Ajana Lolat is a professional disability inclusion specialist who has been working in this field both practically and academically for almost 10 years. Growing up with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, she founded a fund to fund various therapies for children with disabilities. "I know the hardships the disease brings to you and your loved ones, so I want the foundation to bring them hope and joy, "says Ajana.
Having decided that due to her disability, it was worth buying a dog assistant to help carry things or even call for help if something happened, the girl found out that such dogs are not yet available in Lithuania - there are no regulatory laws or subsidies for such a purchase. Stubborn by nature, Ajana decided that her goal from now on was to fundamentally change the situation in Lithuania. After finding the Baltic Cynology Center (BCC) - professional cynologists who agreed to train her first dog assistant, the girl invited the whole of Lithuania to support them: the necessary working group was initiated in the Seimas, and people donated funds for the first dog's assistant's studies. Thus, the foundation founded by Ajana became known as the Mulan Foundation (in honor of the first puppy assistant), and the project expanded - now even three assistant dogs are being trained in Lithuania, and the dog assistant training center - BKC - is approaching special. a European qualification, which is obtained if at least 5 assistant dogs are successfully trained.
To spread the word about the benefits of dog assistants and raise funds for the project, the united team traveled as much as 12.6 km and thus reached the official Lithuanian record by measuring the distance covered with the help of crutches. After the march, Ajana shed tears both from the difficulty, as she says herself, and from the beauty that everyone managed to create together. The walk was attended by deaf people, sign language interpreters, children with and without disabilities, cynologists, a large group of dog lovers, and their dogs, including, of course, the first growing dog assistants. You can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhH8knVs8qc
We make every effort to bring dog assistants to people with disabilities in Lithuania and bring them not only new opportunities for independence and security but also a lot of joy. Even biologically proven, the presence of a dog indoors reduces stress levels by up to 10 percent. (if we keep the standard 100%).
More about the project goals:
Aim: To prepare and establish a system of training assistance dogs in Lithuania
• Regulation of the legal framework.. The Foundation has initiated the preparation / supplementation of the necessary related laws in Lithuania. Currently, we actively participate in a specially formed working group of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and represent Lithuania on related issues in Europarlanente.
• The fund in the field of assistance dog training. The Fund in the field of assistance dog training. The School of Cynology seeking accreditation of assistance dogs must train at least 5 assistance dogs. Then, upon arrival, the international commission (its representatives) evaluates the training of the dogs, the suitability of the school and provides the necessary qualifications (or provides recommendations for improvement). We aim to help fund gain this qualification by helping to select the first 5 participants in the program (people with disabilities) and to raise funds for the training of the latter dogs (see participant stories).
More about school accreditation: https://assistancedogsinternational.org/members/candidate-program/
• Fundraising. The cost of preparing one dog is 19500 EUR, so we aim to collect a sufficient amount for exactly 5 participants – 97 500 EUR. The foundation remains true to its principles - our staff works voluntarily, so every euro you allocate is used only for the dog training program. We also have administrative costs - specifically legal contracts, the development of an information website, but we give priority to the training of dogs: we always try to save responsibly (while maintaining quality) so that every euro collected is used to the maximum.
• Public education. We work with the media to provide the public with as much information as possible about the benefits and importance of assistance dogs for people with disabilities. We also plan more related information projects - we invite you to follow our news!