Humanitarian Organisation Bethesda from Backa Topola is an NGO that was founded in 2003 as an association of citizens in order to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families. The founders are parents and professionals.
In early 2002, the founders started to work on the preparations and soon they established an organisation. Since there was already a group of potential clients, the need for day care services was evident. From the beginning, the organisation created a profile as a provider of social services at local level.
The ideas of H. O. Bethesda very quickly gained the support of broader and narrower environment.
Bethesda has carried out several foreign and domestic projects up to now. A part of the costs required for the operation of the organisation has been funded by the Municipality of Backa Topola almost since the beginning.
In 2003, the organisation managed to obtain the donor USAID / ADF / CRDA. The foundation financed the completion of construction works on the first building of the organisation. It helped adapting the building to new purposes, equipped the rooms with furniture and built a children’s playground in the garden.
By the help of the projects, the successful initial steps were followed by the development of day care services and the creation of new social services. The services were planned and carried out according to the prior needs of our clients.
Since it was founed, the organisation has provided different services for people who live with disabilities. Since 2010, home care and transport services have also been provided for the clients of the day care centre with the support of Co-operating Netherlands Foundations for Central and Eastern Europe (CNF CEE) –Netherland, Balkan Community Initiatives Fund (BCIF)-Belgrade and Open Society Institute / Mental Health Initiative (OSI / MHI) –Budapest.
Activities of occupational therapy and working in the greenhouse and in various workshops have been evolved gradually in the day care centre.
Since the inclusive education of children with disabilities has developed and these children do not use services in a restrictive environment such as the day care centre, we realised that we need to implement innovative services adapted to the needs of our clients and through them help the process of inclusion.
We set up a diagnosis and treatment service for children with disabilities. The services contain individual treatments which are carried out by special education teachers-oligophrenologist (these are special dog assisted treatments for children with autism or combined disabilities and corrective – preventive special treatments).
In addition to the mentioned services, traditional activities of the organisation also play an important role in our everyday work such as supporting the parents in exercising their rights, organising different trainings and promotion of the rights of people with disabilities. We try to improve their quality of life by creating equal opportunities for all of them.
During the years, the organisation has grown into an institution that provides local professional alternative programs and services in order to improve the clients’ degree of autonomy, to live with their families and stay in their cultural and social environment. Our goals are to improve their socialization and integration in the society and to reduce discrimination against them.
Today, in the Municipality of Backa Topola H. O. Bethesda is a local service provider for people with disabilities and is an active participant in the local system of social protection.