2007 on the basis of "Agate" initiative group
"Agate" centre for women with special needs was founded on the basis of the initiative group formed by Karine Grigoryan in November 2006. She had an initiative of creating disabled women's centre in Gyumri long ago, but she decided to take steps to realize her ambition after returning back from Eugene, where she participated in Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability program organized by Mobility International USA. She is a disabled woman and the program changed her a lot, making her self-confident, self-reliant. So she joined people devoted to the goal to assist and improve the lives of disable girls and women and remove the incorrect attitudes of the society towards people with disabilities. "Agate" group was registered as NGO on the 23rd of October, 2007 in State Registry of Ministry of Justice in Armenia.
The mission of the NGO is to improve the quality of life of disabled girls and women and to protect their human rights through social-psychological integration. One of the goals of "Agate" center for women with special needs NGO is to affect that the society consider people with disabilities not as a subject of care and charity, but as equal citizens of the society and holders of their human rights. We organize leadership and human rights education trainings for young women with disabilities in Gyumri to raise their activeness and awareness on their rights. UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities is also being discussed during the trainings. "Agate" NGO provides psychological and legal consultation both for project beneficiaries and their family members.
We try to change the behaviour of our beneficiaries, so as they become active, self-reliant and initiating and encourage other disabled to follow their example. We also organize computer, English and handicraft trainings for them. Every month cultural activities are organized, during which each beneficiary has own contribution and participation. Periodically meetings and consultations are organized with the family members of our beneficiaries to share if there is progress and advice how to act later. We establish an active cooperation among our beneficiaries, community members, representatives of other organizations, local self-governing bodies and municipality to build disability movement, in order to improve integration process and take steps to make the city accessible for disables.
Last year "Agate" NGO translated and published Armenian version of the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities (CRPD), then roundtables were organized in "Agate" NGO with the abovementioned representatives, where their awareness was raised on CRPD and booklets of CRPD were distributed. We also stabled a network of state and non-state agencies dealing with disability issues in Gyumri. Our NGO coordinates the activities of the network. We also cooperate with the referent of NGOs of the municipality, who links us with the mayor to realize our recommendations regarding making the city accessible for people with disabilities.
In August 2009 our organization submitted recommendation to the municipality of Gyumri, according to which a committee for the disabled people issues was formed in the municipality.
The committee consists of 9 members and the president of our NGO is one of them.
We collaborate with the head of Gyumri Regional Centre of Employment of "State Employment service" agency of RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, who assisted 2 beneficiaries of our NGO to get jobs.