Friday, 24 July 2015


For the children's bright future

Cerebral palsy in the Ukraine

A recent television news report from the Ukraine states –
В Украине почти 30 тысяч детей с ДЦП. При этом заведений для специализированной реабилитации очень мало. Поэтому, родители детей, не дождавшись помощи государства, взяли инициативу в свои руки.
[There are nearly 30 thousand children with cerebral palsy in the Ukraine. There are few specialized rehabilitation facilities for this need. Parents of children have therefore have taken the initiative into their own hands ,without waiting for help from the state.]

Projecting the arbitrary, conventional incidence figure of 2.5 on to the Ukraine's population of 47 million offers a figure of 1403 new cases of cerebral palsy per year (no allowance made here for the present situation in the Crimea and the Donbas):

Even granting special circumstances such as Chornobil' and the breakup of the Soviet healthcare system, the prevalence figure of 30 thousand children living with cerebral palsy may seem a little high, the figure seems quite close and any difference may be accounted for by diagnostic criteria and definition of the upper age of childhood, as well as objective factors. Specifics aside, as in most places in the world, there is a deep well of unmet need.

Conductive Education?

The PAF has been encourageded by its government to run some small pilot schemes in Hungarian-speaking areas of Transcarpathia, just across the border, in conjunction with international aid organisations, for example:

And some Ukrainian parents and their children have stayed at the PAF as part of its 'health tourism' schemes, for example:


Now another small-scale venture has appeared, of a kind well familiar around the world: parents have inaugurated and run their own one-week summer camp, in the capital Kiev.

A year or so ago a group of parents of young children with cerebral palsy in Kiev banded together to form Світле Mайбутнє Дітей – Children's Bright Future. Their first major venture was to arrange sessions with the Feldenkreis method. Their second has been to employ the services of a conductor, Ida Igra, for a week. On Facebook, a parent reports 

Rehabilitation of children and adults with cerebral palsy.
Report on the work of a summer camp for children with cerebral palsy according to the Pető system
I would like to share my impressions about our first experience of a summer camp for special children. Fortunately, the first pancake was not lumpy [i.e. it went smoothly for this first attempt]. Everything came together, we were able to organize time and space satisfactorily for our children, and not to lose face in front of our Israeli specialist in the Pető system – Ida Igra.
There were six children in our group, aged from two to seven years. Classes were held every day from 10.00 to 14.00, over 10 days. One can say that on all these days the children went to kindergarten and did everything that typical children do in kindergarten. They learned for themselves how to to eat, sit, stand, draw, shape and bake pies, walk in the children's playground, ride on the swings.
It seems like everything is simple but unfortunately, without certain 'plain' furniture, it is almost impossible. Our brains just can't understand how very simply and easily you can let your child be independent. Before our camp, for many mothers this seemed impossible. Many were the discoveries but for all of us the biggest has been that our children can and do know how to communicate with each other, and how they do not get enough. For them socialisation is as necessary as air. Relating to each other, not just with their parents, they start talking, sitting and walking much faster, and this became apparent to everyone who saw the children on the first day of he camp and on the last.
Our longer-term plans include opening a full-fledged kindergarten. In the immediate future we will bring children together twice a week, and of course continue to be engaged with the Feldenkrais method and the Pető system. Let us join together.

TV report

The next step: find a conductor

The group is now looking to employ a Russian- or Ukrainian-speaking conductor to run a full time service:

Good luck!


(n.d.) Родители детей с ДЦП организовали специализированный реабилитационный центр,

 (n.d.) Отчет по работе летнего лагеря для детей с ДЦП по системе Петьо, Реабилитация детей и взрослых с ДЦП, 23 June

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