Ukrainians with intellectual disabilities and their families surviving the war
When Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Inclusion Europe was in close contact with our member organisation VGO Coalition. Based on their description of the situation and needs, we decided to facilitate financial support for people with intellectual disabilities and their families in Ukraine: Help Ukraine fundraiser was launched shortly after.
During the first 100 days of the war, VGO Coalition received 60,000 euros from this fundraiser. This money allowed the VGO Coalition to pay for:
- individual cash contributions (3,470 UAH) to 470 Ukrainians with intellectual disabilities;
- 10-day care for 8 persons with intellectual disabilities and temporary rest for their families;
- hire personal assistants;
- minor repairs of building where services are provided.
More donations were transferred to local NGOs (members of the Coalition) to provide even more individual financial assistance to families, pay for the services of personal assistants, basic necessities, and resume services.
Many of Inclusion Europe members supported the initiative; organising their own fundraisers to contribute, making donations, organising events to collect from the public etc. The fundraiser has received support from organisations and individuals outside of Europe too, with support from Inclusion International, Inclusion Canada, The Arc of the Unites States.
Inclusion Europe made the first transfers on 8 March.
By the end of August, the fundraiser collected over €630,000.
VGO Coalition use of the second tranche of the money
“On 27 June 2022 we organised online discussion of the NGO leaders, Coalition members. Three priority areas were determined:
- Daily activities / workshops for adults and children with intellectual disabilities.
- Family placement of those persons with intellectual disabilities who need care, but who lost their family care.
- Restarting of the NGO services to families of persons with intellectual disabilities.
40 organisations (members of the VGO Coalition) received subgrants from the money provided by Inclusion Europe fundraiser:
- 20 subgrants for daily activities / workshops (total amount 1,227,200 UAH).
- 1 subgrant for foster placement (286,644 UAH).
- 35 subgrants for restarting of the support activities (5,448 844 UAH).
Following support was provided to Ukrainians with intellectual disabilities and their families with money from the fundraiser:
- 227 families received individual financial grants of 3,470 UAH.
- 304 people with intellectual disabilities were able to attend daily activities / workshops during 2 months.
- 76 persons with intellectual disabilities received the support of personal assistants.
- 309 persons received individual support by psychologists and other specialists.
- 228 persons attended group rehabilitations sessions.
Part of the money was also used to pay for repairs of war-damaged buildings where services are provided.
All this aid and collective effort to provide assistance to people with intellectual disabilities and their families in Ukraine has been extremely helpful. We want to thank all of you!”
The VGO Coalition also provided these 2 videos for our Europe in Action conference (September, in Brussels):
- Tetiana Lomakina, Adviser–Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for a Barrier-free Environment
- members of the VGO Coalition with a review of the support they were able to receive
- Olena Kravchenko: We are very grateful supported us from the first days
- How the money collected for Ukraine helps people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
- If you are being overlooked in normal times, it is unlikely that anyone will take you into account during a crisis
- 100 days: Ukrainians with intellectual disabilities and their families surviving the war
- “NGOs are at the forefront providing support to refugees with disabilities,” organisations in Moldova, Poland, Romania, Czechia tell us
- One month of the Russian war on Ukraine in the words of families of people with intellectual disabilities
- “Weeks of horror. And we cannot possibly escape.”
Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.
This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.
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