All four parts of our “Strengthening Civil Organisations 2019” – shortly ECK project, funded by Open Society Foundations, running between 1. March 2019 and 31. January 2020 are making good progress.
1. Barrier-free Tourism Day
The Third Barrier-free Tourism Day took place on 7. September 2019, in Orfű. It has expanded beyond boundaries of Hungary, and turned into an international event.
Despite the terrible weather, about 500 visitors joined us for the day, both able-bodied and disabled, in more or less equal numbers.
The event was very successful, with a great atmosphere, successfully sensitizing the general public. We will orginise the event next year too.
2. Exploring barrier-free hiking routes
We have explored and tested five routes so far: Égervölgy, Mandulás Street Workout Park, Malomvölgy, Mecsekszabolcs, Orfű Lake. Each time we go on an exploration we advertise the event on our Facebook page, and the general public is invited. Everyone is welcome to join the easy-going, fun excursions. About 10 people take part in each walk. These outings have drawn the attention of the local media and have been featured in local news outlets. Our partners as well as the general public are happy to join the project. As an added bonus, these events have turned out to be great opportunities for team building.
This autumn we are planning to explore at least two more new routes.
3. Access Consulting Services
Starting this autumn, we will be available to provide expert advice on accessibility to local accommodation facilities on two locations, TDM Club in Orfű and Pécs Tourism Association. Our association has been joined by a new member, an architect, specialised in accessibility, who ran a professional training for the members of the project team.
Our first project was giving advice during the construction of a community centre in Cserkút. In the near future we will be doing the same for a guest house in Orfű.
4. Hidden City, a barrier-free guided tour
As part of the Third Barrier-Free Tourism Day we hosted a symposium on 6th September 2019. On the same day our barrier-free guided tour was piloted amid great interest and enthusiastic collaboration. The methodology has been developed, our members will be trained in Pécs subsequent to the piloting. The training will be continued in November in Germany within the frameworks of an internatonal project.
Our association has selected a project team to implement all parts of the project. The team members are all people living with a disability and have never held a job. As a result of this project our members’ work ethics, ability to work in teams and to take personal responsibility have all imporved. We are very proud of the work our members have done.
One of our basic beliefs is that we need to collaborate with our partners. During this project this goal has been achieved and has proven to be very useful. We would like to thank all our partners for the amazing work they have done.