Centre addresses special needs children

A community centre for special needs children with services ranging from medical to legal has been opened by World Vision and the Shengavit community of Yerevan, Armenia.World Vision established the centre in close cooperation with community to assist vulnerable children and their families.

"Children with special needs in Armenia have very limited access to professional support. Here they are treated individually and our specialists prepare them for a full-fledged life," said World Vision Child Protection Program Manager Marina Hovhannisyan.

The centre provides the services of a pediatrician, psychologist, neurologist, speech therapist, art therapist, social worker and lawyer, as well as material support. World Vision currently manages the centre but within a year it will be transferred to Shengavit community.

The opening ceremony, attended by representatives of local NGOs, kindergartens, schools, and community members, was blessed by Father Barsegh of Ararat Diocese, who underlined the importance of the new centre.

The aim of the centre is to help vulnerable children integrate into mainstream education and society, and to prevent institutionalization and abandonment. The specialists will work to protect children and parents from social discrimination, support them financially and organise training and round tables to raise awareness on their rights.