Celebrating 5th May – the European Day for Independent Living

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Celebrating 5th May – the European Day for Independent Living

May 5th, the European day on Independent Living, is almost here and ENIL is happy to announce the various activities that are taking place across Europe this year. Thanks to our members actively working in most of the European countries, this day is going to be remembered as a day of celebration, of protesting, of giving voice and strength to the Independent Living movement. If you haven’t planned anything yet, we encourage you to gain inspiration from some of the ideas that our members are going to implement next Tuesday, May 5th:

• In Lithuania a video was created, showing parts of the exhibition ‘Illusion and Identity’ which is about life in social care homes. Together with discussions about the deinstitutionalization process it will be presented in 10 Lithuanian towns. Our Lithuanian members and supporters will also use the chance to spread the translated ENIL Myth Buster on Independent Living.

For further information send an email to Lina Garbenčiūtė at l.garbenciute@lnf.lt

Sweden’s Independent Living activists are going to stand in front of the Parliament, raising hands with gloves, forming the shape of the number 9. They will be demanding a change in the Swedish Personal Assistance legislation to make the legislation what it was meant to be defended by Article 9 of the UN CRPD.

For further information send an email to Jamie Bolling at jamie.bolling@enil.eu

Latvia is organizing a photo exhibition to raise awareness on Independent Living and its importance for disabled people’s lives, highlighting the right for equality.

For further information send an email to Gatis Caunitis at gatisc@gmail.com

• In Norway ULOBA will present a short film about freedom and Independent Living which was one of the films at the
Eurodok film festival this spring. In addition, a Facebook campaign about freedom will be launched – giving the chance to celebrate May 5th with an online web meeting for those who cannot attend the live event.

For further information send an email to Tove Brandvik at tove.linnea.brandvik@uloba.no

• “Meet a (disabled) stranger” is the name of the campaign organized in Belgium. A tent will be placed in a public place and people will be invited to enter and have a chat with a CIL Belgium member who lives in the community. This person will talk about his/her life, education, job, family life and so on. The purpose is to promote Independent Living and eliminate stigmatization of disabled people. The campaign also includes a press release, a press conference with people participating also via social media.

For further information send an email to Peter Lambreghts at peter@independentliving.be

• In Greece Independent Living activists will approach people passing by and will ask them “What does Independent Living mean?”. People will write their answers on a board and a picture with the person and his/her answer will be taken. Afterwards people will be explained what Independent Living really means, information leaflets will be handed out. The event will take place in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Agios Nikolaos of Crete, Ioannina, Drama and Komotini. Finally, a video will be prepared with photos from the campaign, for promotion in the media.

For further information send an email to Antonia Trikalioti at iliving.greece@gmail.com

• In France the Association Gré à Gré has prepared a brochure with ENIL information in French and a film of JAG (a Swedish Independent Living organization). Gré à Gré is also organising a webinar about Independent Living that will take place on April 28th. For more information contact Mathilde Fuchs at mathilde_fuchs@yahoo.fr

For further information send an email to Mathilde Fuchs at mathilde_fuchs@yahoo.fr

• CIL Serbia will mark the Independent Living day in 10 cities (Sombor, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Jagodina, Smederevo, Bor, Kragujevac, Cacak, Nis, Leskovac). The translation of ENIL Myth Busters on Independent Living will be published, with examples from Serbia. Each CIL branch will organize different event such as street actions, meeting with local authorities, round tables and gatherings. All these events will be followed by the local media.

For further information send an email to Mimica Zivadinovic at mimica@cilsrbija.org

• In Armenia there will be two events happening:
1) Unison NGO will hold a street flash-mob – an action against occupying the parking spaces for disabled people by other drivers. Participants will be touring around the central streets of Yerevan to find out whether the parking spaces marked with a wheelchair sign are free or occupied. In a likely case of them being occupied by drivers who are not eligible, participants will place a sticker with a short text on those cars.

For further information send an email to Armen Alaverdyan at armrasmil@yahoo.com

2) This year Skarp NGO is joining the European Independent Living day together with the Union of Legal Entities “National Disability Advocacy Coalition”. A month before the Independent Living day the Union announced a video contest with the message “Independent Living and Integration”. Disabled and non-disabled people have been involved in the event by sending their 1 minute videos on how they see Independent Living. On 5th May the winners will be announced. The event will be presented on different TV channels and newspapers thus informing the larger public.

For further information send an email to Ani Harutyunyan at ani.har@mail.ru

Italy is planning a conference on the right of choice, juridical protection and assistance in Rome.

Additionally, Independent living Agency in Roma and Fish Lazio (umbrella organization overseeing some of the most representative local and regional associations involved in shaping policies to promote the social integration of people with different disabilities) organize a conference in Sala Tirreno at the Region of Lazio – ROMA to address the issue of personal assistance, home care and institutionalization, examining the new guidelines on assistance issued by Lazio Regional Council and in consideration of the pilot projects promoted by the Labour and Social policy Ministry.

For further information send an email to Silvia Cutrera at silviacutrera@hotmail.it

Slovenia’s campaign “Member of Parliament, a Personal Assistant” invites all MEPs to spend a part of a day working as personal assistants, so that they can understand the meaning of personal assistance in everyday lives of disabled people. They will also put a stand on a square of the Slovenia’s capital with promotional materials and answer questions regarding Independent Living and Personal Assistance. The square will also host Klaudija Poropat’s photo exhibition entitled “Personal Assistance is our Existence”.

For further information send an email to Grega Fajdiga at grega.fajdiga@gmail.com

UK with DPAC will celebrate the Independent Living day on the social media using various videos, graphics, stories and songs. They have also planned an occupation of the Parliament Square in London – all this happening over the election week.

For further information send an email to Debbie Jolly at debbie.jolly@virgin.net

• The initiators and organisers from Hungary will join the Independent Living day on 17th instead of 5th May with a demonstration in Budapest. People with all kinds of disabilities are joining a demonstration against the cuts in the disability area. There will be a press conference and a press release afterwards.

For further information send an email to Eva Caesar at dpi-ceer@freemail.hu

Portugal will conduct a public awareness initiative with a school called “Towards a Generation”.

For further information send an email to Pedro Oliveira at pno.ipcvi@gmail.com

Bulgarian Independent Living activists from CIL Sofia have organized a public demonstration in front of the building of the representative of the EU Commission in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia. Issues affecting disabled people in the country will be presented in front of political figures.

For further information send an email to Nina Zhisheva at cil@cil.bg

• The independent living organization ESFC in Cyprus is organizing an information campaign about the rights of disabled children at the High Schools of Lemesos throughout May 2015. Focus will be put on Article 19 of the UN CRPD

For further information send an email to Chrysis Michaelides at chrysis@esfc.org.cy

One more event is organized in Cyprus – by the Cyprus Paraplegics Association. They organize a press conference on the 5th of May to raise awareness about Independent Living and the problems of disabled people in Cyprus. A press release will be published, the event will also be announced on TV and the radio.

For further information send an email to Dimitris Lambrianides at lambras@cytanet.com.cy

• In Bosnia and Herzegovina ENIL’s independent living allies are organizing the promotion of a book with stories of disabled women and girls, collected during the implementation of a short project aiming to increase the self-esteem of girls and women in the Tuzla region. The campaign’s aim is the book to motivate other women and girls to become more involved in local DPOs as well as in society in general.

For further information send an email to Suad Zahirovic at suad.z@bih.net.ba

If you have plans for 5th May and it hasn’t been described above or you have gotten an inspiration reading the lines above, let us know by sending an email to secretariat@enil.eu.

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