A three-year project with a total budget of $742,091, carried out by the European Union, the United Nations Development Program and the Center for Traditional Art of the Icherisheher Administration (CTAIA), is ongoing, Trend reported.

The goal of the project is to expand access to inclusive professional programs for children and youth with disabilities, taking into account their development needs.

Within the framework of the project, mixed youth groups will have the opportunity to acquire professional skills in the field of arts and crafts. The project aims to use the experience of inclusive education both locally and internationally.

So far, $101,995 has been disbursed from the total budget in 2018. The funds were spent on equipment purchase, trainings, international experts, skills assessment, recruiting a project team, providing international experience to adolescents and other direct project participants, as well as assessment needs. The budget for this year is determined at the level of $319,316, of which more than $121,000 have been spent so far.

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In 2018, special boarding schools and a number of schools in Baku were selected for implementation of a pilot project.

The selection process is expected to end in September. In total, 115 graduates will participate in the project, of which 45 are youth with disabilities. Ten mixed groups of 12 teens will be created, who will study various traditional arts and crafts. Of them, three groups will be involved in pottery and wood engraving, and two groups in the manufacture of simple stained glass souvenirs and batiks and souvenirs made of polymer clay and beads. Some programs are designed for six months, and others for a year.

UNDP will manage and oversee the budget and procurement. The overall coordination and management of the project will be ensured by the senior staff of ongoing EU vocational education and training projects in Ganja and Jalilabad. European consultants specializing in the development of inclusive professional education will be involved in the project as well.

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The main part of the project is funded by the European Union and amounts to $667,828, the remaining $74,263 is funded by UNDP. The end of the project is expected to be in June 2021.