Association Anika has undergone several development stages throughout its history. At the initial stage Anika brought together parents of children with disabilities because without uniting under one umbrella and making a consolidated effort, the personal and social development of our children would be next to impossible to accomplish. To accomplish this Association Anika needed to establish a reputation and authority by implementing a number of small projects focusing on cultural and educational efforts and other local initiatives. The Association’s original intent was to focus on inclusive activities for persons with disabilities and activities adding to their isolation.
The next step for Anika was to concentrate more on the education of children with disabilities and emphasize the need to integrate these children into Georgia’s mainstream education system. For this purpose Association Anika began working with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and #10 Public School in Tbilisi where the first piloted program for children with disability was implemented. After several years inclusive education became a priority in Georgia.
Considering the complex needs of children with disabilities it is obvious that not only are educational efforts sufficient for their development. The need for various rehabilitation programs soon became clear. Association Anika built a rehabilitation center for this purpose and to provide day care services for those children who are not yet involved in the mainstream education system.
During the next stage of Anika’s development the need of the vocational rehabilitation and education of youth with disabilities was revealed. A project “Zurab Zhvania Independent Living Center” to address these needs was established. A variety of services are provided from the center and during the year the center serves almost 100 youth with mental and physical disabilities. Socially vulnerable people with disabilities (PWDs) living in the regions of Georgia also receive these services, which enhances their inclusion in society. The center cooperates with vocational schools and business organizations.
Anika has created working opportunities for more than 30 persons without disabilities. In addition to that, the training center Anika works to develop the qualifications of their employees and to establish new methods and methodologies.