KROO disabled “The ark” is the founder of inclusive beaches in Russia. Concept of the first, full beach, accessible to people with different disabilities, was developed and presented to the regional Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2014 year.
For these 5 summer seasons in the Kaliningrad region was established 6 inclusive beaches on the Baltic coast
The essence of the work is to organize the full functioning of inclusive beaches, it’s not enough to just install them, it is necessary to support their work in collaboration with local non-profit and volunteer organizations, maintain and control the technical condition and safety of operation.
The main problem, which the project solves is the low level or complete inaccessibility of recreational areas near the water for people with severe disabilities.
The very idea of creating an affordable inclusive beach for people with disabilities near the water is to, that the sites are not on the outskirts or any closed territory away from all, and on the central beach of the city, in the most popular place, close to all vacationers. This is a small "built-in island" with a comfortable flooring for movement on a wheelchair and special elements - pillows, high deck chairs, beach wheelchairs. The more such a platform can receive visitors, the more familiar this fact will be for all residents, we will stop meeting surprised people, who see a person for the first time in an electric wheelchair or with a prosthesis. This is part of their life., of our life, and you need to give them the opportunity to relax, to swim, and enjoy it all in comfort.
Who is this project for??
- For people with disabilities, who live in the participating cities of the project.
- For administrations of participating cities, employees of social support departments and regional ministries of social policy (protect)
- For NGOs of participating cities, who work with / for people with disabilities
Project Manager - Roman Aranin, Head of the expedition and project manager - Julia Romenskaya. Also, project team includes 4 expedition members: two young men and two girls. First of all, these are employees / volunteers of the mobile beach, each of which fulfills its duties and function.
These are young people, who in everyday life work with the same target audience, have an idea of her needs and problems. Their desire to help and share the experience of the region unites them. (there are six such inclusive water areas in the Kaliningrad region), borrow the experience of other regions in organizing the work of NGOs and interacting with authorities.
Inclusive beach – this is the daily work of volunteers, which are almost full time, with 9 – 18 hours, are on site, greet visitors, help them settle down, transfer to a sun lounger or to a beach wheelchair, care about their comfort. This concept combines the efforts and desire of people in the work of such important social objects..
“The project began with our work on inclusive beaches in the Kaliningrad region. We have six such sites. We support three of them in our work every summer - we select and invite volunteers, organize cultural events and parties, help with site repair, installation and transportation at the end of the season, keep records of visitors. There are many guests at our sites, and many come from other regions. So the idea was born to share experience in practice. And the best option for this is to assemble a team, to collect a mobile version of the site and go on an expedition to cities. And as the first trip showed - the cities of the Black Sea have something to learn from us!»,- The head of the expedition is sharing - Romenskaya Julia.
The project has started 01.07.2019 of the year, becoming the winner of the presidential grants fund and ends 31.10.2020 of the year.
Two expeditions are planned within the project., the first one took place in August 2019 years and participating cities were: Eagle, Belgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Novorossiysk, Gelendzhik, Tuapse, Sochi.
The second expedition from Kaliningrad to Evpatoria, and 6 cities along the route (the final list will be published 1 may 2020 of the year).
Each expedition within the project is designed to 7 cities and 21-24 day duration. In every city, an inclusive beach works 2 of the day. The organizers were very pleased with the results of the first trip. There are cities with good inclinations for productive work in this direction - there are active NGOs and interested officials.. In such cities, everything will definitely turn out to be realized. There are examples, when privately the beach owners purchased some of the equipment for the sites, which is not bad either.
IN 2020 Crimea will become the final point of the expedition. And according to the results of two trips, one city will be selected, who will get a fully equipped beach, cost 1 one million rubles, is free.
Every city, every day in every city – this event. Many visitors, families, their stories and communication. Of course, the most memorable moments, when, eg, volunteers are already in a normal mode go swimming with a visitor in a beach stroller, and he admits that this is his first swim in the last 10-15 years old; or when you see the enthusiastic eyes of a happy child, who is sitting in a beach stroller swims with a volunteer, and his parents are swimming nearby, rather than holding it in their hands experiencing difficulties and of course making efforts. Probably, this project is about bright moments, not about bright events!
Of the difficulties in implementing the project “Inclusive beach” can be called "complex" city. These are those cities, where it’s not easy to find a common language and understanding with representatives of social services, where it’s hard to find an interested non-profit organization. As the first expedition showed, there are cities, where these two points simply don’t even intersect; that is, representatives of social departments. protection do not know in the eyes of their active non-profit organizations and people, and NGOs, in turn, do not interact with the authorities. AND, of course, when there is no such union and interaction, then there is no general work plan, positive experiences and practices. In such cities on our sites there were few visitors and few government representatives.
The project initially scales the experience in creating sites of “Inclusive beaches”; The organizers express a desire to continue such expeditions., to visit all cities where the creation of a similar platform near the water is possible.
Social. Network "CROO of the Disabled Ark":