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UN deputy secretary general visits Belarusian rehabilitation center for children with disabilities

Society 20.02.2018 | 19:50

MINSK, 20 February (BelTA) – UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed visited the national rehabilitation center for children with disabilities on 20 February. She spoke highly of the level of public private partnership and cooperation with public organizations in enabling equal development conditions for all kids, BelTA has learned.

Deputy Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, national SDG coordinator Marianna Shchetkina took Amina Mohammed on a tour of the facility to demonstrate how comprehensive step-by-step rehabilitation of children is organized through cooperation between education and healthcare systems, private partners, and volunteers.

According to Lyudmila Kondrashova, director of the center, the center's work corresponds to the Sustainable Development Goals. “We also work in healthcare and follow the motto ‘No one is left aside' because we interact with regional labor, employment, and social security committees. We expand the lists of children in need of rehabilitation. A full-fledged education program has been organized. Even career guidance is available. There is a lot of gaming elements, too. We also provide psychological support to mothers of our students. Thanks to the convenient location in Sevastopolsky Park we teach children to take care of nature. Instead of simply arranging an acceptable environment for kids with special needs we try to help them join the society as full-fledged citizens,” noted Lyudmila Kondrashova.

The center now takes care of 98 children in eight age groups. Some of them enjoy rehabilitation services as in-patients. Comfortable rooms are available as accommodation for the rest. There is also a small hotel where parents of students from other places can stay.

The guests went on a tour of the departments focusing on social, psychological, and medical rehabilitation and adaptation. Amina Mohammed saw how kids play role games to master routine life skills, how they use exercise machines, get massage, and play with parents. She was touched when a boy, who had only recently started walking on his own, approached her to say hello.

Kids in hobby groups told the guests about their accomplishments. Lyudmila Kozlova, who had started learning how to make dolls together with her 11-year-old daughter Polina, said it was awesome to share a hobby with one's own children.

Older children talked to Amina Mohammed. They wondered about her work and her impressions of Belarus. The UN official said: “I love my job because I can talk to various people a lot. There are many good people in Belarus and particularly in this center. We all serve the mankind. And it is great.” She asked the kids about their dreams and invited them to visit New York.

The national rehabilitation center for children with disabilities was opened as part of the program Children of Belarus in 2000. It is designed to accommodate 120 kids at a time. The center was designed bearing in mind similar European institutions in order to offer comprehensive rehabilitation to children aged 3-18, who suffer from nervous system and musculoskeletal system disabilities with grievous results. Over the course of 17 years the center has offered rehabilitation courses to over 17,678 kids.

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