We’re always thrilled to see where on this lovely planet people take to the idea of Wheelmap.org and start mapping their area. Some take this to the next level by helping us with translations, organizing Mapping Events or becoming Wheelmap Ambassadors. We think this is awesome and want to introduce some of these nice people to you. In previous posts we said Hello to Ameerah, Aparajita and Alex and Felix. Today, please meet Kristina and her friends from Rotaract Club Sofia Serdika, our Wheelmab Ambassadors in Bulgaria!
Please introduce yourself and your initiative.
Hello, we are Rotaract Club Sofia Serdika.
As every other Rotaract club, our club was created in the service of society. We are part of an international network of more than 8,000 Rotaract clubs in the world with over 150,000 members.
The purpose of each Rotaract club is to provide an opportunity for young men and women to enhance their knowledge and skills and to develop personally. Also, Rotaract clubs aim to address the physical and social needs of society and to provide better relations between all people worldwide in friendship and service to society.
How did you get to know about Wheelmap.org and what made you interested in becoming the Wheelmap Ambassador in Bulgaria?
We learned about the project Wheelmap.org by Ekaterina Karabasheva, which is “a friend of the club.” She introduced us to the idea and we loved it.
We initiated the project in Bulgaria because it combines perfectly the cause of our club. We hope to help many people to have the opportunity for having a better social life.
What is the situation like for mobility impaired people in Bulgaria?
Unfortunately, in Bulgaria accessibility of the environment is extremely low. Even in the largest municipalities in the country and important government buildings there is no accessible environment. If you are an adult who is disabled you have to find someone to pay your bills – because accessibility of public buildings like banks is extremely low. A person with a mobility impairment even has trouble to receive a parcel in Bulgaria – most post offices are not wheelchair accessible.
Mothers with strollers also face big problems because most buildings are inaccessible. Even more troublesome is the problem for disabled students. Even prestigious universities in the country are only partially accessible – even though the Commission for Protection against Discrimination has been approached. All penalties and fines for those places haven’t had any impact. No ramps have been installed and this problem for us is of particular importance.
What are you planning to achieve with your initiative?
We hope to help the maximum number of less mobile people using wheelchairs, frames, etc., to be able to access the places they wish to. It’s our desire that mothers with strollers can go wherever they want to without having to worry that they have to leave their kids outside because of the inaccessible environment.
Thank you so much for answering our questions, Kristina! And an even bigger Thanks to you and the other great people of Rotaract Club Sofia Serdika for supporting the Wheelmap in Bulgaria. We are super happy to have you on board!
Check out the Facebook Page of Wheelmap Bulgaria and see what they are up to next!