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Importance of Survival Skills

The Change Makers | #webelong | Part 1 | Experience Something Different

[cue the music] Virginia Sawatsky:
I don’t know of any other organizations that have taken people with developmental
disabilities to another country, not just for pleasure but to have some
sort of a mission, or a vision,
or a purpose. Joseph Kafka:
Meet Virginia Sawatsky, and her team
from Pathways Pacific Development. They want to challenge communities
locally and globally to see persons with disabilities
as though they truly belong. We loved their message so much that
we followed her team to Romania, where they are shared their stories
and built relationships in the hopes of improving the lives
of persons with disabilities in Romania. Virginia Sawatsky:
I think because we believe
as an organization in always giving back. I just saw this as the next
layer of giving back. So not just giving back to
our own communities, but giving back on a global level. I struggle at home because I feel like
people’s worlds are so small. And sometimes I feel
very alone because.. You know I have had the
opportunity to travel and to see how life is like
in many different places, and I feel like our world
is so self-centered. and It doesn’t help to tell
people something different but it helps to experience
something different. [air plane take-off] woo! I really hope that we could
come on a journey that would hopefully inspire the people we were coming
in contact with. Encouraging them that we were there too. You know 20 years ago
we still had institutions and many of the things
that are going on here. Hopefully inspiring them
on to the next steps. Joseph Kafka:
This is not their first
journey to Romania. Over the last few years, they have
built close connections and friendships in
the city of Hunedoara, especially at the Bethel
Humanitarian Association, which everyone simply calls the center. At the center, we met with the
President of the association, Corneliu, he shared with us
the options available in his culture for person’s with disabilities. Corneliu:
Now I understand what options
they have for their life. One of the options is to stay
in front of the flats, in front of the center, in front of their house and waste the day. The second option is to
stay in their house, especially those that are with a
disability they cannot move. [romanian] We have Alina for example. She is now alone, her mom died. She is one of the leader
of the mozaic group. If nobody goes to
her to move her out, she will stay and she will
go out only by opening the windows. The third option is to come on the street, and you can even now see very often, to be ridiculized by other people. This is one of the dimension
we want to grow and we want to help our people of Romania. My desire was that with our
team walking down the street and going into schools and
interacting with others at the center that hopefully those observing
could see that it didn’t matter that someone on our team had a
disability or didn’t have a disability that we were a team and we were
working together for the same thing. If you look at the first picture that is what
I would talk about as being segregation. [Romanian translation] Where we got most of the people here [Romanian translation] But anybody with any sort of difference
or disability is segregated. [Romanian translation] And then we thought people with
disabilities shouldn’t be
segregated anymore and we started to use
the word integration. The other piece in Hunedoara was doing presentations to children and although our presentation talked
about Canada and diversity, our real message – there was two messages: the first message was to tell
a story about diversity and to challenge the children to not see
or as something to make fun of but to celebrate each
person’s differences and see each person as unique. And the other piece was really
just for children to see how you can interact naturally
with people with disabilities. Corneliu:
And we want to help our
people of Romania how to treat with respect, how to see values on somebody
which is with disability. And I think Pathways model
is maybe the best model, actually the best model we saw how to give values to a disabled person, values for themself as a disable, also values for the people
that surround them, for the family, and also values for the
community family, and even for the country. Thank you so much for watching. Please show your support for change by
clicking the like button and
sharing this story. And don’t forget to check out
our amazing team. Thank you so much to everyone
that helped out on this project. A special thank you Virginia Sawatsky
and her team from Pathways
Pacific Development. Please check out their website to
learn more about their community
based support programs. All the staff and volunteers at
Bethel Humanitarian Association
in Hunedoara. Thank you so much. You can become a change maker too
by partnering with us. Learn more about how you can
become a sponsor on our website.

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