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PACES We believe in your happiness!

Promoted & Applied Social Economy Concepts

Published by the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs

October...

Nr. 7, October 2011

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SCRIB PUBLISHING, 2011

Editorial Team Editor in Chief: Editorial secretary: Editors:

dr. Aurel Storin

Iancu Elena Cătălina Florin Condurăţeanu Octavian Andronic Irina Ghiţă-Cioroba Cornelius Popa Clement Sava Beatrice Iordache Larisa Toader Photo Image Editor: Silvia Mandler WEB Administrator: Mihai Breahnă English Translator: George Wainer Editor: Gabriel Ionescu

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We believe in your happiness!

Editorial

The European Congress of Integrative Medicine

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n October 7 and 8, 2011, I was invited, together with a delegation of the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs, at the annual European Congress of Integrative Medicine, organized in Berlin. This Congress was attended by delegates from 33 countries. It was the first time that they were joined by a group from Romania, represented by the President of the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs, their Vicepresident - Sergiu Stan - and by Dr. Codlea Teodor, the Medical Officer of the Diperia-Vita-Med Clinic of Integrative Medicine. The Congress approached important issues for the development and research in the field of integrative medicine. The Romanian delegation took part in the Congress for the first time as an official member of the European Organization of Integrative Medicine. The President of the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs and leader of the delegation enjoyed full voting rights at the meeting of the General Assembly. Several professional meetings took part during this Congress: we met Professor Gary Deng, the Officer of the Department of Integrative Medicine at the Medicine Faculty of the New York University. The Professor saluted our organization in Romania and expressed his hope of being able to honor the invitation of the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs to come to Romania at a conference about the role of the Integrative Medicine in the treatment of onco¬logic patients. Professor Gary Deng was one of the main personalities who took part in the Congress, having spoken many times.

We also had the opportunity to meet the Secretary General of the European Organization of Integrative Medicine, as well as distinguished personalities in this field, from Italy (Professor Rossi), Hong-Kong, Serbia or Germany. I hope that these personalities will accept our invitation to take part in the Congress we are going to organize in Bucharest, in November. I was impressed by the value and quality of the people I met, as well as by the large-scale development of Integrative Medicine in the USA, Europe and Asia. For example, the budget allotted by Germany to the field of Integrative Medicine amounts to 120 million Euro. Today, Integrative Medicine is considered to be the medicine of the future. Professor Gustav Doboş from Germania said that “traditional medicine is in charge of treating the illness, while integrative


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Editorial

medicine teaches us what to do in order not to get ill.” Professor Deng from the USA said that “cancerous tumors affects not only the body, but also the soul and mind of the patient, his or her family, friends and environment. The Integrative Medicine does not treat the disease only. It also treats the influence of the disease on the environment, in parallel with classic medical treatments.” Professor Doboş says that “Integrative Medicine treats the interior of the human being, his or her soul, mind and immunity.” The Congess in Berlin certainly proved that Integrative Medicine cannot be ignored, anymore. For example, in the USA alone, 49 Universities have opened departments of Integrative Medicine within their Faculties of Medicine. The Congress, which underlined this fact very clearly, will also take place in Italy next year, in October. The organizers stated by now their intention

of inviting a delegation from Romania as official members of the Congress in Florence. We shall be happy to honor this invitation. The President of the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs, Liviu Mandler

The Third Eye and the Quiet in Our Soul

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hinese medicine always starts treating illnesses by considering that one’s soul has to be balanced, as well. There can be no healing, no comforting of an issue within the human organism if the soul is tormented, when one’s soul faces grim thoughts. The importance of the soul, of the good morale that cannot be brought down, is also acknowledged in Europe. The Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs, an organization founded by Mr. Liviu Mandler, its President, developed two very valuable projects: “Integration into the society, family and employment for cancer patients” and “Integration in the society, family and employment for disabled persons”. The success of the projects developed by the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs is also confirmed by the fact that EU funds were attracted in them. Thus, the European Union co-funds

the two projects. Centers of the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs were opened for cancer patients and for disabled people in Bucharest, Braşov, Constanţa, Cluj and Iaşi. This is why, when patients come to Doctor Teodor Codlea, a well-know specialist in acupuncture and plant therapies, following the principles of Chinese medicine, there’s no use to ask him to fix problems of the heart, for example, because Doctor Codlea balances the whole organism, not just a part of it. Teodor Codlea is a primary care physician, a doctor in medicine, the Medical Officer of Diperia-VitaMed Clonic and a real artist of Chinese treatments. Acupuncture and plant therapies are meant to lead to a state of balance, so that the patient may feel good for a long time. Our body can be healed and acupuncture


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We believe in your happiness! stimulates this capability of the body to defend itself. The principles of Chinese medicine may be surprising, at first. Nevertheless, here is some information about acupuncture therapies practiced by Doctor Teodor Codlea in a very successful manner. The pituitary gland, the hypothalamus and suprarenal glands are responsible for the beat of the heart, the way we sleep and adapt to the environment. They form an axis that balances the central nervous system, i.e. the brain, which releases tension and sets one’s Soul into a better state.

The Pancreas Holds the Secret of Youth Let me mention other issues and their “echo” into certain organs, in unexpected areas of the organism. A person with bile duct issues, digestive issues, as well as with other general health issues, will often have heart disorders, such as arrhythmia, hypertension and tachycardia. The pancreas holds the secret of our youth. This is precisely why it is better not to burden the pancreas with other problems. There are two points on the sides of the ankles, which regulate sleep, as well as eye blinking. It seems strange, but the activity at the sides of the ankles makes our sleep deeper. We rest better and they also regulate the movement of the eyelids. Chinese medicine takes into consideration the fact that certain moods are connected to a series of organs. Here are the explanations provided by Doctor Codlea, the Medical Officer of the Diperia-Vita-Med Clinic: - anger is connected to the liver. - worry is connected to the pancreas. - fear is connected to the kidneys. Those who face kidney issues are more prone to being afraid, sometimes behaving in a cowardly manner. There is a paradox here: at the same time, the kidneys are in charge of the body’s energy, behaving like a gentleman. When the kidney gets certain signals according to which other organs do not have enough energy, it cedes a part of its resources. The bile duct provides us with the capability to make courageous decisions. The liver is the “strategist” that creates our

action plan. Let us not forget: the liver does more than detoxifying the organism. It is deeply involved in immunity processes.

The Heart is the Home of the Soul The Chinese have always stuck to their basic principle: the heart is the home of the soul. In fact, many Christian theories say that one of the great sins of humanity is the idea that the home of the soul is in the brain. One of the apparently strange connections successfully made by acupuncture for the last 7.000 years, which now helps keeping the proper state of health of more than 1.5 billion Chinese people, is that connection between the liver and the eyes, muscles and nails. Alcoholics have red eyes, their muscles seem to be melting and are prone to suffering from cramps; their nails are easily broken.

In the Summertime, as well as in the Winter. All Year Long… In 2011, our liver and bile duct are frail. This is why they should be strengthened in due time, by acupuncture and plant therapies. In the summertime, we need to protect the heart and to strengthen it, as early as possible. Summer is connected to the red color and this color is related to the heart. The heart can be strengthened not only by acupuncture. It is also good to take the coenzyme Q10, haw, sage, lemon balm, ganoderma and cordyceps. In fact, it has been said for a long time that sage removes bad thoughts from the heart. In the summer, symbolized by the red color, the color of the heart, it is good to eat red fruits, such as red melon, strawberries, raspberry and tomatoes. At the beginning of autumn, we need to strengthen two organs: the pancreas and the kidneys. Surprisingly, they are also connected to the bones and joints. In the winter, the dominant energy is YIN. Melons possess a cold energy. This is why we are not tempted to eat melon in the winter, because it increases the YIN, cold energy: - the cold and moisture affect the kidneys and pancreas; this is why they send “bad” echoes in rheumatismal diseases. - the wind affects the liver and bile. - dry weather echoes into the lungs. - hot and very cold weather are not good to the heart. In fact, the balancing of the organism should be performed in stages. Chinese doctors say that a state of wellness which appears too suddenly may harm us. Only small gains build up into a real state of health. Acupuncture and Chinese therapies are based on the idea that we should prevent diseases, not let them set in. FLORIN CONDURĂTEANU


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The Testimony of a disabled person

„I assumed my disability with dignity“

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ll human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights – this is the beginning of Article 1 of the „Universal Human Rights Declaration“. This means that, when we are born, we are provided with certain rights. Each man may use his or her untouchable rights. But it takes a long time to get from theory to action. It is true that the social system in Romania started to catch up with European standards, most of the times as a result of EU pressures. Nevertheless, a large part of mentally or physically disabled persons continue to be disabled. I know all these issues, for they are part of my life, too. I have waited a while for all the promises to happen, but I realized, one day, that my generation has to wait some more for that perfect social state to be fully functional. What is a social state for me?! It is that state in which all disabled children are registered in the nursery school that is closest to their homes. This should also be the case of schools, without any special intervention of the educational inspectorate and the prime time media coverage after the child has been rejected by other parents, children or by the teachers. When going to high-school or to the university, one should have a means of transportation, apart from the family car. There should be means of transportation, access ramps, sidewalks without excess curbstones, as well as elevators in public buildings. Last but not least, one should be provided with a large-enough revenue in order to lead a decent life. Doesn’t it sound like a utopia?! I suffer from a serious loco-motor disability. In a way, I am lucky: I graduated from a general school and from an industrial high-school (it was the closest to my home) despite the directives of the time. We were supposed to be hidden away in special institutions, for we were «different». This happened, first of all, because I was unconditionally supported by family, especially by my mother. Second of all, I met people who took chances and did not comply with those abhorring, discriminating norms. Few disabled persons have access to higher education. Most of them lack this right because of the large, almost prohibitive cost; the universities’ lack of interest in providing proper means for them to learn; because of physical obstacles. Once again, I am lucky, for I am part of that very small percent of

those who enjoyed university and post-university studies. When I decided to continue my studies, most of my acquaintances told me I did not know what I was doing, that it was madness and it would be very hard. Not many believed I would finish my project. My university studies were paid for by the Kungsbacka-Hanhals parish, based in Sweden. I have to admit: it wasn’t easy. Every day, I would walk three kilometers to the university campus and it was a fortunate situation. Whenever I had classes at the University, I had to use means of public transport. The buses were not fitted with proper accessories for disabled persons. During those four years, I counted on the good will of the people I met, who helped me get into the bus. At the faculty, there were other obstacles: no access ramps or elevators. But there, I was mainly helped by my colleagues, as well as by other students. Let me tell you: I had wonderful colleagues. All these obstacles did not affect my self-esteem at all. I am a normal person. I am used to and have assumed my loco-motor disability a long time ago. I learned that, when one does not start from the same situation as others, one grabs everything one can from life. But this is not possible without others, without the community. Do you know what was my greatest joy?! It happened later on, when two more disabled persons became students. I had broken the eyes. I was no longer a piece of news or a curious apparition in a wheelchair. But the environment was not adapted to our needs. Maybe, when they have seen that we are not going to give up, they will eventually have the dignity of complying with our rights, which were acknowledged by the United Nations on a blessed winter day. Unfortunately, I have to finish by saying that, 20 years after the events in 1989, in Romania, the social perception about disabled persons is still grim. The reason why they do not enjoy common access to the public area, just like other persons, is that, differently from other countries, they are being denied a uniform distribution in the larger society: only certain institutions support them. PAULA BARA (She suffers from a loco-motor disability) Psycho-pedagogue


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Metrorex Invests in Facilities for disabled persons

etrorex (the underground transportation company) will invest about 4.23 billion lei until 2014 in order to improve its services. One of the company’s priorities is the investment in facilities for disabled persons. This fact became public information after the investment program of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure was published. Thus, Metrorex will invest 84.60 million lei in 76 elevators and five steep platforms for the use of disabled persons. These objectives are to be finalized by next year. These investments are among the largest facilities to be installed for disabled persons who would like to use public transportation. They are meant to bring Romania closer to European standards. As the readers probably know, our country still faces problems as far as the access of disabled people to public transportation is concerned, also including many other rights which should be granted to this category. CLEMENT SAVA Publicity Expert

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The Bucharest-Ilfov Center for Disabled Persons Has Opened

he Bucharest-Ilfov region benefits, since this summer, from a center for disabled people. It is located in Bucharest, in District 1, at 150 C-tin Dobrogeanu Gherea St., fourth floor, apartment 8. În cadrul centrului lucrează trei asistenţi sociali, un jurist, un psiholog şi doi comunicatori, echipa fiind sub îndrumarea coordonatorului de centru. Activitatea echipei constă, în principal, în consilierea juridică, socială şi psihologică pentru persoanele cu dizabilităţi. Un accent special se pune, conform şi cerinţelor proiectului, pe reintegrarea pe piaţa muncii a persoanelor cu dizabilităţi, ca şansă reală de integrare socială şi de realizare a unei vieţi normale. The team of the center includes three social assistants, one jurist, one psychologist and two communication experts, plus the center coordinator. The main activities of the team relate to legal, social and psychological counseling for disabled people. Due to the requirements of the project, the team focuses on the reintegration of disabled people into the labor market, as a real chance for social integration and for having a normal life. In fact, the Center will also provide courses for

disabled people so that they may become specialized and have an extra chance for their reintegration into the labor market. Thus, the center will host IT training, human resources courses, as well as advertising creation classes. All courses will be certified by CNFPA (The National Council for Professional Training in Adults) and by the Ministry of Labor, being made in such a way as to fit to the abilities and necessities of disabled people. This way, disabled people will have an extra chance into the labor market and, with the help of specialists from the center, will find a job more easily, so as to have the chance of leading a normal life. The target group of the project is made of 800 disabled people, having the following structure: - 200 people with visual perception disabilities, - 200 people with auditive perception disabilities, - 200 people with motor perception disabilities and - 200 people with other types of disabilities. All these people will get professional and psychological counseling at the founded centers, and 420 of them will take part in courses of professional training.


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Disabled Children Can Now Learn to Ride Horses

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he Constanţa Museum Complex proves that, when people have will, things can work out just fine. Four disabled children have been recently included in riding courses. This is a first for the people of Constanţa, as well as for the rest of Romania, I think. They are four students of a special school (no. 2) in Constanţa, who were first helped to get used to the animals. After that, they were taught elementary notions of horse riding. In order to be “full-fledged” riders, these students got IDs from the Horse-Riding Club, as well as jockey diplomas. This example will probably encourage other disabled children to dare taking part in such courses and to prove that they can integrate in the society.

A Summer’s Smile for the Disabled Children Who Live in District Four, Bucharest

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ere is a signal that disabled children can be supported to enjoy their holiday: as in the previous years, disabled children of District 4 benefited from a holiday in a mountain location offered by the District Town-Hall. Thus, until September 15, disabled children who reside in District 4 spent one week in youth camps from places such as Câmpina, Zărneşti and Târgovişte, together with one of their parents or legal tutors.

This way, they enjoyed the holiday just like all the other children and got a boost of energy and optimism at the beginning of the new school year. This type of initiative should spread to other local authorities. By law, they are entitled to allot funds for supporting disabled children. It is another way for these children to grow in a better world and to encourage them to develop normally.

Fifteen New Buses in Braºov Comply with the Norms for the Access of Disabled Persons

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he he Autonomous Public Transport Company (RAT) of Braşov will buy 15 new buses which comply with the norms for the access of disabled persons. Thus, in order to assure civilized transport conditions for disabled persons and for those who carry their children in a baby carriage, these buses have a mechanical ramp which enables them a much easier access. Moreover, these buses have three double doors, air conditioner, an extra heating system and an electronic information device. This should be copied by all public transport companies which buy new means of transportation,

especially since Romania, as a European Union member is committed to complying with the norms for the access of disabled persons to public transport. But it is not enough only to buy vehicles which allow the access of disabled persons. Their drivers also need to have the proper understanding. Again, this is the role of the public transport companies: they should check and see that their drivers comply with the rights of disabled persons and whether the latter are given the opportunity to use means of public transport.


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We believe in your happiness!

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The Winners

mmediately after the Romanian Revolution, it happened that I retuned from a trip to America. I boarded the plane in Chicago. Before me, a young man was moving with a lot of effort, leaning on two discomforting crutches. I was impressed by the quiet and patience of the passengers who were decently and discreetly waiting for the young disabled man to get through his small “Golgotha” and reach his seat. In Frankfurt, I think, the plane landed and took over other passengers, as well. Most of them were Romanian on their way to Bucharest. While we got back to the plane, I heard people whispering. People were impatient and sighed loudly to show their discontent for the fact that they were boarding the plane so slowly. I got on the tip of my shoes to see the cause of the general discontent. It was then that I saw the disabled young man surrounded by a group of imbeciles from Bucharest. He was ashamed and sweaty, and tried not to upset too much those bullies who were making fun of him. Humiliated and scared, he sometimes hit the chairs and the desperate attempt to hurry and not upset his flight companions. In Chicago, he boarded the plane as a winner, but in Bucharest he was the loser. Perhaps it is because of the tears I shed at the time that I was extremely happy to read about little Cody – the child with 40 legs, later on. Cody McCasland was born prematurely

because of a rare disease called Sacral Agenesis. When he was only 15 months old, doctors had to amputate his legs from the knees. After only two months, Cody had his first prosthetic devices. Since then, Cody went through 13 operations and exchanged another 19 pairs of prostheses, which enabled him to have an active life and to achieve very good results in sports . Currently, Cody has three pairs of prostheses – for walking, for playing and for running. Because his parents would simply not give up in front of destiny, Cody grew up as a winner. He has the smile of a winner and dreams to take part in the Paralympic Games. I once heard a wonderful story about a group of disabled children who were competing in a race. Half way, one boy fell. While he was crying because of his defeat, one girl who suffered from the Down Syndrome stopped from the race and returned to pick him up. One after the others, the other contestants, each of them having different disabilities, waited for the two and went to the finish line, shoulder to shoulder, as real winners. I would like to propose to the authorities that the notion of handicap to be used only in the case of those who have no soul, for, in the case of all other disabilities, the nobility of a loving heart may lead to miracles. ANGELA S.


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Cancer – Social and Psychological Implications

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xperts of the Multiregional Network for integrative therapy, counseling and social reintegration of cancer patients European project have made a qualitative research report about the situation of oncology patients in Romania. They considered it was necessary to make such a survey in order to notice and analyze the representations and experience of individuals as far as the situation of cancer patients is concerned, both from the perspective of directly involved patients and of their family and employers. In March - April 2011, focus-groups were done (three with cancer patients and three with members of their families), as well as 24 large-scale individual interviews in the three territorial centers: Bucharest, Iaşi and Cluj-Napoca. There were three types of participants: cancer patients (21), members of their family (17) and their employers (15). The main results of this qualitative research showed that the authorities have a minimal interest and involvement in supporting patients and employers are reticent about the approach of the topic and about the integration of cancer patients in their companies. Their main concern refers to productivity and this entails a lack of understanding and support from the part of the employer, which could make certain employees to quit. Obviously, the Romanian medical system is not adapted and correlated to the development of neoplasm cases in our country. This inevitably entails a low training and overwhelming workload for the medical staff, who no longer have a positive, professional attitude towards patients. And the latter need as much support as they can get, as a result of the shock

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when finding out about their disease, and the later permanent confrontation with their disease, in order to avoid the tendency for self-isolation and permanent depression. The most important suggestions for possible means to support cancer patients will be fulfilled due to the project. They refer to: • promoting an integrative approach for the treatment of cancer patients, which will combine oncology and psychology; • assuring specialized psychological counseling to patients and their families; • organizing informal support groups which facilitate communication and exchange of experience between these persons; • creating recovery centers meant to combine medical aspects with procedures of psychological recovery. By this report of qualitative research, specialists pointed out the main problems faced by cancer patients and their families, no matter if these are problems with the employers, the medical system or human relations. One worth mentioning positive aspect is that the results of the report also outlined solutions. I am mainly referring to the activities which will be developed in the centers for the social reintegration of cancer patients, in Bucharest, Iaşi and Cluj-Napoca. This is a first important step for the integration of psychology and social welfare in the treatment of cancer patients. RUXANDRA IORGA

Basketball in a Wheelchair

group of disabled persons in Oradea prove that they have reckless courage. They play basketball in wheelchairs and are quite good at it. They will take part in an international basketball competition for persons who are stuck in a wheelchair and will thus prove that they do not give up and are able to get beyond limitations. The team of the basketball players in wheelchairs is called ASP Oradea and its members have the courage of proving that they cannot be put down. Nothing can stop them from being integrated into the larger society. They are an example to be followed by all of us!


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We believe in your happiness!

Annual Meeting of Visually Impaired Persons in South-East Europe

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n September 23-25, 2011 the city of Bucharest hosted the “Annual Meeting of the Visually Impaired Persons in South-East Europe”. The meeting was attended by the President of the European Disability Forum, Mr. Yannis Vardakastanis, and it took place at the CNDR Headquarters, 26 Căuzaşi Street, District 3, Bucharest, having started at 11.00 h. Romania faces difficulties in implementing the UN Convention for disabled persons. It was ratified by the Parliament and approved by the President in November 2010. This fact sets Romania into a bad light, at the European Committee. At the request of the Chairman of the European Disability Forum, the President of the European Committee, Jose Manuel Barroso, committed to guarantee the unitary implementation of the UN Convention in all EU member states. Yannis Vardakastanis considers that “it is not the disabled people who are to blame for the crisis. Thus, they shoud NOT pay for the crisis!” Moreover, “the most elementary thing that Governments can do is to protect the allowance of disabled persons.”

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You Are One of Us

hen one has health issues, feeling alone makes things worse. When one feels he or she is rejected and sent to the edge of the society, as a broken toy, put into a dusty attic, his or her morale simply collapses. In that case, there is no more courage to fight the unfair destiny which gave them certain disabilities. This is a word used in order not to offend them for their handicap or invalidity. It is not their fault that they were born blind, with unusable legs or an underdeveloped, fingerless hand. It is not their fault that fate made then carry the burden of disease and they are now paralyzed, cannot hear, have diabetes or cancer. In order to comfort their soul, they need to feel they are one of us, they are part of the society, that they are employed in accordance with their capabilities. This is why it is worth mentioning that the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs developed a very valuable, humane project. It is meant to support the integration of disabled people into the society, by having them employed. This valuable project is funded from the European Social Fund, as part of the sectorial operational program for the development of human resources. The Integrative

Medicine Entrepreneurs will have connection centers for these less fortunate members of the society in Bucharest, Braşov and Contanta. We opened the connection center for disabled persons din Bucharest, at 150 Constantin Dobrogeanu Gherea Street. This center provides disabled persons with psychological counseling, as well as counseling for professional guidance and training. In this center, disabled people are also put in touch with representatives of the business environment in order to try to inform and integrate them into the labor system. Moreover, they are provided with qualification courses for professions needed by the labor market, which can be performed by disabled people. At the same time, they are encouraged to lead an independent life. In these centers, disabled people will be able to meet not only counselors and psychologists, but also other disabled “colleagues”. In the center opened by the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs in Bucharest, disabled people will be taught to use the Internet to communicate, so as not to feel alone, anymore. FLORIN CONDURĂŢEANU


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When unhappiness is left behind

s I got there, I felt that a part of Heaven separated and fell here, in Ţara Bârsei, in Dumbrăviţa, in order to comfort the mortals. It is not by chance that this place is called the “Carpathians’ Delta”. Nevertheless, its official name is very common: “The Dumbrăviţa Fishery”. Nevertheless, the “Carpathians’ Delta” seems to impose itself from the very first sight. There, in a small region, very rare bird species gather from the whole of Europe. It is there that the birds of the Polar Circle come to spend winter. The water flora is charming, too. The Doripesco Company has made miracles. Among fisheries, they created a real paradise of amateur fishermen as well as, most importantly, an unbeatable means to remove children and teenagers from the computer screen and bring them to nature: intense “bird-watch” activities under the supervision of acknowledged naturalists in the area. Cristina Tirea, the chef of the fishery also told me: “Foreign tourists come here on purpose, to see the life of rare species of birds. I organized observation spots with proper equipment, so as to watch them and take pictures from far away and not to disturb them at all. We are currently developing specialized circuits led by naturalists for the people to get to know the biotope in our reserve. Of course, passionate fishermen have designated spots where they may fish. […] We shall soon use the whole touristic infrastructure for those who like to spend their time in the open. There will be an itinerary, including bird-watching, unveiling the mysteries of the reserve, serving a fisherman’s meal etc. All this will not cost more than 35 lei per adult” – says Ruxandra Coc, Development Officer of the Doripesco Company, the main sponsor of a very special initiative of the team at PMI’s Territorial Center in Braşov: a contest of sports fishing for disabled persons.

The Dawn Came with Emotion and Long-Lasting Glances The beginning of the activity was tense enough. Persons having various disabilities, members of several NGOs belonging to the National Support Network created by the Territorial Center in Braşov gathered at the start line (PMI’s headquarters in Braşov). They were ready to go. “I was not very optimistic at the time – said Monica Minciu, a psychologist at the Territorial Center in Braşov. People were isolated in small groups. The blind people were all together, the people suffering from loco-motor disabilities were also all together, as well as those with mental disabilities or those suffering

from deafness. Here was no communication bridge between them. But it was somehow natural to be so, because this action is a first in this field. In the Braşov County it is the first time that disabled members of NGOs meet, not just their leaders or staff. They did not know each other, so...” The journey to the “Carpathians’ Delta” was slow. Time seemed longer beause of the almost frozen ambiance. Ştefan, a young visually-impaired man, aged 22, and George, aged 50, who cannot walk, started to talk to one another. Thus, when they reached the lake, the ambiance was much more... serene.

The Man with the Golden Heart His name is Gheorghe Carapalea and he really is a man with a golden heart. He is the Chairman of the Ge-Ro foundation (for multiple sclerosis patients) and one of PMI’s most reliable partners. He arrived at the lake together with a few members of his foundation and a friend, a volunteer, at dawn. They had a lot of fishing rods, bait etc. they prepared the fishing tools, built the tent up… and made coffee. Obviously, one cannot do without. “You cannot imagine how important such actions are for these people. First of all, they go out and are no longer isolated. They get reused to communicating and see that, in fact, each of them is a person like anyone else, despite their health issues. The physical part matters a lot in their life and, if we succeed to take them out of the state of depression caused by their health issues, it means we have made an important step. You should also know that there are many more such ideas of socializing, of being together. But we do not have the resources. The apparition of the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs in our life gives us back our trust and hope. I am sure we shall do many good things together, by helping others and by cooperating for the best interest of these people.” Carapalea is a passionate fisherman; I say it after having seen his impressive fishing tool collection. But you would be wrong to assume that he had the time to fish, even for five minutes. He never rested, since he had to prepare the fishing rods for the participants, gave the first fishing lessons to those who were on the lake for the first time, as well as lessons on how to set the bait on the hook. In the last days before the competition, he worked hard to find prizes for the participants!

A Lesson of Life Fănel Stroe, a social assistant at the Territorial Center in Braşov, pointed out about one hour after


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We believe in your happiness! the beginning of the competition: “Look what is going on! How the people changed”. And I looked. It was incredible, if we compare this to the time when we were getting ready to go. They were no longer grouped as enemies in a competition, but as partners. They were helping each other. Two young men sharing the same name, Ciprian, one being in a wheelchair and the other having almost unusable hands, became a team and diligently work together. In fact, the two partners got the First Prize. George gave Ştefan fishing lessons and launched the bait instead of the blind youngster, after having put the rod in his hands. Already, there was a state of complete unity and the feeling of belonging to a larger group was felt more and more. People started to laugh and Crenguţa Babet, the Chairwoman of the County Agency for Disabled People told me: “It is incredible! Your action is a real success. I watch these people and see, from one minute to the next, how their faces change. They are more beautiful, it seems. Anyway, they have already eased up and they feel better. Most importantly, they feel good being together”. I went from one group to the other and realized Crenguţa was right. They exchanged phone numbers, e-mail addresses. People started to socialize. In fact, Alexandru Comşa, the main counselor of the County Agency for Social Performance, who also took part in the event, noticed the same thing: “You did an incredibly good job by organizing this event in the open. Today, I have become the number one fan of this kind of meetings organized by PMI and the other foundations. I can see that they are extremely beneficial!” But, apart from words, a very clear image was left into my mind. Disabled people left their disability behind in order to help those behind

them. They were shy, at first, but it was easier and easier. They laughed together and had a great time.

The Club of the Winners I then heard the final whistle of the competition. It was very hard for the organizers to decide who was entitled, for example, to the third or the fourth place, in the case of a 53 centimeters long fish! But, apart from the diplomas (all of them got one, for the almost 40 participants are all winners) and prizes (fishing articles and… badges, caps, nutritive supplements and prepaid mobile phone cards for all participants), the greatest prize was that they were all able to get to know each other, to communicate and socialize. The event which took place on August 27 in Dumbrăviţa, Ţara Bîrsei, in the famous Carpathians’ Delta, was not just about a group going out. It was not about a sports fishing contest, but it was a first huge gift of mutual discovery. I will end by quoting George Comşa, a mature man with a serious disability: “Today, in Dumbrăviţa, as we got in the open, we were probably offered the most precious gift we may receive: we rediscovered ourselves and our self-esteem. I am looking at myself, at my colleagues, at all people around me today and I realize that it is true: we can all have a normal life.” Authors’ note: Don’t be surprised, my friends. When we returned, everybody sang in the bus. George played his flute and his repertoire included songs as different as “The Shepherd with 300 sheep” and excerpts from Nabucco. When more joyous songs were sung, everybody joined in and formed a large, happy choir. Cornelius POPA Ioana MARINECU Photo: Ioana NEAGU


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GREAT DISABLED PERSONALITIES OF THE WORLD

ITZHAK PERLMAN

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he famous violinist, Itzhak Perlman, was able to have a very impressive career, both as a player, chief of orchestra and pedagogue, despite the fact that he was ill with polio when he was four. He never healed and he currently moves in a wheelchair, with crutches or in an electric scooter. At concerts, he plays or leads the orchestra as he sits. Born on August 31, 1945, in Tel Aviv, during the rule of the British Mandate, his parents were very poor. He is both an Israeli and American citizenship. Perlman’s interest for playing the violin awakened when he listened to classical music concerts on the radio. He was awarded a scholarship at the Music Academy in Tel Aviv and later moved to the USA, where he graduated from the well-known Juillard institute of music. His first meeting with the American audience took place when he was 13, at the Ed. Sullivan Show. He debuted at the Carnegie Hall in 1963. In 1964, he won the Leventritt Contest. A bit later, be started going on tours, having become a very wellknown soloist with many albums. At the same time, he took part in televised shows, as well as in many events at the White House. Most recently, he went there when President Obama was sworn in. Despite the fact that he is not considered a singer, there was a charity concert in which he took part together with Luciano Pavarotti. He sang opera arias, as well as a role in the Tosca, together with Placido Domingo, in a recording at EMI. Both the critics and the audience appreciate Perlman not only for his craft as a player, but also for the warmth of his art, which perhaps compensates his disability, despite the fact that it was never a problem for his career. In 1987, together with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Israel, Perlman took part in a tour in Warsaw, Budapest and other East European countries, including Romania. In 1990, he was the soloist of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in a tour in the Soviet Union. There, together with other great artists, he attended the 150th anniversary since the birth of P.I. Tchaikovsky. Now, a less known detail: Perlman also sang jazz, as well as Klezmer music which is always close to his soul.

He was also a soloist for many well-known movies, such as “Schindler’s List”, which was awarded an Oscar for its music, in 1993. In 2005, together with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, he played the music of the “Memoirs of a Geisha” movie. Perlman is also a chief of orchestra, having led several orchestras in the United States of America. In Long Island, the USA, he founded a school for young violinists, having been one of the mentors of Romanian violinist Roman Remus Azoitei. He also teaches at the Beer-Sheva Communal Center in Israel. He is married to a violinist and they have five children - three sons and two daughters. One of the sons is Rami, a member of the “Something for Rockets” rock orchestra. EVA GALAMBOS


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Sweet Products Are More Dangerous than Fats

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here was a time when fat were considered to be the most “evil” substance in one’s body. They were accused of various “felonies”, including heart attacks, strokes, blood vessel diseases of the leg resulting in amputation. Lipids were the “defendant” of choice. Fats attached themselves to vessels and led to a lower level of blood supply. Thus, organs and tissues were not irrigated properly, anymore, affecting the heart, brain, kidneys, etc. The most serious charge was voiced by nutritionists: they said that the main cause of obesity was excess fats. More recently, sweet products became the main “defendant” for all these evils and others. Having too many carbohydrates in one’s bloodstream is a sign of diabetes. The pancreas starts to fail and no longer produces enough insulin in order to “neutralize” hyperglycemia. Moreover, some diabetes patients are insulin-resistant. It means that a part of their cells no longer tolerate insulin well. For a diabetes patient, the most important fac-

tor is his or her diet. Nevertheless, there are many specialists who say that the diet of a diabetes patient is also very proper for healthy persons. It is important to know that, in diabetes, the metabolism of carbohydrates is out of order, as well as that of fats and proteins. A good diet to keep the doctor away should completely avoid concentrated sweets. The best way to acquire carbohydrates is from fruits. They are assimilated by the organism easier, as fructose. Nevertheless, we should not eat too many very sweet fruits, either. It is most recommended to eat one apple every day. There is a saying according to which “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Of the very sweet fruits, one may enjoy eating grapes, bananas, bergamot pears, yellow, as well as green melons.

FLORIN CONDURĂŢEANU

An European Directive limits Diabetes Patients Who Have Serious Symptoms from Getting a Drivers License

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new European directive limits the access of diabetes patients with certain symptoms to the right to drive. As a consequence, one million diabetes patients could lose their drivers license in Great Britain alone, after October 1, according to the media of the United Kingdom. This new regulation, to be implemented after October 1, is only valid for insulin dependant diabetes patients who have had many episodes of hypoglycemia or faint because of the very low level of carbohydrates in their blood stream. Such episodes jeopardize them and the other traffic participants and this is why it was decided to restrict their right to drive. Thus, people who have had two hypoglycemia episodes in a year, even while resting on their beds, will no longer be allowed to drive. Even if this measure will displease many, it is meant to reduce the risk of accidents resulted from diabetes crises while driving.


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Impressed by the Drama of Disabled Children Having been ignored or even rejected by the larger society, disabled children gradually lose their right to lead a normal life. It is true that authorities are taking small steps, but there are many things to solve. Mihaela Lumînare, a teacher in the Special School no. 4, Bucharest, shares more details with us. 1. Please, tell us more about the activities developed in your school. The Special School no. 4 is developing a program of specific activities for schools of this type. Their main objectives are to educate/teach, help socialize and integrate children with deficiencies. In this case, our children have slight, average and severe mental deficiencies, behavior issues and they have flunked the education system (175 students/ grades I-IV and V-X). In order to reach our objectives, we found and adapted specific programs and activities for these children, which are also accessible to their level of neuro-psychological and physical development. Thus, the result is a success, as much as we can. Apart from the 20 classrooms in which we are developing our educational activities, there are several offices for a large series of therapies, such as psycho-diagnosis, social welfare, speech therapy, physio-therapy, ludo-therapy, ergo-therapy, sports, professionalizing activities, creation workshop). In all these offices, our specialists pay attention and provide time and expertise for the success of individual interventions. Children also take part in many extracurricular activities, for socializing, including trips,

exhibitions, contests, common activities with other general schools and nursery schools, as well as national and international schools. A very important aspect is that our school has a canteen and a half-board program. Children may serve meal here (breakfast, lunch and dinner). They may also take part in teaching activities, as well as complex educational and integrated therapy. 2. More precisely, what is „art-therapy” all about? Can it also be used by healthy children? For me art-therapy is a subtle way of reaching the soul of the child, of seeing beyond the obvious, beyond deficiencies, beyond absence and quiet... Art-therapy is a form of education. Art-therapy is an ideal means to relax, to solve problems naturally. It is a state of mind, a creation that reaches to the soul. It is a means of affective-emotional recovery of the children; it has a healing effect and enables people to discover their personal potential and use it in order to heal „interior” suffering. It is beneficial both for deficient and nondeficient persons. Activities such as drawing, painting, drama-therapy, origami, arts and crafts etc, may free anyone from anxiety, daily stress and tensions. They may result in a good mood, comfort a state of wellness, no matter if the person is a child, a youngster or a senior. It can be done individually or in a group. Art-therapy has proven beneficial for mentally deficient children, not only for emotional balance, but also to compensate their personality, which is marked by deficiencies. It is a pleasant, useful means to integrate them from the psycho-social perspective. 3. How do you apply the principles of arttherapy when working with children?


We believe in your happiness! Art-therapy is not just about doing something according to the rules, but a state of mind, a creation focusing on the soul. In the workshop, children feel at home. They feel valuable, no longer being stigmatized by the larger society, which is sometimes so touch and accusing. Maybe they do not feel being the focus of attention at home, either. Sometimes, it is not even there that they can freely express their feelings. Perhaps their parents do not even have the time to listen to them, to praise them or to make them feel important. 4. How can parents use art in the relation with their children? Children want to be understood and listened to. Unfortunately, today’s children do not benefit from that attention which was once provided to them by their parents. Today’s children spend most of the time without their parents. The latter are busy, concerned about their work. Children are sent to grandparents, who try to substitute the parents but cannot do it… Children see the grandparents, who are so good-willing, as weak persons, who are easy to manipulate. These generations lack their parents’ love, which is manifest in the excessive spoil from their grandparents. Today’s children are prisoners of their own home. The personal computer and TV are used for games and for watching shows which are not proper to them, at all. They no longer feel a need to play in groups, to make sport. It is all about loneliness… Home alone, alone with the computer, alone with cartoons, alone in their room and so on. This is why, today’s children communicate very little with us. The lack of communication is influencing their character and personality. They do not have the tales and games of our childhood. There are less and less wonderful moments that they spend with their family. Art is able to get the member of a family close, again. It is important to wish it and to make time for it. «Help me learn» was the title of an educational project that we developed in schools. Its purpose was to share the activities of the children with the mother, father and grandmother. Thus, parents were near their child when he or she tried to paint, to play «mime», to make a collage or make a toy. All these things can also be done outside school, in the family, but we need to make an effort and detach ourselves from daily worries. We need to take our time and have the «mind of a child».

17 At that point, you shall see many happy little faces near you and you will feel so much better. 5. What are the benefits of art-therapy? / How are children helped by art-therapy? I met and I still meet children who start drawing something and, towards the end, they come to me and say: „I don’t like it!”, „It did not come out the right way”. They tend to throw their drawing and to abandon this activity. In that case, I encourage and stimulate them to continue. Thus, children will get over their fear that „the teacher won’t like it”. In time, they will get over this barrier and will have more self-confidence. Arttherapy is able to do this. It can help a person get over psychological obstacles (such as „I cannot”, „I am not able to do it”) and „procrastination is thus defeated. Inducing a state of wellness, of quiet, of selfacceptance, is very important at the beginning of an activity. Art-therapy develops emotional intelligence, by stimulating all sensorial channels. It develops the capability of expressing yourself fast and easy. It shares the beauty of life as part of our activity, developing creative imagination and stimulating creativity. It is also the one that facilitates communication between persons, increases the level of sociability, making them to adapt easier and to easier solve conflicting situations. Art-therapy provides a tonic emotional state which reduces tension and anxiety. 6. Is there anything else you would like to add? Our work is not easy. Stress and the psychological effort exist all the time, but patience and creativity are our main “weapons” in the invisible fight with deficiencies. Disabled persons, especially children, are sensitive and easily offended. As far as this issue is concerned, there are many special social situations (they may be very poor, have low revenues, monoparental families, “second” parents). The parents, apart from the repressed sufferance of having such a child with special needs, also live real dramas when they see that they have to worry about their future. “What will they do in the future?”; “How will they live in this cruel world, so eager for power, for gains?”; “Who will care about and support them?”; “Will anyone ever hire them?”; “Will they be accepted by those around them?” All these questions are daily concerns for their parents. Teachers, too, have begun to worry. They are not the only ones. We worry about tomorrow: will


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they be safe, them and their students? Will they have whom to educate and guide? We are working hard to teach and develop healthy habits in these children. There are things they will need for the future. We are trying hard to remove prejudice and make way for them in the larger society, which is not welcoming at all or educated in this matter. We are striving to get the best of every student, for they may have hidden talents, ideals and a special perspective, despite their stigmatizing disabilities. We are doing our best to make them have self-confidence, for they have lost all or a part of their faith. Every story about every child is good for a movie script or a book. Their souls hide fears. Sometimes, they hide real dramas, which could touch us all if we only knew about them. They may be not smart enough, but they have something special, which can also be found in artists. They are deep, real, sensitive and beautiful within.

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They are special! Mihaela Gabriela Lumînare, Teacher, Special School no. 4 I am a mother, a wife and a therapist. I consider that I am performing all these tasks honorably, since I am doing my best so that everything goes well. As a person, I am a balanced woman, always vertical, fair and modest, both in the way that I look and behave. I have recently celebrated 18 years of employment in the special education system. It was not easy at all. During this time, I have grown up, educated and developed myself. I am not a professional art-therapist. I am only a teacher-educator and I am applying art-therapy in my work, out of passion for art, out of the pleasure of feeling empathy for the children and out of my wish to better master this “science” which is relatively new for us, in Romania. Interview by IRINA CIOROBA

A disabled society

ne of the first trends of “fashion” after the Romanian Revolution of 1989 was the issue of disabilities: during Ceauşescu’s time, the policy was very strict and doctors did not have the courage to diagnose disabilities, except for more than obvious cases. They did so because they feared the “investigations” of the repressive “Securitate” Agency. After that, the sky was the limit. There was almost an invasion of various disabilities which “adorned” the resumes of certain persons who simply benefited from revenues they were not entitled to. There is a famous case, among the first such situations, of a head of the Capital’s Public Finance Department. He was given a lot of money (which amounted to a large percent of his wage) because he was supposed to be deaf. Of course, that wave of “disabled people” was like a tsunami that hit the social security budget. It was caused by too lax policies of by moral flaws that certain doctors had: they transformed their medical offices into certificate factories. Also, those certificates were too easily validated by specialized committees. Not long ago, the media reported on the situation they encountered in a commune from Timiş County. There, a quarter of the population had certificates of disability: they were “blind”, despite the fact that they were working in their courtyards or even driving cars. The new Minister of Labor, Sebastian Lăzăroiu, has recently spoken about this situation of fake disabilities, of people who supposedly suffer from psychological afflictions, all of them being led by a woman who went

to courts of law that simply supported her all the way, in cases when certificates issued by her were subjected to contestations. All this happened in spite of her own diagnosis: she is irresponsible. In fact, most of the later cases of abuse refer to psychological afflictions. The diagnosis is not based on evidence, as it is the case of people who are limping, lack a leg or are blind. My point is: Romania does not provide proper, really good services to disabled persons because of the excessive development of this category of people. According to certain statistical data, there are more than one million such people. The already small funds allotted by Romania in this field are even smaller per person, since they are also taken by people who take advantage of the system and produce damages to the state in two ways: they cash in revenues that they are not entitled to and they are not active in the labor market. The revision of disability certificates, which started not long ago, is a slow process, whose results are late, already. It is more necessary to make a revision of the legislation and to give tougher punishments to those who steal directly from the state, in this way, as well as to those who favor their activity. It is only then that we shall be able to follow the European principles that govern this category of persons. They are our neighbors and they are entitled to large moral and material compensations from us. I am referring to the really disabled people… OCTAVIAN ANDRONIC


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Just one drop Interview with Iolanda DINU - Coordinator of the Territorial Center in Constanţa

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octor Iolanda DINU in your position of physician at a department of disabilities assessment in adults and coordinator of a center which is developing a project dedicated to disabled persons, what do you think is their current situation? I.D.: I will start from the Charter of the European Union, which asserts that, in order to assure disabled persons’ equality with their “normal” neighbors , their right to non-discrimination should be associated with the right to benefit from measures meant to make them independent and integrated, so as to take part in communal life. We need to adapt the physical ambiance, means of information and communication to their needs and there are still many things to be done in this field. The heritage of the 50 years of communism keeps us far from other more civilized states. Now, the world financial crisis adds to the communist heritage and only deepens the crisis that we actually never left behind, after 1989. For sure, good things were done, as well! We are evolving, but things are done slowly! Before getting over the financial crisis, we should start working on ourselves, on our mentality, about the indifference and mercy we show to disabled people. Let us be more humane, more fearful of GOD! The change should first take place in ourselves. It is only later that we can try to “touch” others around us. I think that a “tougher” legislation would pay off ! It would be good to stop the “Rollercoaster” of our life and to realize that any of us, or a person who is dear to us, may become a disabled person! This is a reality that I meet every day. I will only mention Alzheimer or paraparesis. Unfortunately, very many people know what I am talking about! Doing something for them now means we are doing something for our future. What made you get involved in this project developed by the Integrative Medicine Entrepreneurs ? I.D.: I have been working with disabled people for a few years, already, and I know some of their problems, as well as their families’ problems. Believe me: it is not easy for any of them. Perhaps the experience I gained during all these years, as well as the motto “What you do on behalf of disability today will mean something for all the people in the world of tomorrow”, has influenced my choice and made me join this project developed by PMI. It would be a pity not to benefit from this

chance, i.e. our access to European funds for disabled persons and not only. We also have an opportunity to learn from the experience of those who also went through the stage we are facing now. I am referring to our trans-national partners: Reid Kerr College and the Newham College for Further Education in Great Britain. Do you thing that in 2013, at the end of the project, the current situation will change? I.D.: Yes, I am sure of it! Let me tell you one more thing! Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights say that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should behave with one another in the spirit of brotherhood”. Twelve years ago, I had the opportunity of visiting a country whose social welfare system is functional. It was then that I saw companies where disabled people were employed. I saw how they lived, what was their mentality. I learned about their rights, responsibilities and facilities, as well as how the civil society treats them. On that occasion, I saw a disabled person who left Romania in the 1980’s. She was desperate because, in Romania, she felt useless. I was amazed by the passion in her voice when talking about the “fulfillment” she felt after having found back her self-esteem, as well as that of the larger society, with all its implications. I think our project will be a great success because it is credible. I saw what can be done and the people involved in it are determined, know what they want and love their work. I repeat: Change depends on us, only. Even if we were like a drop in the ocean! One drop after the other, by changing ourselves, we can change the mentality of those around us! M. Ş.


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Disabled People Are Helped to Continue Their Studies by the New Statute of the Students

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he Minister of Education, Daniel Funeriu, has recently started a public debate on the statute of the students. Thus, they could be entitled to be examined in accordance with an alternative method, in case they have a temporary or permanent medically certified disability, which makes it impossible for them to show that they have learned. All this should comply with the manner established by the Professor, unless the identified alternative method limits the standards of the examination. Another advantage of for disabled persons who wish to have a higher education is the fact that the new statute eliminates the mandatory class attendance and forbids higher

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education institutions to condition the acceptance of the student on the number of absences. This way, disabled persons can study at home and only need to be present at the exam sessions. The normative act project is called “The Student’s Statute – Order Project of the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports”. The chapter referring to the “Rights of the Students in Organizing the Learning/Teaching processes”, paragraph K mentions the “right to have an objective, non-discriminating assessment of the acquired competences after a course, no matter of class attendance.”

Aliments for Disabled Persons from the European Union

he District Town Halls have recently begun to distribute alimentary products as part of the PEAD program of the European Union. It is meant to provide, free of charge, six products to less fortunate persons, who have serious disabilities: flour, cornstarch, sugar, farinaceous pasta, biscuits and powder milk. The General Department of Social Assistance and Child Pro¬tection (DGASPC) based in District 1 started distributing these products in its headquarters, at 17 Mareşal Averescu Avenue, in a specially designated office. In order to get these products, beneficiaries have to come to the headquarters of DGASPC in District 1, at 17 Mareşal Averescu Avenue, building G, Monday to Friday from 10.00 h to 14.00 h, with a valid ID. For more information, please call 021.223.41.97 extension 217. In District 2, the distribution begins on October 15, at the headquarters of the local administration: 7 Glinka St. The beneficiaries are 252 persons who receive social welfare and 10.945 persons who have a serious or severe disability, no matter if they are adults or children. The program is open to the public Monday to Thursday, from 9.00 h. to 16.00 h and on Friday from 9.00 to 14.00.

The Town-Hall of District 3, by the General Department of Social Assistance and Child Protection, started the PEAD 2010 European Program on October 11, 2010, for providing alimentary aid released from the stocks of communal interventions, to be used for the benefit of less fortunate persons who live in Romania. The distribution of products will be done at the “Stejarul” Daily Center for Seniors, at 1 Râmnicu Sărat Alley, District 3, Bucharest, Monday to Thursday, from 09.00 h. to 15.30 h., and on Friday, from 09.00 h. to 13.00 h. The Town-Hall of District 4 will start the distribution of the aliments on Thursday, October 14, but the location has not been established, yet. For the inhabitants of District 5, the products will be picked-up at the warehouse at 5A Baciului Street, close to General School 134. These European alimentary products are provided one time for each beneficiary. They weigh 29 kilograms and include the following: 15 kilograms of white flour, one kilogram of sugar, 7 kilograms of cornstarch, 1.4 kilograms of biscuits, 3.6 kilograms of farinaceous pasta and one kilogram of powder milk.


We believe in your happiness!

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Visually Impaired People Are Discontent about a Law Which Could Make Them a Burden for Their Family

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isually impaired persons, together with other categories of disabled people in Suceava, as well as in the rest of the country, are discontent about the Framework Project of the Social Welfare Law, adopted by the Government and forwarded to the Parliament this summer, since it could reduce their rights. In Suceava, at least 4.500 people benefit from a monthly allowance. Some of them were born blind, others lost their sight later on. “Overnight”, they could all become supported persons – a burden for their families. Grigore Baran, the Chairman of the Association of Visually Impaired Persons in Suceava Explained that “the monthly allowance for disabilities provides us, disabled persons, with the chance of being autonomous, even independent, as far as the social ambiance is concerned. The absence of the monthly allowance automatically leads disabled persons to isolation. It encourages the lack of work and all this could have negative effects, in time”.

“Disabled persons are treated as human beings who are not free and who depend on their families.” The new law is planning to unite the allowance of disabled persons and the complementary budget. Thus, there will no longer be a fixed amount. The quota will be differentiated, depending not only of the level of disability, but also on the revenues of the respective person. “Should this law project be voted – said Grigore Baran – disabled persons should give up the amounts that he or she currently receives. This entails the cut or elimination of certain services. […] As far as we have noticed, disabled persons are treated as a being who is not free and who depend on their families, as well as on the confuse protective intentions of the authorities. They shall not be able to assure their autonomy and independence. The monthly allowance whose long-ago defined purpose was to compensate for disabilities, which is still valid, in compliance with Law 448/2006, could be granted in a different way. The new law refers to the level of disability, the situ¬ation of the family and the socio-economic situation. Thus, disabled persons benefit from allowances and facilities, as well as from other forms of financial and in-kind

support. For example, a visually impaired persons who is employed and has certain revenues, is facing different effects of their disabilities, when compared to another person who has the same problems and is taken care of at home. For sure, there are more social and environment barriers faced by the employed persons. The fact that they are employed does not cancel the impact of their disability”, also mentioned Grigore Baran.

The Social Welfare Pension – Considered to be a Revenue According to the Law Project, not only employed disabled persons are to be affected, but also maximum 12% of all people belonging to various categories and degrees of disability, including a very large number of disabled people who retired before fulfilling a full labor term, in compliance with the law: the social welfare pension will be considered to be a revenue, as well. According to Article 85 of the Framework Project, almost the entire set of policies and services dedicated to disabled persons is left for the local authorities to deal with. Some of them do not have enough money to pay their own utilities. “By the new law, blind people, disabled persons, will be a burden for the state because, since they will have less money, their families will try to commit the disabled to senior homes or social shelters, where the state will spend more money for their support”, said Mr. Baran.

“Disabled people cannot be blamed for the start of the economic crisis” The Chairman of the Association of Visually Impaired Persons in Suceava, Grigore Baran, as well as the President of the Association of Visually Impaired Persons in Romania, Radu Sergiu Ruba, firmly request the Labor Ministry and the whole Romanian Government to cancel Section 3 of Chapter IV in the Framework Project for the Social Welfare Law. “In case our request is not properly solved by the Government, we hereby ask the Romanian Parliament to reject Section 3, Chapter IV of the Framework Project for the Social Welfare Law and to urgently start, in compliance with the EDF Principle, Nothing about us without us, a series of consultations on the


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Promoted & Applied Economy Social Concepts Nr. 7/October 2011

topic with the most representative organizations of disabled people, which are members in the National Disability Council, this Romanian Federation being acknowledged by the European Union as most representative. We consider that the issue of disabilities should be approached in a distinct law, separately from that of social welfare, by modifying the current republished Law 448/2006. As we did at

the European Disability Forum, we underline that «disabled persons cannot be blamed for the start of the economic crisis. The burden of the crisis should not be explained by their presence»”. This is a quote from the written request sent by the Association of Visually Impaired Persons in Romania to the Parliament. MADALINA ILIE

Extreme Sports for Paraplegics

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n Romanian, the American word for paragliding the controlled parachute flight, became “parapantă”. Probably it is a combination between parachute and flight launched in a slope (pantă). This means that the “extreme sports” performer sets his parachute and runs down the slope in order to lift from the ground and start flying. It looks simple, but how can one do it without legs and in a wheelchair? As impossible as it may seem, it happened. It is just a matter of will. Darol Kubacz (37 years old) is a very special person. He is the living proof of what a paraplegic can do if he or she really wants to, if he or she does not succumb to the disability. Darol was an army man when he had a motorcycle crash. He has been stuck to a wheelchair ever since. Because he had a broken spine, he successfully tried, at first, to sky down the slope. Later on, he started to jump, being protected by a bodice wrapped around his torso. This resulted in a second crush, in which he broke his spine a second time.

After a long time of movement rehabilitation, Darel climbed the Kilimanjaro with the bodice wrapped to his chest. He started to dive with an oxygen tank and rode bikes on mountain trails. Last month, he came from Arizona to Idaho, at a paragliding center for paraplegics. He did something which seemed impossible for those with paralyzed legs: he flew in a wheelchair. He was not alone on the take-off slope. He had a trainer. This is how he started down the slope in the speeding wheelchair and he took off. In the last 10 years, people who became paralyzed in crashes in the United States of America enjoy new technologies which allow them to go on trips along rivers in pneumatic boats, as well as to ski… The “Disabled Sports USA” organization was founded by Kirk Bauer, a Vietnam veteran who lost his leg during the war. In the beginning, he only supported those who wanted to ski. He now provides 30 sports services for paraplegics. ANDREI BANC


We believe in your happiness!

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The Prince Is Dead; the Pauper Is Facing a Tough Fight with the Disease

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can see how hard it is for him to stop the shiver of his hands. But the condition of his legs is more serious and he can only walk if he focuses as much as he can. Nevertheless, his voice is aas manly as ever. It is deep, sstrong, but also touching. F For many years, his voice w went straight to the heart off the h Romanians, R i for f he h was one of the most loved singers. I am writing about Cornel Constantiniu. Most of his songs were hummed by the people at the tram stop, in offices or while working with heavy equipment. He fought a heroic battle with a serious, debilitating disease: Parkinson. He was still a tall, handsome man, despite his suffering, which was very visible in his cheeks and forehead. But he was tough and fought his battle with dignity and heroism, I may say. Science has not explained, yet, why Parkinson’s disease appears. Treatments focus mainly on the effects, not on the cause, on the mechanism of the disease. They only improve, a little bit, the poor balance, the instability of the legs, the hard speech. Nevertheless, Cornel Constantiniu, this proud, very talented man, ventured into the streets and met people who shook his hand and encouraged him. He looked them straight into the eyes, with dignity. It was hard to cross the street. He was not sure of his legs, but he kept his head up and watched the people with the same pride he felt before, when thousands would stand up after his performances and applaud, asking for more songs. Cornel Constantiniu and Mircea Constantiniu were practically identical twins. Both of them inherited exceptional talents from their mother and the Heavens. Cornel Contantiniu, today’s fighter against the disease, graduated from the Faculty of theater and film, but he was extremely successful in the field of music. His twin brother, Mircea Constantiniu, graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, being a talented painter. The destiny of the Constantiniu brothers could be adapted for writing a best-selling novel. They were so alike that their mother, Ortansa, a teacher, used to confuse them, as well. Sometimes, one of the sons asked her to wake him up in the morning to go to the faculty. Thus,

Destinies

it happened more than once that their mother, a wonderful teacher of Latin, would wake the other son up, who had classes in the afternoon. They were almost impossible to differentiate. In fact, the bullies of the neighborhood used to slap both of them, saying that it was hard to punish one of them. They did not know who was Cornel and who was Mircea. Their father, a former officer of the Romanian Army, was ousted by communists and earned his living very hard, by communing to a building yard. He had a stroke and died in a train. They had another brother and, together with their mother, they all lived on her small wage. Once, the theater behind Lipscani Street announced the staging of “The Prince and the Pauper” with the famous twins of the universal dramaturgy. Of the hundreds of twins who took part in the selection contest, Cornel and Mircea Constantiniu were chosen to play. In hundreds of shows, the twins enjoyed many rounds of applause. Master Radu Beligan and other great actors used to sometime take the poor twins to the restaurant and they ate steaks. Years went by and Cornel Constantiniu became a star of the Romanian music industry. His twin brother, Mircea, also had a strange fate. He won a contest for adorning the building of a rich Western country. Being a charming young man, the wife of a high secretary of the Embassy fell in love with him. They decided to elope and the wife of the western official hid him into the trunk of the Embassy car. Thus, they crossed the border very easily. With a small bag, his pajamas and teeth brush, Mircea stepped out of the trunk after many difficult hours. They were happily walking in Italy, as lovers do, when two well-built men told the handsome painter to disappear from the life of the diplomat’s wife or face the possibility of being run-over by a car. Mircea Constantiniu then moved to South Africa, in Capetown, where he opened a design and advertizing firm. He used to come to his twin brother, Cornel, often, in Romania, for he, the “South-African” was missing home so much that he felt like jumping into the ocean and swimming all the way to his home country. In Capetown, he paid a lot of money to have his Cornel, operated of Parkinson. But the operation did not improve his health. Ironically, of the two brothers who had so different roles, with Cornel as the pauper and Mircea as the Price, the apparently healthy painter, Mircea, was the one who died first. FLORIN CONDURĂŢEANU


Important addresses: www.paces.ro www.informatiicancer.ro

PACES Magazine Nr.7 - October 2011 EN  

The overall objective is to facilitate access to employment for people with disabilities and specific objectives include: identifying best p...

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