Рука в руке
Tatiana Kravchenko has been in charge of the public charity fund and the rehabilitation center called "Ray of Hope" for more than 15 years in the city of Karaganda. She has found her calling in helping the kids with special demands and the people with disabilities to develop, as well as in changing the attitude of others towards them.
In 2012 the rehabilitation center "Ray of Hope" began the new direction in its activity: the training and the enlightenment of families, who have kids with disabilities older than 18 years and who live in the rural area, or to be more precise, in the Abay and Bukhar zhyrau districts of Karaganda oblast’. "Parents must not lock themselves in, - convinces Tatiana Kravchenko, - it is necessary to believe in your children, to face difficulties together with them. I know from my own experience that it is done easier of all when you have special skills and when you are informed about your rights. That is why we have decided to give different sets intended for the development of fingers’ movement, logical thinking, memory and attentiveness, to the parents who live in the rural area and who are raising children with disabilities, and to educate these parents in terms of the right way to study with their children and also in order to raise their competence in legal matters."
The project became possible thanks to the joint program between the Ministry of labor and the social protection of the population of RK and UNDP, the aim of which is to find new and effective approaches for the implementation of the law on "special social services". The passage of the law became the new stage in the development of the system of providing special social services by the NGOs.
In the framework of the grant program by UNDP and by the Ministry of labor and the social protection of the population of RK, three NGOs from the different regions of Kazakhstan have received a financial support for the development of their ideas in order to make the life of the people with disabilities better and more interesting.
The project, supported in the Karaganda oblast’, included seminars, trainings, individual consultations which were carried out by the specialists from the "Ray of Hope". It has been graded highly by the rural citizens, and has also helped to identify the needs, the demands and the capabilities of parents, who are raising the children with disabilities in the Abay and Bukhar zhyrau districts. However, the biggest advantage of this project is that it has stirred the minds of the people who live in the remote rural areas. Upon the project’s completion, parents have contemplated uniting over the problems that each of them faces and have expressed a wish to create social unions.
Svetlana Blinova from the Topar village in the Karaganda oblast’ has attended all trainings and seminars.
- We have become more competent in terms of law, and have started looking at the world with a feeling of hope. We have seen the evident examples of how the "ineducable" kids achieve success in sports and in art. This cannot fail to inspire. Besides, we have immediately began to use the given methodic material at home. It contained all the necessary tools for child development: puzzles, cubes, sets for visual art, applied art, developmental computer games, electronic players with audio tales, and books.
Within the framework of the UNDP joint grant program for families, who are raising the kids with disabilities older than 18 years and who are living in the countryside, more than 60 sets of educative methodic material was bought.
Svetlana’s son, Nikanor, 21 years old, the second child in the family, has been born with a Down’s syndrome. One should learn from him how to be joyous, open-minded, sincere and kind. He is constantly hugging or kissing his mother or the people around, who smile at him, and he calls the ones he likes with pet names. Is it possible that he could have grown up to be so friendly outside his family? It is unlikely, for he would not have been surrounded by the love and care he receives from his grandpa, his mother, his father and his sister.
Nikusya, which is how sweetly his mom calls him, talks a lot, and makes people laugh by making up different new words. "Goodie" stands for google-translate, "gul’on" means the bouillon, after which they go for a walk (from the word "gulyat’", which means "taking a walk"). "Zhul’vernyi" means sly (it comes, perhaps, from the combination of the words "zhulik" (cheater) and "vernyi" (loyal). His mother calls him "zhulik" when he behaves badly, and "loyal" is him again in terms of his love towards her).
The biggest achievement of her son, the mother confesses, is that Nikanor has learnt how to read and now that he uses a computer, can find his favorite music on the internet on his own, as well as talk using Skype.
They are together everywhere, and Nika often holds his mother by the hand, if he wants to receive her support and protection, but there was a period when doctors proposed to Svetlana that she refuse to raise her son. "It is difficult to accept that you have given birth to a child with disabilities, - she recalls, - But one must not find someone to blame, one must learn how to understand his or her child, be patient, give, and everything will return to you in generous amounts. The time when it was scary and shameful for parents to show their child in the society is gradually going away. We do not want to spend it in isolation, surrounded by the walls of our home. Our children also want to communicate with each other, with the world, and to live life to the fullest. And the kindergartens, schools, playing grounds, stadiums, and theaters must be adjusted to them. We are very glad that from now on, in the department of social help at the Abay region’s institution, the offices of social adaptation, exercise therapy, relaxation are fully working, and it is possible to bring your child there at any time.
In the spacious and bright hall for physical exercises, which the children on the wheelchairs can easily access, there are exercise bicycles, wall bars, dry pool, treadmills, and an equipped sanitary zone. Under the surveillance of an instructor each child exercises according to his or her own individual program: someone comes two times a week, someone comes everyday. Among these kids there are a lot of those who have only yesterday found it difficult to stand on their legs, and now they are confidently stirring the pedals of an exercise bicycle.
The new conditions of staying at the department of social help institution have become accessible as a result of "the provision of special social services reform", conducted by the Ministry of labour and the protection of population of RK. This process is held with UNDP’s active support, where UNDP experts are providing an expertise and a technical assistance during the development and the implementation of the standards, according to which these services should be provided for the people with disabilities.
- Thanks to the change in the standard acts, - the leader of the department of social help at the institution of the region, Olga Gorodetskaya, shares, - there is now an opportunity to create centers of daily stay and to widen the spectrum of services and the coverage of those receiving social assistance. Our children are special: they can be limited in their movement, their thinking abilities, their perception of the world around them, but they also play, laugh, behave naughtily, and are in need of love and care just like any other child.