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Reforming of Pugachivka Orphanage: is for the Best?

Date: 13.01.2018

When we hear the "orphanage", many of us immediately image a picture - children in a closed territory, almost in prison, without communication and care... But if you came to the territory of Pugachivka orphanage, you notice that pupils from the orphanage (girls with oligophrenia in the stage of imbecility, Down's disease, children deprived of parental care, orphans), are surrounded by attention, a play space is created for them - a playground, playrooms, once a quarter they traveling on excursions, they are often visited by volunteers, representatives of various charitable foundations and organizations.

On August 10, 2011, the grand opening of Montessori Educational and Rehabilitation Center in Pugachivka orphanage for children with mental retardation was held in Zhytomyr Region. The initiator and organizer of Montessori Center project are: "Fund for Assistance and Development for Children of Chernobyl" and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States. Being the first training and rehabilitation center in schools of 3-4 profiles in Ukraine, the Pugachivka Montessori Center served as an exemplary center for training specialists from other schools with the purpose of extending this method of rehabilitation to physically and mentally disabled children deprived of parental care.

Employees of the United World Cultures Foundation and volunteers from detdom.info had been working together with the director Lesia Bronislavivna Petrenko to open a sensory room which should improve the rehabilitation process and positively influence on the pupils behavior.

Today, the Pugachivka orphanage is a modern and best institution, where an environment has been created and adapted to each individual pupil according to his psychophysical development, which certainly contributes to their maximum socialization, like a small children's town.

However, detdom.info volunteers and representatives of the United World Cultures Foundation after visiting orphanage on January 13 were deeply concerned about the reorganization reform and the transfer of 25 children to the Novoborivskiy orphanage, where pupils, aged from 6 to 35 years lives today.

"We are trying to make our educational institutions closer to European standards, to close boarding homes ... If I had it my way, I would create a small town "City of the Sun" on the Pugachivka orphanage, where rules of life, were adapted for people with disabilities... Girls had become friends with each other, they are seriously had stress after separation from their friends”, says Lysenko Lyudmila, representative of the United World Cultures Foundation.

We consider this reform a precipitate step, since the transfer of special children from one boarding house, from their home in which they lived happily, to another boarding school (not a family-type house) only harms these children, causing great stress. We consider it necessary to carry on first of all by reforming of those boarding homes where children do not see volunteers and live in terrible conditions... Please, take all necessary measures to refuse wrong practice of "saving" state fund by reforming, in fact, liquidation of Pugachivka orphanage.

And what about the Montessori Center, children's playgrounds?... Children who become a native to each other, disconnected, and now they are living with old people... And there are a lot of unanswered questions from detdom.info volunteers, which are already almost eleven years taking care about pupils of the Pugachivka orphanage.

Photos by photographer Jan Solnechny.