has become more socialized, calmer and more focused, and has developed small motor skills. There is also a change in the family: her mother, who used to be a housewife has begun to think about self-expression, employment issues and now helps her husband to support the family by starting a confectionary business.

“I take her to school once or twice a week because it’s very difficult for her to be outside. She can walk inside the house, but it is difficult to walk outside. I can’t manage it alone. Before enrolling in the program, going to a store or another room in the house were hard to do. She kept calling out for me: “Mama, Mama…” The need for a personal assistant is greater in marzes. I have been in this program for the second year now and I am very satisfied. What have I achieved? I am already thinking about working. My educational background is secondary-vocational. I always dreamed of teaching in primary classes, but it never materialized. I will definitely achieve my other dream, because I have a great desire to help my husband financially,” shares Anush Varosyan, Julieta’s mother.

Viva-MTS and the “SOURCE” Foundation, prioritize both the efficiency of the program and its continuous impact, as much as the stability in children behavior, the progress in socialization. In the past three years, this program has expanded, covering all regions. In 2023, 40 families became beneficiaries of the program, including more than 20 families from different marzes.

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