On July 13-16, 2019 Greta Vardanyan, a member of ”Pyunic” Armenian Association for the Disabled participated in the World Para Powerlifting world championship held in Nur Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. This is the next in turn mandatory qualification tournament before Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympics. Greta took place in women’s up to 61 kg class category event. Among the 20 participants from different countries of the world, our athlete with three successfull attempts took the 11th place, lifting 93 kg.
One of the brightest members of the Armenian Association for disabled “Pyunic” Vrezh Manukyan took part in “Chasing after diversity” Еrasmus+ Youth exchange project on music and inclusion which took place in Skrzynice/Lublin, Poland.
25 representatives from 4 countries gathered in Poland to present their cultural values to each other. 10 days program (June 20-30) included different events during which the participant had a chance to teach each other national songs and even national musical instruments.
During the closing ceremony of the event the participants presented their national music, as well as summarized the skills and achievements of the program. Each delegation included people with disabilities because the goal of the “Chasing after diversity” initiative was to emphasize the big and important role of inculsion in our societies.
The team of “Pyunic” joined various NGOs and individuals of Armenia at the National Assembly to take part in the “International Children’s Day” exhibition. The team presented various DIY projects done by the talented children of the organization, had a lot of fun and informed people about inclusion.
Check out our video about Pyunic’s moms who learn Taekwondo with the help of a professional trainer. The group which is consist of several moms having children with disabilities, gives an excellent opportunity to get a lot of energy and go ahead. Follow sporty moms on our Youtube channel.
Wheelchair basketball classification seminar was held at “Pyunic” by Malik Abes, a wheelchair basketball head coach from France. Mister Abes was here to take part in the Wheelchair basketball regional development camp organized by “Pyunic” with the financial support of “Toyota”.
It was planned to have an hour discussion with the specialists interested in the wheelchair classification, but people were so interested and had so many questions, that the meeting lasted for four hours.
We are extremely happy that due to the financial support of “Toyota”, we managed to gather so many enthusiasts who want to know much about wheelchair basketball, understand the rules and investigate some techniques. Specialists who had an opportunity to participate in this seminar got knowledge and skills that will definitely help them in the future.
Meet the therapy specialists team of “Pyunic”. They are psychologists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, art therapists, special teachers, who do believe that everyday work may change the lives of children with disabilities. Their strong character and willingness are the most important motion that keeps these children move on and develop their abilities step by step.
Lusine Aleqsandryan, who is the psychologist of Pyunic’s “Early Intervention” program, works with Levon, who has a cerebral palsy. The specialist remembers that it was very hard to work with the child when he first came to “Pyunic”. But she knew they would manage to overcome everything. Learning colors and shapes of various subjects, concentration on a certain tasks and many other procedures are planned for Levon to do during the 30 minutes lesson. Lusine is satisfied with the smart child and encourages him to go on. She is sure that every day is a new challenge and if one believes in his works, nothing can hinder to have success.
Working in a group brings perfect results, – says Anush Harutyunyan, who is a speech therapist. The group she is working with, consists of five children presenting with Dawn Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, etc. She says that children are able to use their potential but they need a certain specialist who will reveal the abilities they have. It’s not an easy task to help children learn to talk and what makes it happen, is the dedication to the work she does. Children learn helping each other while working in a group. It’s such an important phenomenon, when you teach a child to support others. The group work includes not only speech therapy lesson, but also drawing. Hayk Kakosyan, who is the art therapist, helps these children to express their emotions through painting. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult for them to express what they feel using words and painting is very unique technique to reveal their feelings through colors and pencils.
The children included in the group, move to another room, where their special teacher Nune Ambardanova and Lusine Aleqsandryan are waiting for them to do another task. Different cards with certain subjects are waiting for them to explore. Some parts of the subjects are missing, so each person of the group has a task to find the missing part and make the subject complete. Some do it fast, others slowly, but the main purpose of this process is not the speed, but the quality. Both therapists perfectly remember these children a year ago and they are very proud of them now, because so many things are changed, so many achievements they have.
The therapist meet children with disabilities twice a week. They have both personal and group work with every child. What motivates them to move forward is just one thing: LOVE.
We are happy to present you some unforgettable moments of “Wheelchair basketball regional development camp” program organized by the National Paralympic Committee of Armenia with the financial support of “Toyota”. Follow the link below to watch the training of the Armenian and Georgian teams.
“I’mPOSSIBLE” study guide which is an education program developed by the “Agitos Foundation”, the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) development arm, is published to spread the Paralympic values and the vision of the Paralympic Movement to young people throughout the world.
The “Armenian National Paralympic Committee” translated “I’mPOSSIBLE” with the full financial support of the “Agitos Foundation” and on April 4, 2019 organized a meeting with the counselor of the Minister of Education and Science Gohar Mamikonyan to discuss the study guide, as well as the possibility to include it in the Armenian school program.
In the frameworks of the productive cooperation, the Armenian National Paralympic Committee hosted the marketing evaluation and learning manager of the “Agitos Foundation” Ciara Cribben who had an opportunity to meet different pupils and students in Yerevan. Her expectations and impressions about the visit is summarized in her interview.
“I work as a marketing evaluation and learning manager at the “Agitos Foundation” in Bonn. I’m here to look at the impact of the “I’mPOSSIBLE” education so far. We have decided that this year we want to assess the impact of the program, because it has been running in a few countries since 2017. We have been to several countries, including Armenia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Peru, etc. We gave grants to some countries to implement this program and now we are trying to see the impact and the results. During my visit to Armenia I managed to visit the school number 200 and met the amazing teachers and pupils of this school. During our meeting we were able to watch the student’s demonstration on what they’ve learnt using “I’mPOSSIBLE” study guide. I was completely impressed by their knowledge and I think they know even much more than many people. It was so impressive, because they knew so many things about the rules, the classification. I was talking to teachers and understood that they had managed to change children’s behavior which is do important because changing knowledge is the first step of being able to change the behavior and to have more inclusive society. So when we talked to the teachers and got their feedback on how more open their student were now to help other students with disabilities, this was so impressive and touching. They didn’t ask questions because the form of our meeting was more to learn their feedback and they had a possibility to show their own photo exhibition on Paralympic Games,as well as a film. The teachers and the director of the school were engaged in the process and it’s really substantial. The most important thing for us is to go to schools, to talk to teachers and then discuss all this with the team of the Armenian National Paralympic Committee. The feedback I’ve got is overwhelming and so positive that I think the impact had been very strong”. Ciara Cribben
It was an honor to host Managing Director of the Center for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) Joanna Deagle from 25 to 27 of March, 2019.
The purpose of her visit to Armenia was to assist the Armenian Association for Disabled “Pyunic” to assess the National Stadium after Vazgen Sargsyan, find the shortcomings and prepare a report highlighting the priorities.
The report which is going to be presented to the Football Federation of Armenia will make it possible to have accessible stadium for the fans with disabilities.
It was our pleasure to listen to her lectures on accessibility, as well as the importance of the participation of people with disabilities in football matches.
Managing Director of the Center for Access to Football in Europe