January 19th, 2009 by Katya
Ever since returning from my Fulbright in Ukraine, I wanted to setup some initiatives for the children in the orphanages especially those with severe disabilities. For a few months now, I have been talking about the need to send rehabilitative equipment to the orphanages, but I didn’t feel like I was generating enough momentum. Then things changed and with the help of a friend and the Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation, we were able to organize a beneficial donation. I was so happy that the people I put in touch with each other were so successful. Also, a week ago, I attended a party for a Ukrainian cultural organization and took the opportunity to speak out about the issue. My friend throwing the party was enthusiastic about promoting the project. Attendees were genuinely interested and many people were willing to help, either through donation, thinking about ways to expand the initiative or establishing charity work. The entire experience has reinvigorated me about the initiative. I hope that the project continues to unfold and fulfills the needs of these children. Read about the initiative below:
Initiative to send rehabilitative equipment to Ukraine
With the help of Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation, we are organizing a donation of rehabilitative equipment to the Znamyanka Orphanage. Znamyanka orphanage is a level 4 facility, housing children of severe mental and physical disability (Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, birth defects, malformations, mental retardation, etc.). The orphanage is understaffed and hence, unable to provide for the needs of all the children; there are 125 children and only 5 state funded teachers and 2 physical therapists. Children with disabilities need to exercise with adaptive equipment so they can improve their daily functioning abilities. Without the availability of adjustable chairs and additional adaptive equipment, many children can only be bottle fed and remain bedridden. Some children with specific disabilities, require adaptive equipment in order to be fed properly; without this equipment, children cannot feed properly resulting in malnutrition. The donations will be sent to Ukraine via an experienced carrier (Meest) and delivery to the orphanage will be overseen by an experienced volunteer.
Below is some of the equipment necessary:
Secondary Transition chair: Provides bodily support and proper positioning.
Feeder Seat: Positions the child for feeding, teaching, and resting.