Education is a fundamental right and a basic necessity for children to participate and thrive in their communities. With funding from Johnson & Johnson, Keystone Foundation for Children and Families assessed the need and readiness of key stakeholders in Moscow for inclusive education for all children, regardless of ability. Inclusive education benefits all children and offers a vision of hope and a positive future for children and families.
Since 2004 when we experienced the effects of the Beslan school hostage crisis along with our visiting Russian professionals from the Special American Business Internship Training Program (SABIT), we supported our Russian colleagues in providing community-based services for children and families directly or indirectly affected by this tragedy. This support included professional training and direct salary support for specialists at the Beslan Polyclinic, and was enhanced through our Comprehensive Systems of Care for Children and Youth in the North Caucasus program, funded by USAID, and our collaborations with the Open World Russia Civic Hosting Program.
Through the Open World Russia Civic Hosting Program, Keystone shared knowledge, expertise and important cultural perspectives with professionals from Russia. This professional exchange program emphasized hands-on, community-based collaborations that promote partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts. Keystone fostered these relationships with professionals through the Open World Program from 2005 to 2012.
By building on the strengths of the community and our belief in the inherent value of all individuals, Keystone enhanced the human services available to vulnerable children and families in the Russian North Caucasus to address their psychological, educational and health needs. This program sought to strengthen the relationship between individuals and the community through comprehensive systems of care in North Ossetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
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