aktualności, Czwartek, 24 marca 2022

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The Association for Help to Disabled Children "Step by Step" in Zamosc (a public benefit organization , www.spdn.pl ) has been conducting innovative integrated rehabilitation, educational and social activities for over 30 years in its 12 institutions (in very poor Zamosc region close to Polish-Ukrainian border) and through non-institutional forms of support for people with disability and their families (the personal assistant, respite home). The association supports more than 500 people with disabilities in its day education, rehabilitation and social facilities and provides access to medical rehabilitation for another 2,000 patients annually. It also provides adapted transport to its facilities. The Association provides all services free of charge.

As part of the PL-BY-UA Program helps build a rehabilitation center in Ukraine (Kremenets). At the same time, the Association is building a Family Home in Zamość for 30 disabled adult residents, the completion of which is planned for September 2022.

The Step by Step Association cooperates with many institutions in Ukraine through training in the field of children's disability and rehabilitation. As we are located only 60 km from the PolishUkrainian border, it was natural for us to assist the refugees and especially those with disabled children - they are mostly mothers with children, whose husbands have stayed in Ukraine to fight the Russian aggression. The children suffer from a wide range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, motor and intellectual disabilities, autism etc.

Since February 28th we have been making our facilities available, created at the expense of limited space for our Polish participants, for short-term stays of disabled Ukrainians after they cross the border. We provide rest, food, clothing, necessary medical and social assistance, etc. and facilitate finding destinations and transportation to them.

We also collect/purchase food, medicine, hygiene items, etc. and forward them to Ukraine, city of Kremenets and other.

Due to the escalating refugee crisis, during which 2 million refugees have already entered Poland so far, including thousands of people with disabilities and their families. The time has come to take the next step in helping refugees with disabilities and their families. In Poland there are not enough long-term places for them to stay, and the societies of Western Europe and the world have not been open enough so far to accept refugees, especially people with disabilities (with their families).We are still looking for new possibilities.

For the most part, families of people with disabilities, given the inconvenience of distant travel, declare their desire to stay as close as possible to the Polish-Ukrainian border. They also hope to return quickly after the war is over and Ukraine is rebuilt. Poland will be forced to create settlements for refugees.

Our Association, responding to the needs of disabled refugees and their families, is determined to create for them long-term accommodation in adapted conditions.

We have at our disposal large plots of land with access to electricity and water (next to our centres) in Białobrzegi 57 near Zamość (2 hectares) and in Bondyrz near Krasnobrod (2.64 hectares), where we could quickly build living containers and supply them with electricity, water and sewage. We have considerable material resources (equipment) and human resources (over 300 employees and volunteers). We are raising funds to help refugees from Ukraine, from which we would be able to maintain the operating costs of this infrastructure and all costs of functioning.

Obtaining a grant or donation would enable us to purchase and install (along with supplying electricity, water and sewage) appropriate, adjusted, heated containers equipped with bathrooms.

The estimated cost of a container for 2 families with disabled people and a shared bathroom (the most economical version) is more than 70 000.00 PLN. Currently, refugees use 20 places in our facilities and each housing container means another 5-7 places for them.

With this request, the Association appeals to many communities in Poland, Europe and the world, hoping to create a housing container settlement thanks to international solidarity. We will put country/donor names on the houses. We hope there will be many! Once the war is over and Ukraine is rebuilt and the refugees have returned to their homes, the infrastructure of the settlement will be used to house adults with disabilities from Poland who are struggling with homelessness and lack of care after the death of their parents/guardians.

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