As appointed by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) and its member-national societies, the World MS Day (WMSD) is approaching fast to be celebrated again around the world. Last year, in 85 countries including Russia, where people were active to mark WMSD, its supporters conducted a wide range of activities dedicated to this date for PwMS, shareholders and general public.
Taking part in the survey
In 2011, the WMSD’s theme is ‘Work and MS’. This is most topical at least for the reason that the recent MSIF-conducted survey revealed that half people with MS end up out of employment within the first three years after diagnosis. To help this and understand what is effective in retaining and finding jobs for PwMS, MSIF went on its survey in expectation of WMSD, which embraced MS communities and supporters internationally through the Web.
The survey was keen to get employers’ views as this would be very helpful and productive.
WMSD is a platform for MS advocates all over the world. MS societies can use this international date for a united action in the global MS movement, while WMSD serves to stimulate improving the quality of life of people with MS. The data and materials collected and posted on the WDMS website can help significantly arrive at solutions with regard to employment of PwMS, as well as help in other aspects.
What can be done
All MS societies and individuals interested to participate in WMSD are expected to contribute in an adequate way according to their possibilities, imagination and will. There are lots of choices suggested by MSIF how they can join WMSD, on the other hand all parties are welcome and free to offer their ideas. The least an individual can do is sign the petition to urge decision-makers to recognize the importance of people with disabilities as a vital labour resource .
WMSD experiences so far
The most prominent events among those conducted beyond Russia are likely as follows: climbing Mount Everest, rock concert of U2 group, football matches, walks and tours for MS. However, any events of national and regional MS societies are welcome. The purpose of these is to raise awareness among general public, therefore national MS societies are encouraged to involve celebrities and to make their events most out-of-the-way.
What we plan to do
Our colleagues in branches of the All-Russian MS Society (ARMSS) have reported that the traditional WMSD list of events will include: distribution of white ribbons – symbols of MS in the country, TV films and spots, tea-parties and musical performances for PwMS, meetings with public servants and experts, workshops, assistance to MS patients in their homes, raising awareness about MS, gifts and donations. Moreover, they plan on having more recreational events, such as angling parties and competitions, going to the theatre and attending religious services. We hope that our colleagues will be able to offer something that helped PwMS in Russia and will help beyond get employed. It seams feasible taking into consideration the fast pace the MS movement in Russia has been developing with.
Time to go ahead!
Let us take part and contribute to finding answers to questions that MS community and we are facing!
Events related to WMSD will be covered on the WMSD website . We shall also keep track of WMSD news on the website of the All-Russian MS Society. You can also follow the news on twitter and facebook:
An adapted translation of the Russian version by
Vice President, ARMSS