The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation helps injured children
There are 220 thousand children living in the area affected by the War in Donbas, and every day, they are exposed to mortal danger. According to UN data, seven thousand square kilometers in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts are strewn with landmines. The unexploded ordnance littered, in literal sense, all over this area is impossible to count. More than 260 children were wounded since the outbreak of the armed conflict in the Donbas.
14-year-old Dmytro Gomeniuk from Zlatoustivka village in the Volnovakha Raion saw for himself how life can turn over in a fraction of a second. The boy has barely escaped death when he found a bullet near his house.
‘I thought it isn’t dangerous. Wanted to make a souvenir. I brought the bullet home, saw that it’s hollow, stuck a wire inside it, and the bullet immediately exploded,’ the boy said.
At that moment, Dima [a diminutive of Dmytro] thought that he is going to die.
‘He phoned me to say farewell; he was scared, and cried,’ Halyna Gomeniuk, the lad’s mother told about the day of tragedy, unable to hold back tears.
Doctors diagnosed Dmytro with multiple severe arm, neck, eye and stomach injuries. He spent several weeks in an intensive care unit, and had to undergo two very complex surgeries.
‘The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation provided medicines that helped our son survive,’ Pavlo Gomeniuk, the lad’s father says.
Eight months have passed since Dmytro was wounded. Looking at him now, it’s hard to believe that not so long ago, his parents were praying for the boy’s salvation. Dima has fully recovered from the shock, and today, he conducts an active lifestyle and participates in daily rehearsals of a new repertoire with his music band, playing on a drum kit.
‘A drummer must have strong arms and an excellent hearing. When I was wounded, I had a strong squeaking in ears and my hand was badly injured. But that’s all over now, and only scars remind me about the wounds,’ Dima says.
Such a fast recovery became possible thanks to an individual program which Dmytro Gomeniuk underwent in the summer of 2018 under the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation’s project Rehabilitation of Wounded Children.
‘Helping children is always a priority for Rinat Akhmetov, especially when the child’s life is at stake. The Foundation is the only organization in Ukraine providing systemic and comprehensive help with rehabilitation of severely wounded children from the Donbas. It doesn’t matter where a child lives – in the government-controlled or uncontrolled territory. Every wounded child has the chance to receive help,’ Tetiana Kukhotska, the Foundation’s Director for Project Development says.
The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation launched its Rehabilitation of Wounded Children project on 10 March 2016. Under this project, the Foundation provides help to wounded children, including those living in the government-uncontrolled territory or in the “grey zone”. Over 100 rehabilitation courses have been held since the project’s inception.
To apply for help under this project, the child’s parents (regardless of where they live) must call the Foundation’s hotline at 0-800-509-001.