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VISEGRAD AAI

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The project’s aim


We want to increase the level of quality of the AAI sector in the Visegrad region. In order to achieve this, we build an international alliance with professional organizations from Visegrad countries in cooperation with Ukraine. We hope to establish an international partnership with common goals, standards, and definitions that works for AAI growth and professionalism. During the duration of the project we will also prepare an international blended learning training for AAI teams that meets the specific needs of Visegrad countries and implement it during the pilot phase of the project.

 

PARTNERSHIP

Our partnership consists of the following organizations:
Animals for People Association (Poland)
Canistherapy training association Hafík (Czech Republic) 
Animals and humans with each other (Slovakia) 
Zmysel života, n. O. (Slovakia)
AURA Assistant Dog Foundation (Hungary) 
Jam SHM (Ukraine)


The project’s background


In Europe, Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) is becoming increasingly popular but is still unregulated. There is a lack of rules and standards that guarantee the high quality of services and the safety of patients. Certain countries, mostly Western European and Scandinavian, follow good international standards, but we still miss them in the Visegrad Region and in the Eastern Countries. Organizations and practitioners in those countries are interested in learning and improving the skills, but there aren’t many local experts. Poland has been developing AAI programs and training under international guidelines, during previous projects.

 

To BUILD A STRONG PARTNERSHIP...

SZL has been implementing international standards in Poland since 2016. Now, we would like to build strong partnerships in the Visegrad region and make international standards more responsive to local needs. In Visegrad countries each organization works on its own. This is a very ineffective way and makes the labor very divided. Patients do not know what kind of service they will get when buying an intervention, will the dog meet the standard, and will the intervention be helpful and safe? The overall aim of this partnership is to make AAI services more professional and standardized across the countries. We will use the knowledge and competencies of each partner, but also introduce international standards. Combining these two approaches will make the output usable in our Region, with all its strengths and supporting areas for development.

Planned actions


The Partnership will implement solutions like common training programs that guarantee good quality of AAI and similar requirements across the countries. There will be a brochure with requirements for AAI published and disseminated. The first step is to make the process of building partnership possible - gather experts, make the possibility to exchange good practices. During the second step the partnership will compare its own experiences and needs with international requirements and create its own programs that can be used locally. To make the solution popular we need easy “tools” that could be implemented in different organizations. One of those will be an e-learning basic course that could be enrolled by all practitioners who want to raise their own competencies. A very important issue is to use local languages, as courses and materials in English could not be used by everyone.

This is the first project gathering all Visegrad countries and making them work together to build AAI partnership, standards, and cooperation. Working together brings a big value and makes each partner grow.

We will meet at the international training camp in Poland!

31.07-07.08.2021

The camp will be an 8-day training event. Each partner will send 2 AAI teams that will take part in it. Teams should have experience in AAI and be advanced in training, so each participant could share his way of training and work with the dogs and patients.  During the camp, we can compare training methods,  learn new approaches and build a stronger partnership. There will be 5 hours of dog training each day and 2 hours of workshops and discussions. At the camp, there will be also a Norwegian trainer as an expert to supervise the training and support participants in learning new skills.
 

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logo visegrad fund

The project “Visegrad AAI” is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.