Valožyn without barriers: Increasing Local Capacities for Provision of Social and Recreational Services for People with Disabilities

About of project:

Project Period: 01.10.2015 – 31.05.2020

Budget: € 1,111,000; EU contribution – € 999,990 (90%)

Implementing Agency: Valožyn District Executive Committee (leading Project implementation partner), Belarusian Society of the Handicapped (NGO), Country Escape (NGO), Interakcia Local Foundation for Development of International Dialogue and Cooperation

Location: Valožyn and Valožyn District, Minsk Region


Owing to the Project, Valožyn will become a launching platform to barrier-free development of tourism. The first Belarusian tourist center and a hostel for people with disabilities will be built in the city, and a special path will be created in Naliboki Forest (Nalibokskaja pušča).

Goals and Objectives: Based on joint efforts of the District Executive Committee, non-governmental organizations and the tourism sector, facilitate social integration of people with disabilities and make tourist services available for everyone.

Intermediate Outcomes: The project presentation was held in Valožyn in December 2015; it was attended by tourist farm owners from Valožyn District and representatives of Belarusian tourist business interested in the development of tourism for disabled people. A training workshop for volunteers was held in February; they were trained to define urban environment accessibility for disabled people based on the case of Valožyn.  The attendees: tourist farm owners, representatives of authorities and NGOs, journalists, along with experts from the Belarusian Society of Disabled People based their assessments of accessibility for disabled people on 279 infrastructure elements, such as building entries, ramps, entrance halls, restrooms, driveways, parking lots, etc., in 66 establishments and 14 tourist farms in the city and raion of Valožyn. According to the monitoring findings, 30 public facilities providing social and recreational services will be adapted for people with disabilities. Ramps, handrails, tactile paving and special parking spaces have already been arranged at 19 facilities.

The first start-up school was held in Valožyn in autumn of 2017. The participants' ideas were focused on involvement of people with disabilities. In December, the school top three finalists presented their achievements to mass media.

A tourist information and recreational centre for disabled people, including a hostel and a conference hall; as well as an outfitted eco-path in the Naliboki Forest, are to be opened in spring – summer of 2018. The Social Integration Festival will be held at the same time with the centre opening ceremony; the Festival will bring together about 1,000 guests. The Festival agenda is developed by 60 participants of an inclusion camp for people with and without disabilities.

Points of Contact: 

Iryna Ivanova (Interakcia Foundation), Project Manager,

+375 17 334 24 76, +375 25 983 29 59,

Anastasia Ryzhankova (Interakcia Foundation), Communications Manager, 

+375 29 383 59 83,