Changing Young Lives in Ukraine

Rivne, Ukraine is not what you might think.  The bustling city seems to be thriving and yet healthcare and other forms of support for children with disabilities are sadly lacking.  Being handicapped is the 4th leading cause of death in Ukraine and children with disabilities are often abandoned by their families.  Over the past four years, RTW has sponsored several projects directed to supporting these kids and Patti Wright visited in September to see first hand the difference they've made.
When dynamo Patti Wright took on the challenge of chairing the International Committee four years ago, she had no idea it would lead to the sponsorship of four projects in Ukraine.  In consultation with Andre and Gillian Dugas of RC Etobicoke, she learned how parents of disabled children were so overwhelmed by their needs and so lacking in community support that they abandoned their children to orphanages, hoping those institutions would be better able to provide the care the children needed.
In co-operation with other Rotary Clubs in the Toronto area, she has arranged for funding for projects to help disabled children in Rivne Ukraine.  In September, she travelled with Rotarians David Green (Pickering), Bill Wray (Alliston, and past Area Governor District 7070)  and Roger Hayward (Alliston) to see how much that funding had accomplished.
The projects RTW supported were co-ordinated in Rivne by Ohla Novytska, who is President of the Rotary Club there.  The Rotary Club of Rivne has approximately 20 members, as does their partnering Rotaract Club, but they are strongly motivated to accomplish a great deal.

Project #1: Rehab Playground Equipment  at Rivne Regional Children's Hospital- 2015/2016

RTW's donation of $660 went a long way to provide a safe and therapeutically appropriate environment for disabled kids to play as kids should.
Project #2: Disability Accessible Playground at City Children's Hospital of Rivne - 2016/2017
While the previous playground was not designed explicity for kids with disabilities, this one was.  RTW contributed $704, a much valued donation to this heavily used, therapeutic environment.
Project #3: The "Blind Project"  - 2018/2019
In association with the Rivne Association of Blind, a facility was constructed to provide homes and workspace.  The workspace houses a sewing workshop and an area for toilet paper production.  The products made in these workshops are sold, and the revenue generated supports the programs and the workers.
Project #4: The "Autism Project"  - 2019/2020
In the Rivne region, approximately 1300 children below the age of 10 are affected by autism.  The purpose of this project is to purchase better diagnostic equipment and train health professionals so that families with autistic children have the support needed to have their kids stay in the family home.
Established in partnership with (Popovycha) Rehabilitation Centre for Children, Poglyad Charity Fund of Mutual Assistance and Protection of Children, Centre of Mental Heath and Rivne Regional Children's Hospital, the environment will offer play environments, like the one pictured above, and treatment areas that are optimized for children with conditions on the austistic spectrum.
You'll find Patti's presentation in its entirety below.