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Belarusian and Ukrainian children in rehabilitation at Debeli rtič


With the support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, ITF is currently implementing two projects for the enhancement of psychosocial and physical wellbeing of children from Ukraine and Belarus respectively. 40 Ukrainian and 30 Belarusian children are currently accommodated at the Debeli rtič Health and Youth Resort where they are receiving appropriate treatment.

Yesterday, ITF Director, Ambassador Damjan Bergant visited the children and spent the morning with them taking part in various arts, sports and other activities. The two groups of children arrived to Slovenia within the framework of two projects.

Ukrainian children are the first out of two groups of children from Ukraine - ATO zone in Donetsk and Luhansk regions that have been affected by conflict or have tragically lost a close relative and will receive psychosocial rehabilitation in the natural healing climate of Debeli rtič in August 2015.

The project for the enhancement of psychosocial wellbeing of Ukrainian children affected by political violence, instability and armed conflict in the country is being implemented by ITF since 2014 as the conflict in Ukraine is gravely affecting children as the most vulnerable member of society. The collapsing protection mechanisms are negatively impacting children’s development, especially their mental health and psychosocial well being, and it is therefore of utmost importance to provide immediate intervention and support to affected children. Over a span of two years, ITF will jointly provide psychosocial rehabilitation treatment to 4 groups or altogether 160 Ukrainian children.

At the same time, ITF is on the basis of an agreement between the governments of Belarus and Slovenia also implementing a medical rehabilitation project for 30 Belarusian children aged 7 to 14 years that have suffered consequences of radiation as a legacy of the 1986 nuclear accident in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Their rehabilitation program covers various therapies – hydrotherapy, respiratory physiotherapy, exercises for persistence, and a rich educational and social gathering program. ITF already contributed to the implementation of a similar project in 2012, while the current program is expected to continue in 2016.

Both projects are supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and implemented in cooperation with the Slovenian Red Cross.