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Persons with Disabilities Initiative (PWDI)

Montenegro - USAID - 2010-2013

The USAID-funded ORT Persons with Disabilities Initiative (PWDI) was a three-year, $1 million program from May 2010 through June 2013.

The project goals were

  • Foster a greater inclusion of persons with disabilities in the economic and social life of Montenegro
  • Support the provision of essential social services to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in four municipalities of Montenegro by five small municipal-based Disabled Persons' Organizations (DPOs)
  • Develop and diversify new services and programs for the disabled
  • Build the capacity and sustainability of five local NGO partners

Key Results

  • Directly benefited 636 disabled persons and 1,500 family members, care providers, and volunteers in Herceg Novi, Pljevlja, Podgorica, and Niksic
  • Established a Labor Exchange Database that found 29 disabled people fulltime employment
  • One project trained 99% of the teaching staff in 26 schools in Niksic, Savnik, and Pluzine municipalities, in how to teach Braille
  • Two of the five local NGO partners run graphic design and printing houses that employ a total of 21 disabled young adults
  • Over 200 young volunteers from schools and universities work directly with disabled children and young adults

Success Stories

  • The project supports two printing house operations that operate as social enterprises and employ young disabled people
  • Zracak Nade printing house in Pljevlja employs and trains fifteen young disabled adults
  • New Chance in Herceg Novi employs six young disabled adults
  • The work skills and quality of life for these 21 young disabled adults are improved by training the young people how to produce items such as business cards, calendars, posters, and mugs that can be sold to the local market
  • Work therapists, speech therapists and psychologists work with the young disabled people to improve their social and work skills on the job

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