Youth rehabilitation weeks project

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On the way to an independent life!

A unique project that helps to enable young wheel-chair users to lead as independent a life as possible. For three weeks, they work intensively at the goals they have set in order to take another step towards their independence.


Why is this project so important?

Life-long care and support for people in a wheelchair is essential for many reasons. In addition to medical and therapeutic care, it is important to achieve goals such as independence, self-determination, sports-related integration, and social integration. The earlier this starts, the better the prospects of equal opportunities and a better quality of life for the young people who are preoccupied with similar topics to those that concern able-bodied young people: relationships, clothes, appearance, and, of course, everything that is currently trendy. They want to be independent and to rely on as little help as possible from others. 

What do the youth rehabilitation weeks involve?

The young people come to Nottwil for three weeks. The goals they want to achieve during these weeks are de-fined individually for each young person. People in wheelchairs have various obstacles that they need to overcome. You can find out more about these in the series of images and the text printed below them. 

  • Bild im Vollbild öffnenProjekt Jugendrehabilitation - Rolltreppenfahren
  • Bild im Vollbild öffnenProjekt Jugendreha - Hindernisse in der Stadt
  • Bild im Vollbild öffnenProjekt Jugendrehabilitation - Ausflüge
  • Bild im Vollbild öffnenJugendrehabilitations-Wochen
  • Bild im Vollbild öffnenOrthotec Rehatechnik Handbike

Able-bodied people use escalators as a mat-ter of course. However, for wheelchair users this is a challenge that can only be mastered with a great deal of practice.

City training in Lucerne is a fixed compo-nent of the youth rehabilitation weeks. The image shows young people using the Euro key to operate the lift on Chapel Bridge. City training teaches them how to get about in public on their own.

The youth rehabilitation weeks programme also includes group outings. The young peo-ple can sleep on straw in the barn at Eyhof in Nottwil, where hippotherapy is provided with the horses housed there. In addition to its therapeutic purpose, contact with horses also has a positive effect on the young peo-ple's spirits.

The young people can talk about topics that concern people with paraplegia and tetraple-gia. However, there are also in-depth con-versations about clothes, going out, and what is currently trendy. Friendships for life are formed. 

Sport is an important topic as people in wheelchairs need to ensure that their body is fit and strong. Transfers from their wheel-chair into bed, onto the sofa, and into the car are extremely physically demanding. The youth rehabilitation weeks provide the teen-agers with opportunities to try out various types of sport, such as using a hand bike or racing wheelchair, so that they can find something suitable for them. 

  • Using the pavement: There are ledges and small ramps all over the place to get onto the pavement or to leave it again. Able-bodied people are often unaware of these, but they present a great challenge to wheelchair users.
  • Wheelchair handling training: How do you get back into your wheelchair after a fall without needing help from another person?
  • Kitchen training: Arm and hand move-ments are often also limited. Which aids are available to make cooking easier for the young people, e.g. operating a whisk? How do you have to plan your preparations so that a meal is on the table at midday?
  • Catheterisation: Bladder and bowel func-tion is often restricted in people with a spi-nal cord injury. If young people can insert their own catheters, this makes them much more independent and autonomous (as they do not need to request Spitex nursing and care services). If they do not require help from another person, they can meet friends independently, spend a night away from home, and do not need Spitex nursing and care services at school or at work.
Donate now and support young people

Friends for life

  • Yannik*, who has a spinal cord injury, lives in a fairly remote part of Graubünden. He leads an extremely secluded life and his over-anxious Mum hardly lets him have any freedom. On a visit to the family, a ParaHelp employee became aware of the tense situation.

    Once she was back in Nottwil, she informed the head of the holiday weeks that Yannik would be an ideal candidate for the youth rehabilitation programme. The idea was put into practice and Yannik arrived for the start of the youth rehabilitation weeks in Nottwil. His fairly low levels of motivation were discernible in the way that he hardly made contact with the other young people. However, there was another boy, Simon*, who had attended the holiday weeks before and who displayed an extremely high level of social competence. He made several attempts to get to know Yannik, but was rejected every time. Simon did not give up – and his persistence paid off! By the end of the three weeks, the two of them had become great friends and remain so today.

    Yannik was even allowed to visit his friend on his own, which would have been unimaginable before the holiday weeks. 

    *Names have been changed


  • The goals are individually defined for the young people on a case-by-case basis. This makes the youth rehabilitation weeks extremely cost-intensive and staff-intensive. Disability insurance contributions do not cover the actual costs.

    •    The whole youth rehabilitation programme costs CHF 165,360.00.
    •    Youth rehabilitation costs CHF 13,780.00 per young person for three weeks.
    •    The daily flat-rate fee is CHF 725.00 per young person.

    Without donations from private individuals and foundations, this offer cannot be maintained. However, the added value for the young people is priceless. 

Youth rehabilitation weeks 2019

Support young adults on their journey towards an independent life

Feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions. We will be delighted to provide you with further information about this fantastic and extremely important project. 

Donate to this fantastic project now.

General donations

Our bank details

Swiss Paraplegic Foundation
6207 Nottwil

CH14 0900 0000 6014 7293 5 

PC account