Drawing on its 45 years of experience in service provision and 18 years expertise on replacing long-stay psychiatric hospitals with community-based mental health services for those diagnosed with an intellectual disability (deinstitutionalisation), KMOP supported the movement of persons with intellectual disabilities from Demir Kapija institution in North Macedonia το modern Group-Houses.
Specifically, KMOP has been, over the last 3 years, in close collaboration with associations and state authorities in North Macedonia for the OASIS project– KMOP Skopje, the Association for Support and Development “Humanost”, the Municipality of Demir Kapija, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, and the EU Delegation – in order to support the implementation of the National Deinstitutionalisation Strategy 2018-2027 and the nation’s ongoing Deinstitutionalisation process.
Within this context, during the project Final Conference, which took place on 30 October 2023 in North Macedonia, KMOP, along with the OASIS consortium, showcased to the local stakeholders and policymakers the successful establishment of two Group Homes in North Macedonia. These Group Homes which are set up by KMOP in November 2021 and since then are being operated by Humanost provide a safe and nurturing environment to 10 individuals with intellectual disabilities. To this end, KMOP hosted in its Group Houses, Alkyonis and Calypso, on 18 October 2022, representatives of the organization Humanost, where in a study-visit they exchanged experiences and know-how in deinstitutionalisation and in supporting the inclusion and participation of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the community.
Moreover, KMOP presented the Community Based Service Model Guide. This guide served as the basis for the training of staff at the Group Home Units in North Macedonia, ensuring that the care provided is both empathetic and adhering to the best practices and standards in the field of intellectual disability support and in accordance with the deinstitutionalisation principles. Based on this guide, KMOP trained in November 2021, 20 professionals from diverse backgrounds, including nurses, psychologists, managers, physiotherapists, and general caregivers.
In order to support the services to persons with intellectual disabilities in North Macedonia, Humanost introduced the Virtual Support Centre. This online resource hub, created with the support of KMOP, offers information on various crucial aspects, including resource materials, health protection, national and EU legislation, and documentation for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, it provides guidance on how to become a licensed social provider in North Macedonia.
“The OASIS project, as the collaborative effort of multiple stakeholders, has effectively transformed the lives of the beneficiaries, while setting an inspiring example for future initiatives in the region. We are so honored at KMOP to have contributed in this promising undertaking and to transfer our knowledge from the field of mental health and the operation of Group Houses in Greece to North Macedonia” Dr. Antonia Torrens, General Director of KMOP highlighted, adding that: ” The project underscores the potential of what can be achieved when communities come together for a more inclusive and supportive society, where every individual regardless of their abilities, can thrive and live a fulfilling life, in accordance with the deinstututionalisation principles.”
Find out more about KMOP’s work in the development and implementation of innovative social services in North Macedonia here.