Baltija High School of Klaipėda city for disabled students
In our country, there are thirty thousand families raising a disabled child. There are a lot of discussions regarding the help for them and integration to the society. Unfortunately, promises declared in slogans usually fly away with the find... When we started the activity of our club, we received a lot of information about various hardships, flaws and vices of our society. Yes, we still remember, when in Lithuania, disabled people were rejected, left alone or abandoned by parents, when they were ridiculed, exploited, unappreciated, isolated, forgotten, when they were not accepted to the community of so-called “normal” people. Recently, the disabled have been gaining the right to become full-fledged citizens, but a new threat have occurred: a lot of colleagues and family members disregard the principle of equality, start to flatter and offer excessive help. In such situations, the disabled feel uncomfortable: they do not wait for pity; they ask for help and recognition. Sometimes we forget that the quality of life is not only good physical condition, ability to walk, see, hear and live a comfortable life. The quality of life is an internal state that speaks about the ability of a young person to feel complete and live a full-fledged life.
For several years, the sisters of the Club were fostering plans to prepare renovation project for Sports Hall in Rusnė Special Boarding School. The German LIONS and the organisation of the Nordic LIONS Club were called to help. After discussions, the Nordic lions have decided to help Rusnė school. However, due to unclear and unexpected plans of The Government of the Republic of Lithuania, our project had to be changed and the amount to support the project of EUR 115 000 was suspended. Project coordinator and the president of the club in 2009-10 Virginija Lazauskienė did not give up and convinced German LIONS that the sisters from Klaipėda will find a worthy cause to support. Because of this, the board of the club met more than once, the sisters consulted with various specialists and employees of city municipality. It was decided that the help should be provided for Baltija High School in Klaipėda, where approximately 20 students with physical disability could be able to study. It is the first high school in Lithuania adapted to disabled students. Integration of students who are able to study well but can only move around in a wheelchair represents the belief in the natural law of every human being to participate fully in the public life. The definitions are very beautiful and meaningful, the idea is very good but.... there is always a “but”...
The sisters of Smiltė accepted the challenge.
In 2010, it was planned to install an elevator for three floors, a lift, two ramps, two tambours, to renovate the central corridor in the ground floor (to remove the flooring, to paint the walls) to renovate the ground for in Corpus III (walls, ceiling), partial renovation of the ground floor of Corpus I, to install a correction room, two new sanitary facilities, to repair courtyard sewage system, insert four doors, a convenient entrance through the central door of the high school.
Thanks to the efforts of the coordinator Virginija Lazauskienė, the German and the Nordic LIONS Clubs donated 336 648 LTL to make Baltija High School accessbile to disabled students; thanks to the sisters Violeta Staskonienė and Nijolė Taraškevičienė, Klaipėda city municipality granted 183 000 LTL and Smiltė Club donated 12 000 LTL.
We are all born with one dollar and four pockets: those of the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. It is not possible to have 25 cents in each of them: in some of them there is more and in some of them there is less. The task of the teacher is to observe, in which pocket the child has the greatest amount of cents. We have to glue wings to that pocket.” We have done everything we could. We are now leaving you, teachers, to grow wings on children. We believe than in this high school, there will be no questions how to communicate with a child whose eyes are on a different level than yours because he/she is sitting in a wheelchair...