Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Peer support is the core of our camps, trainers are people with SCI and act as role models for the trainees. This is the story of Thanasis, 34 yrs old, Businessman: I learned about A.O. in 2007. One volunteer noticed that sb else was pushing my wheelchair. It’s known that a person with paraplegia can be fully independent. He invited me to join the 1st Training Camp. From 1999 when I had an accident until 2007 I wasn’t autonomous and I didn’t know I could be. I decided to join. I learned how to move from/to the wheelchair, to dress up, to use the toilet, do sports, exercise. It is the most important thing I’ve done since my injury. I joined more camps and after 4 yrs of training and participation I had the honor to become a trainer myself
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
The basic approach is peer support; many trainees eventually become trainers. Since 2007 A.O. has completed 7 Camps at Kolindros, Loutraki, Kavala. One camp was specially designed for people with quadriplegia. There have been about 160 participations (people with SCI). 90 healthcare professionals have been trained on personal assistance for people with SCI. This is very important due to the lack of such training in Greece. The participants come from all over Greece: Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Ptolemaida, Trikala, Patra, Aigio, Pyrgos, Crete, Larissa etc and Cyprus. A.O. is the 1st to introduce wheelchair rugby in Greece the only team sport for people with quadriplegia. An academic study regarding the benefits of our training camps will be presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Spinal Cord Society, the most important event regarding Spinal Cord issues
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
The full impact is reflected on the study that will be presented at the conference (available upon request). It highlights the necessity of implementing such programs and stresses out the need for them. If our program were incorporated in rehabilitation centers, the total reach would be even larger. These conclusions were made possible after the realization of the Camps. “Triti Diadromi” a documentary about the camps showcases the full potential of our work. It presents the participants’ experiences, records our working methods and all the possibility for change and improvement in our society