ITF and Slovenia`s Development Cooperation
Republic of Slovenia is providing invaluable support to the ITF since its establishment. Through the Department for International Development Cooperation, Republic of Slovenia has since 2013 provided support to the following humanitarian and development ITF projects:
- Rehabilitation treatment of victims of conflict from Gaza Strip
- Training of Experts in the Area of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Libya (more information)
- Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program – Republic of Cape Verde (more information)
- Capacity building in Gaza Strip (more information)
- Regional Project for Syrian Children and Youth in Lebanon and Jordan – Mine/ERW Risk Education, Psychosocial and Educational Care
- Enhancing Psychosocial Wellbeing of Children from Ukraine (more information)
ITF Enhancing Human Security (ITF) in cooperation with the University Rehabilitation Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (URI Soča) developed projects that included physical and mental rehabilitation of victims as well as local/national capacity building in the field of rehabilitation. Since the start of the project in 2009, over 300 children/young adults were medically triaged in Gaza Strip by joint ITF/URI Soča team, 106 children/young adults from Gaza Strip (ten groups) rehabilitated at URI Soča and 20 local physiotherapists from Gaza Strip trained at URI Soča, Slovenia. ITF has set up a list of prosthetic and orthotic material (donation of SIDA) which was delivered to Artificial Limb and Polio Center (ALPC), prosthetic/orthotic devices workshop in Gaza Strip. Post-rehabilitation evaluation and check-up was implemented on the ground in Gaza Strip.
The project was supported by the following donors through ITF Enhancing Human Security (ITF): Republic of Slovenia, Czech Republic, KFB Holding Group, Mr. Amr Moussa (Former Arab League Secretary General), Principality of Monaco, Republic of Korea, State of Qatar, Rotary Club Portorož, Slovenia, Foundation “Pustimo jim sanje”, United States of America, OPEC Fund for International Development –OFID, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Mr. Davorin Počivalšek, Airport Ljubljana d.d. (in kind support), City of Ljubljana (in kind support), Jordan Aviation Group (in kind support), Petrol d.d. (in kind support), Postonjska jama d.d. (in kind support) and other in kind support.
The Libyan uprising and civil war in 2011 ended the 42 year rule of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, however the country remains unstable with ongoing internal conflict. Tens of thousands war wounded in need of assistance and medical treatment were left after the end of civil war in October 2011, but the underdeveloped health system is lacking rehabilitation capacities to adequately address the needs of war wounded, ERW/mine victims and other disabled persons (PWDs).
With funding support of Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ITF started a 9 months project to support building of rehabilitation capacities in Libya in January 2013. The purpose of the project is to train Libyan experts in the area of physical medicine and rehabilitation, which will contribute to better patient care in the country. Two 4 - day capacity building workshops in the area of physiotherapy, prosthetics and orthotics will be implemented in Tripoli enhancing knowledge and skills of 36 Libyan experts from different parts of the country.
The Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program for the Republic of Cape Verde is funded by the Republic of Slovenia and implemented through ITF Enhancing Human Security by International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation and in close cooperation with local authorities. The Program is ongoing since July 2012 and was specifically developed to meet the identified needs of this island country in West Africa.
With holistic approach, the multiphase Program focused on establishing the Telemedicine and e-Health Network in Cape Verde by providing necessary equipment to 10 selected hospitals countrywide (thus covering all 9 inhabited islands), establishing platform for continuous virtual medical education, training workforce that will operate and maintain the network as well to ensure network`s integration into country`s healthcare system and its sustainability.
By mid 2014, the telemedicine a-health network in Cape Verde is established and being daily used for medical teleconsultations among islands of Cape Verde, continuous virtual medical education and research, through the usage of installed sophisticated telemedicine equipment and knowledge gained with educational activities.
The Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program aims to increase the quality, accessibility and efficacy of healthcare services provided in Cape Verde as well as ultimately improved the treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction.
During 2014 and 2015, ITF Enhancing Human Security will give more emphasis on the capacity building efforts in Gaza within the frame of the project “Gaza”. Since the beginning of the project implementation (in 2009) until 2014, the principal aim of the project was the rehabilitation of children and adults from Gaza in Slovenia which was implemented at the Rehabilitation Institute Republic of Slovenia. In 2014, ITF plans to conduct “needs assessment” visit to Gaza in order to gather information and relevant data on actual needs in Gaza. The project also foresees the implementation of two/ four-day training courses on rehabilitation in Gaza, psychosocial rehabilitation for the victims of conflict (especially children), the purchase of medical supplies/materials as well as medical equipment for the rehabilitation Center in Gaza and monitoring of the condition of children who were on rehabilitation in Slovenia (checking whether they have received appropriate treatment/cure in Gaza upon return, checking on the level of ancillary medical treatment that was administered in Gaza upon their return) all of which will add value to sustainability of the project.
The project will be implemented with the financial support from the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Republic of Korea.
REGIONAL PROJECT FOR SYRIAN CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN LEBANON AND JORDAN – MINE/ERW RISK EDUCATION, PSYCHOSOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL CARE
Syrian crisis is one of the largest and fastest growing humanitarian crises in the world, exceeding the available emergency humanitarian aid and strongly jeopardizing the stability of the whole region. According to the UNHCR five countries in the region hosted over 2,5 million Syrian refugees in the beginning of 2014. By far the largest numbers of refugees are in Jordan and Lebanon.
The conflict has affected over 4 million children, who have witnessed atrocities, been ripped from the safety of home environment, traumatized, injured, left disabled and worse. They are lacking the protective role of safe spaces (schools, home, religious sites and playgrounds), insecurity and fear being a daily constant. Children are being recruited, exposed to child marriage, child labour, poverty, lack of education and psychosocial support, exposed to sexual abuses and threatened by unexploded ordnance scattered all over Syria. The explosive remnants of war pose the greatest danger to refugees and internally displaced persons, who have no knowledge of the risks posed by ERW. Most vulnerable are children and youth, especially boys, who are inclined to play with such unknown, “interesting” objects.
With the purpose of addressing the needs and rights and needs of children to security, education and psychosocial support, ITF is implementing a regional project in Jordan and Lebanon. The objective of the project is to act in child’s best interest and implement activities promoting safe behaviour, development of positive life strategies, education, cooperation and psychosocial well being of children. The project is implemented with the funding support of Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Between November 2013 and February 2014 Ukraine witnessed mass anti-government protests including escalation of violence. According to available data more than 100 people died during the demonstrations and hundreds have been wounded. Severe political crises and change of government was followed by further escalation of conflict in Crimea and especially Eastern Ukraine resulting in rising numbers of victims of conflict, internally displaced persons and refugees.
Political violence, instability and armed violent conflict is especially affecting the most vulnerable – children negatively impacting child`s development especially his mental health and psychosocial well being. In order to address the needs of children affected by conflict in Ukraine ITF is implementing a project for enhancement of psychosocial well-being of children in partnership with Slovenian Red Cross. 40 conflict affected children facing emotional problems, traumatic disorder and other psychosomatic disorders will be included in intensive psychosocial rehabilitation programme at Debeli rtič, Slovenia. The project is being implemented with funding support of Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.