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Environmental Self-Care House – Respite Care Center

Publication Date: January 16, 2023
Post thumbnail - Environmental Self-Care House – Respite Care Center

Institutional forms of help are significant in societies where more and more people need support. But what happens if there is a group of enthusiasts eager to cooperate? Perhaps a house with various forms of respite care might come into being. So what is the point of the campfire here?

It all started at the evening campfire during the children's camping trip, and - as it often is at the fire - conversations about life and plans, what to do next - what about the children when they finish school. As they are children with disabilities, after they finish school, it is difficult to find care for them. Indeed, there are some workshops and nursing homes, but not only do you have to wait a long time, but there is always something to be improved in the offer of existing facilities. Exactly... So instead of changing, why not build from scratch? These were the beginnings of the BONITUM - an association created by parents of children with disabilities and their friends. Thank's to its genesis story, the association can adapt to the needs of its charges - it was from these needs that the BONITUM – the Environmental Self-Care House (pol. Środowiskowy Dom Samopomocy - ŚDS) was born. It was 2018.

How to start?

The beginnings were not really optimistic. The building, which was rented from MOPS (Polish Social Welfare Centre), required a thorough renovation. Hard work, an endowment from the European Union and friends made it possible. And now you can see it. It is located in Wrocław on Komuny Paryskiej Street. You can drop by, for example, when you come to Wrocław for a conference. Yet the building is only the starting point. More important than that are people, relationships, and projects…. At the moment, it is a great team of therapists, staff, and volunteers, as well as 30 charges: adults with various, sometimes multiple, disabilities. And the projects? There are quite a few. Here are some of them:

„Our Mountains”

This is the title of a film about tourism for people with disabilities and what it means to them. The film tells the story of the Pieniaki family and their joint expeditions. It is an interesting, moving, and uplifting story. Today, it has already won several awards at film festivals. For BONITUM, the film has also become an inspiration for regular trips to the mountains and being together in the bosom of nature. Easy routes, efficient organization, and a lot of optimism allowed participation also for people with physical disabilities. This movie is worth seeing. Here it is:

Special Olympics

Tourism is not everything. There is also swimming, badminton, and athletics. Sport is great for achieving success, building plans and accomplishing them. It is a passion that can be also shared among people with disabilities. This is what happens in the Environmental Self-Care House. The charges regularly exercise in a specially equipped gym, participate in classes at the swimming pool, and take part in competitions. Sports activities improve physical functioning, condition and immunity. They also give a sense of agency - it is worth going out, training, and participating in competitions. Thanks to the Special Olympics Poland, international competition is also possible. Everything in the fight to improve well-being and respite from limitations is invaluable.

Assistant Services

Assistant services are becoming more and more popular. People after appropriate training become assistants and, in fact, friends of families. The role of the Environmental Self-Care House is to coordinate projects, as well as to train and recruit participants and keep project documentation. Depending on the medical condition of the person with disabilities, the assistant supports everyday functioning or provides care. Going to the store together, riding public transport, or visiting libraries are also highly important. Thanks to this, social skills training is carried out.

Work Coach

Many people with disabilities can perform simple activities demanded in the job market. What's more, the current law rewards employers who hire people with disabilities. The challenge, however, is getting ready to start work, which comes with certain responsibilities. To enter this market efficiently, work coaches help people with disabilities. The Environmental Self-Care House is the coordinator of these types of projects and the place where related activities are carried out.

Important Days

Every day is important - thanks to the described activities, a lot is happening in the Environmental Self-Care House. Nevertheless, we also remember about days important for those under our care. Birthdays and holidays are celebrated together. Being together on special days and joint activities make the idea of the Environmental Self-Care House, i.e. inspiring and creating mutual support in the environment in which we live, come true. For many people, it is a very important place that gives respite.




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