H. Stepic CEE Charity and Caritas build day care centre for people with disabilities in Albania


13.9.2010

People with disabilities are a challenge to Albania as there are only few care centers run by the state. Poverty and small opportunities for the future are a common situation in their lives. 12.5% of the people in Albania live below poverty limits. Around 80% of the youths with mental disabilities never go to school. Especially in the rural areas of Albania, poverty is a common situation. In Arrameras, a small village around 20 km from Tirana, are many poor people.

”Unemployment is one of the biggest problems here. There is definitely a need for economic development, but also in the area of education and child care. With this centre, which is opened today, we want to contribute in the improvement of the children’s and young people living conditions,” says Herbert Stepic, Charity founder.

„We are very happy that the H. Stepic CEE Charity and Mr Julius Eberhardt financed the renovation of the day care centre, for it to be suitable for disabled people, and that made it possible to implement this project”, expresses his gratitude, Franz Küberl, President of Caritas. “Thanks to their engagement the living conditions of young people with disabilities can be strongly improved and this gives them more quality of life. Thank you very much!”

In order to enhance the future perspectives for people with disabilities, the H. Stepic CEE Charity together with Julius Eberhardt (Palais Fanto) and Caritas, renovated a former ambulance in Arrameras and turned it into a day care centre for young people with physical and mental disabilities.

The official opening ceremony took place on 13th September. H. Stepic CEE Charity was represented by Alexander Zsolnai, member of the managing board and designated deputy chair of the managing board of Raiffeisen Bank Albania. In the centre, 35 people aged between 8 an 25 will receive individual therapy, physiotherapeutic treatment and education. For example, children who otherwise would have no opportunity to go to school are trained by two professional teachers. For advanced training a special workshop for disabled persons was installed. There is a transportation service which brings girls and boys to school and picks them up afterwards. The new day care centre allows young people with disabilities to organize their day in a useful manner, to establish and maintain social contacts. The objective of the project is to create as much independence as possible for the people with disabilities and to support their development.

Die H. Stepic CEE Charity was founded in 2007 by Dr. Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International Bank-Holding AG and Deputy chair person of the managing board of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Austria AG. The organisation supports children, youths and young women in disadvantaged regions in CEE.

Contact:

Gregor Höpler, H. Stepic CEE Charity, Tel.: 0171707 3449; www.stepicceecharity.org

Silke Ruprechtsberger, Caritas Österreich – Communications, Tel: 01/488 31- 417