2 million 600 thousand hopes. BLOG by Oleksandr Vyshniakov, the director of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Centre
According to official data, 6% of Ukrainians have a disability. The figure is depressing, especially in comparison with the statistics of 1989, when it was 3%. 2 million 600 thousand people is equal to the population of Kharkiv and Odesa combined. The situation is getting worse every year.
On Sunday, Ukraine celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It was established so that the society could remember of those who live next to us. But remembering these people once a year is not enough, they need constant help.
For Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Centre, daily concern for these people is one of the main priorities. If we cannot help them, no one will.
Vitalii Zhelnovatsky, the Krasnohorivka resident, has the I disability category. Muscle weakness is a diagnosis with which it is difficult to live even in a prosperous society. And even more so if you live in a city that has suffered from military operations. Even more so if you are responsible for your wife and daughters. Vitalii needs regular maintenance therapy. He also needs the simplest food to feed his family.
Oleksii Butskyi from Novomykhailivka of Donetsk region has been stiff-limbed for 35 years with a rare form of ICP. His parents used to help him, but now they are growing older and because of their own injuries and illnesses they need help themselves.
13-year-old Sasha Oliinyk is an internally displaced person from Makiivka. Her diagnosis is imperfect osteogenesis. Her bones are fragile, they often break down. Over 13 years of her life Sasha suffered 36 fractures. But in addition to all her misfortunes when she was a four-year-old child her mother gave her up. Her grandfather and grandmother are her whole family.
The internally displaced person from Donetsk, Lisa Kutkova, had a developing ICP as the birth injury consequence, and the doctors gave her a maximum of 16 years of life. Because of the weak development of the right side muscles, the girl has a fourth degree scoliosis, due to which one lung is clamped.
Different stories and different fates, but they have something in common: all these people need help. Thanks to the Humanitarian Centre, the families of Vitalii Zhelnovatsky and Oleksii Butskyi have food. Over the entire period of its more than three years of operation, the Centre issued about 12 million product packages, of which more than 600,000 were received by people with disabilities. Like thousands of their compatriots, the families of Vitalii Zhelnovatsky and Alexei Butskyi have the most necessary things which support their struggle for life and hope for the future.
Sasha Oliinyk needed an implant to fix the bones of her pelvis and legs. Her family appealed to Rinat Akhmetov Centre, and we helped to acquire all the necessary. Her left leg was also implanted. The girl underwent an operation that lasted eight hours.
Now she dreams of ballroom dancing.
Liza Kutkova was also operated on. The Centre acquired a special device for the child that levelled her back. Now Lisa can breathe freely and walk.
The help to these girls became part of the “Targeted Assistance” programme. More than 8.7 thousand people were provided with help for treatment, more than 4 thousand of them are children.
... Sasha Oliinyk wants to become a surgeon to save the future. Today's saved life can save hundreds of other people’s lives tomorrow. This is worth working for.