Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Independent Living

On Tuesday 29 came the long-awaited follow-up meeting for the 'Independent Living' project of the Mongolian Wheelchair Citizens Association, МТИХ. Chuluundolgor had gathered nine people into her office at the Federation (MNFDPO aka Үндэсний Холбоо). Four from МТИХ, including advisor and engineer Avirmed, a new volunteer translator Uyanga (fresh from English speakers' club) and new VSO Aliyyah. Nickson of MNFDPO and myself joined as further VSOs, with Ariunaa translating, and Tsevelmaa (new volunteer recruitment NGO - Windows to Development Хөгжлийн Цонх) I translated from English into handwritten notes and read out notes in English with and on behalf of Nickson, whose offer to train the group in fundraising strategies were frustrated for the time being. An oversupply of opinions and translating made for some tensions and conflicts.

The main outcomes of discussion were that МТИХ would need to plan, organise and fundraise for an Independent Living Centre Project. Despite their reservations, they would need to communicate and cooperate with МТИХ members and other NGOs and stakeholders such as MNFDPO who provide their accommodation. A plan, the first step needed to begin fund-raising, had not yet materialised on paper. Previous advice from myself and a 'needs analysis' had not yet been documented. The need to discuss and develop the plan with the 60 МТИХ members was reiterated in light of an approaching 2 May general meeting. Member support for the plan and steps taken to date, it was suggested, would be vital for the project's future.

While Chuluundolgor and Avirmed are both on the MNFDPO board, they criticise its constitution, financial management and transparency. However their 'own' МТИХ is not demonstrating these 'desirable and essential qualities'. I truly hope that the МТИХ will develop - I am very interested to see how the Independent Living Centre project will proceed, in aiming to help (especially adventitiously) disadvantaged Mongolians to develop independent lives, and I want to pursue ways in which I (and others) might practically support the project.


scott said...

Well, let's see what we can do to interest folks outside Mongolia to help then.

Scott Rains
Rolling Rains Report

Mike Dorn said...

I will be following with great interest the 'Independent Living' project of the Mongolian Wheelchair Citizens Association, МТИХ. We have a very active Center for Independent Living here in Philadelphia, fighting for supports so that people with disabilities can live outside of institutions and be part of the social mix. How long has the Mongolian Wheelchair Citizens Association been in existence? Mike

nomadologist said...

Dear Scott Rains, thanks for your write up in the Rolling Rains Report on 18 May

Dear Mike Dorn, thanks for your support. I will enquire about the history of the МТИХ through my colleagues there. I have today been consulted on adapting a community bathhouse in a nearby informal settlement and hope to report soon.

nomadologist said...

See Rolling Rains on Inclusive Destination Development

Also thanks to Walt Blazenovich for visiting the Blog and writing;

Thanks for your blog! I really enjoy reading about your challenges in advocating accessible design in Mongolia.

I was hoping you would be interested in joining Tour Watch, Scott Rains' site devoted to the same thing and inclusive tourism?

Check out the site...lots of great people, enterprises and ideas!


Walt in Toronto, Canada
N. America's Disabled Adventurer.

nomadologist said...

March for accessibility - Stockholm and other cities.

wheelchairs and wheelchairists Flickr photography group

nomadologist said...

Here is a subsequent project in the UK inspired by the same principles: