On June 19, 1997 Maurice Frohn and Victor Kubik were present for the first anniversary of the Chernihev Centre of Medical Social Rehabilitation. Present was the the British Ambassador to Ukraine, Roy Reeve who dedicated the Centre the year previously. Keeping this Centre viable is the main focus of our Chernobyl work. Located a mere 40 miles east of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor it is a symbol of healing and revival from one of deepest wounds our earth has suffered. The text below is from a brochure Dr. Vasily Pasechnik wrote that was distributed to guests coming to the anniversary commemoration of the Centre's opening.
When disaster strikes the Earth, it leaves a terrible mark--invalids. Invalids of the Great Patriotic War, job invalids, "Afghans", "Chernobyls", invalids from childhood--everybody has his fate and his own life. All of these people are united by one thing--pain, suffering, and misfortune. As fate would have it, they would just have to live with this terrible illness.
Chernobyl's tragedy has had a negative influence on children's health, and it has increased childhood disability considerably. Disabilities have increased more than three times during the last ten years. More than 55 per cent of invalids are children with nervous and mental diseases. Their medical and social rehabilitation is very difficult. Special equipment and professional training of medical and pedagogical personnel are very expensive.
In order to relieve the suffering of disabled children, a group of doctors created the Centre of Medical Social Rehabilitation of Disabled Children "Revival", in Chernigov, four years ago. This group is headed by pediatrist, V.I. PASECHNIK, who is Candidate of Medical Science, Merited Doctor of Ukraine.
In order to have a Centre, they had to devote their energies to acquire a building, decorate it, and establish themselves. Local authorities granted active assistance in this. The indisputable role in creating the Centre belongs to a former Chernigov resident, now a citizen of Great Britain, NINA ROGERSON. She has not set about solving this problem by herself, but has enlisted in this noble enterprise such sincere people as RICHARD ROBINSON, GEORGE and MARION MILLS, many other Englishmen, as well as the Belgian humanitarian organization headed by SABINE FLOREAL and JACQUES VANDENBROECKE, philanthropists from the Netherlands. Recently, MAURICE FROHN from Great Britain and VICTOR KUBIK from USA were enlisted to this work.
Our own philanthropists have not been aloof either. The regional section of Ukrainian fund of municipal property, (of the town's Soviet of People's deputies), the joint-stock company Brewery Desna, the joint-stock company Metal Goods Factory, Polycombank, Bank Demark, Bank Aval and others have supported this endeavor.
On June 19, 1996, the official opening of the Centre took place. The honourable ceremony--cutting the red ribbon--was granted to the Ambassador of Great Britain in Ukraine, ROY REEVES, and to the Chairman of the town's Soviet, VITALY KOSYH. Among others, there were guests from abroad, representatives of local authorities, regional state administration, social organizations, sponsors, colleagues from medical establishments, and the immediate participants of celebration--disabled children, the focus of all this.
This is, at present, the only establishment in the region for medical, psychological, pedagogical and social rehabilitation of disabled children and children with health problems--victims of Chernobyl's disaster. The atmosphere here is peaceful and gracious, like at home. Medical equipment, computers, carpenter's benches, furniture, pictures, books, toys--this is humanitarian from abroad.
Ill children have two-three courses of 28 days' treatment a year in the Centre. It takes great funding. Part of this comes from the budget, but on the whole, it is local and foreign philanthropists who allocate funds.
There are highly skilled specialists in the Centre: pediatrist, neurologist, physiotherapeutist, psychiatrist, therapeutic physical training doctor, logopedist, psychologists, teachers, and masseurs. They do everything to encourage the children to have a positive attitude on treatment in order to overcome their illness.
During daily treatment, young patients have different kinds of massage (classical, hydro-, vibration, vacuum), therapeutic physical training exercises, physiotherapeutic procedures, including nontraditional, and drug therapy.
Children are particularly fond of "dry swimming" in the bath filled with coloured balls, "hyppotherapy"--prancing on a big toy horse, and swimming in a magnificent English Jacuzzi.
For correction of speech problems there is a logopedical office. The playroom has everything for correction of mental problems and problems of intellectual development. Children acquire the skills to help themselves in production class. In computer class, they learn to master computers. This certainly will help ill boys and girls prepare for a future profession.
Serious illness of a child changes his mentality, and destroys the psychological atmosphere in the family. All this is corrected with the help of individual and family psychotherapy and collective psychocorrection. With the same sense of purpose, different specific programs are inculcated.
The Centre has constant help and support from local authorities and from social organizations, created at the "Revival", whose members are influential people of the city. Here mercy and sympathy are everywhere. Children are constantly under the surveillance of sympathetic and considerate personnel, which helps them believe in themselves and in the people who surround them. Parents can also learn to acquire the necessary skills for their children's care and upbringing.
Well, you've become acquainted with the Centre "Revival". With the help of the founders, the collective has worked out a prospective plan for it's further activity and development.
If you've become interested in it, you are invited to join in cooperation.
Centre of Medical Social Rehabilitation of Disabled Children "Revival"
Dotsenko str., No. 34
Tel/fax 0462 95-22-26