FEEL IT BY YOURSELF

Activists of the ‘Feel by Yourself” initiative presented a Video about its Activity

The initiators of the national project ‘Feel by Yourself” created a brief video, which refers to the first phase of the project – a public inventory of public places.

The authors of the video say that it is about the inspection of public places, which are free to all people, regardless of their health: government buildings, hospitals, and educational institutions, pharmacies, shops, apartments and so on. Practice shows that some buildings are considered accessible only formally, but in most cases it is difficult for people in wheelchairs to get into such buildings, and sometimes even dangerous

The Activists of the “Feel by Yourself” Figured out “Disappearance” of ATM in Svitlovodsk (+ video)

Mariya and Daryna Podatel, citizens of Revivka area in Svitlovodsk, informed the “Feel by Yourself” initiative about the dismantled ATM at 2 Robitnycha Street where they usually get their pensions.

Mother of girls with disabilities complains that dismantled ATM was the only one in the whole Revivka area which is far from the city centre, and people with disabilities have to get to the nearest ATM about 4 km to get their money.

Activists of “Feel by Yourself” initiative immediately appealed to the local branch of PrivatBank to clear up the situation. As the head of the local branch reported, they know about the problem but cannot solve it at the moment. However, she promised that the issue would be resolved within two weeks. Activists of the PU “Civic Guard” and NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” will appeal to the main branch of Privatbank to get official explanation.

WE Do Exist: Life on the Knees. The Story of Vasyl Pohodayev

Shooting of the documentary “WE Do Exist” is going to be finished with a story of Vasyl Pohodayev, a citizen of Vlasivka, Svitlovodsk district.

Disabled since childhood Vasyl has spent all his life in a wheelchair. Life on the knees our hero knows not from the stories. The man treats the concept of “accessibility” with irony. He notes that it was absent either in the soviet times or in the independent Ukraine. Life in a village near Svitlovodsk, where he has lived since 1992, the man describes as one of the best periods in his life. “I’ve got more freedom, it’s more accessible and easier to breathe,” – he says.

With great pride the man remembers his first wheelchair. Vasyl says that when he got it, he discovered a lot new opportunities.

“When I got a wheelchair, it may be very first feeling that I can freely drive around the village in the summer. Although when I did not have any – what I could? I could climb the fence on my knees and sit on a bench.”

The man treats life philosophically – he never complains, often travels in his wheelchair to nearby cities. In 2015, for the first time in many years he managed to visit his homeland – Russia, where the man, despite his condition, was fishing along with healthy relatives.

Shooting is completed and now it’s turn of the film editor to take the lead. The author of the idea Natalia Sevidova promises that the presentation of the film, which was created as part of the initiative “Feel by Yourself,” will take place in autumn 2016.

“WE DO EXIST”: The Will to Live. The Story of Anna Khmurina

Shooting of the documentary “WE DO EXIST” by Production Studio “HEADMEDIA,” which began on February 15, 2016, as part of the initiative “Feel by Yourself,” initiated by the PU “Civic Guard” and NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” continues.

Hero of the next story from Svitlovodsk is a 48-year-old Anna Khmurina. She was born without any deviations. Then there was a kindergarten, school, university, and a profession of a teacher in math. A simple rheumatism made terrible changes in life – a number of complications and as a result – a wheelchair.

There is nothing to talk about accessibility in our country, however. For twelve years she could not get out of her apartment due to high stairs and narrow elevator. Absence of ramps, call buttons and other social “benefits” of the civilized world influenced much the life of Anna Khmurina. But despite this, Anna continues to live and enjoy life, attend courses of foreign languages and handmade craft, and help students study math.

NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” and PU “Civic Guard” Organised a Training “Problems and Their Solutions for War Participants,” Led by American Psychologist Ottis Winston “Chip” Taylor

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On February 22, in Kyiv, NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” together with PU “Civic Guard” organized a one-day training on “Problems and their Solutions for War Participants,” as part of the initiative to develop All-Ukrainian network of Centres for socio-psychological rehabilitation and adaptation of ATO military, people with disabilities and IDPs.

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Coach – Ottis Winston “Chip” Taylor, an experienced American psychotherapist, who for 8 years has been living and working in Ukraine to overcome the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of military personnel, treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide prevention and related phenomena.

The event was attended by public leaders, volunteers, wives of military, representatives of Defence Ministry of Ukraine, psychologists and practitioners who work with Ukrainian soldiers.

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The training concentrated on the issues of the physical and psychological changes that occur in people who have experienced stress as a result of participation in hostilities. They are servicemen and members of their families who actually are co-dependent on post-traumatic stress disorder. There were discussed “flashbacks” when a soldier being at home, mentally returns to war. “Chip” showed the participants of the training some practical “hints” that allow you to minimize the negative effects of the above syndromes.

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One of the organizers of the training, the head of NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” Natalia Sevidova stressed the particular importance of such practical exercises in Ukraine. “Only together, uniting efforts of caring people and developing a system of professional social and psychological assistance, we can help soldiers, people with disabilities, IDPs and other groups of the population in need of such assistance,” – she emphasized.

“I am confident that information received at the training will be useful, – said Head of the NGO “Kyiv City Civic Guard” Oleksander Zaichenko. – Maybe it will help save the love, relationship, and perhaps even the life of a soldier, a person with disabilities or an IDP.”

“WE DO EXIST”: Inaccessibility for Two. The Story of Podatels

The family of Podatels from Svitlovodsk continue a series of stories for the documentary “We Do Exist,” as part of the initiative “Feel by Yourself,” initiated by PU “Civic Guard” and NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU”.

This story has a special place in our film, because it is about two sisters Mariya and Daryna Podatel. Spastic toxia – such diagnosis doctors made with the girls on the fourth year of their life. Both girls are “dependent” on the disease, and at the same time, due to the fall, Mariya’s disease is manifested much sharper. Therefore, Maria is forced to move in a wheelchair, while her sister is moving independently.

“Despite the possibility of moving of one of us – the issue of accessibility remains our priority,” – the girls say.

Despite the fact that Mariya has moved in a wheelchair since her childhood, she genuinely loves life and it is mutual. The graduate of Svitlovodsk secondary school no.9, Mariya works as logistician at a local company. In his spare time, she likes reading fantasy books, and writes her own stories, which she gladly shares with her friends.

“Two years ago I accidentally watched on TV an excerpt from the contest “Beauty without Limits” and longed to participate in it. This year an organizer of the contest contacted me and invited to participate. I submitted an application and, surprisingly, I was invited to the competition.”

Sisters live in a remote area of Svitlovodsk and every day they feel all the peculiarities of architectural inaccessibility of a multi-storeyed building in which they live. Mariya’s wheelchair is practically broken because of bad roads. It is almost mission impossible for girls to go to the city centre: the only bus equipped with a ramp does not reach the area of their habitation. While other buses the girls cannot use due to difficult mounting.

“We Do Exist.” Fighting Indifference. The Story of Oksana and Danylo Kulievtsovs

The work on the documentary “WE DO EXIST” as part of the initiative “Feel by Yourself,” initiated by the PU “Civic Guard” and NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” continues.

The shooting of the third episode has been finished. This is the story of Oksana Kulyevtsova who brings up her 5-year-old son Danylo. Due to the negligence of doctors, the boy was born with disability and was diagnosed cerebral palsy.

For five years Oksana Kulievtsova has struggled not only for the health of her son, but also with city and state officials who ignore the needs of special children by not dealing with the issues of architectural accessibility of roads, pavements, children’s clinics and shops. Even a neighbour “helps” by parking his car so that it is problematic to pass by with a wheelchair when going go for a walk.

Having tired of bureaucratic indifference and understanding the problems of children with disabilities, Oksana has a dream to build a modern rehabilitation centre where these children can get education and be prepared for life in society, so far not very friendly to children with disabilities.

Finally, Oksana Kulievtsova advises mothers of special children in any case not to listen to “well-wishers” to abandon their children.

“WE DO EXIST”: The Long Road to School. The Story of Tatarovs

Shooting of the documentary “WE DO EXIST” by Production Studio “HEADMEDIA,” which began on February 15, 2016, as part of the initiative “Feel by Yourself,” initiated by the PU “Civic Guard” and NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” continues.

The next in a series of episodes about people with disabilities is a story of a boy with cerebral palsy, plastic tetraparesis obtained as a result of birth trauma. Bohdan was born on the 32nd week of gestation. In the first moments of his life, he was not breathing. Bohdan is the oldest child in the family. Several years ago, his parents took a chance and now Bohdan has got two healthy brothers.

The boy can move only in the wheelchair assisted by his mother. Every day they have to cover about four kilometres on the way to school. Their path lies through railway tracks. The guy can only dream of going out in the rain because his mother has no energy to push the wheelchair in off-road conditions.

School “meets” all special children with high stairs and classrooms on the upper floors. Despite all the troubles, Bohdan is a good student, studies English and recites poems in English. He dreams of cooking a potato casserole for his own family.

“WE DO EXIST”: Voice in the Wilderness. The Story of Vlad Chaika

On February 15, 2016, Production Studio “HEADMEDIA” started shooting the documentary “We Do Exist” as part of the initiative “Feel by Yourself,” initiated by the PU “Civic Guard” and NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU.”

According to the author of the film idea Natalia Sevidova, the documentary consists of six stories of people with disabilities and tells about the hard life of such people in Ukraine.

The first episode became the story of a 19-year-old Vladyslav Chaika from Kirovohrad, who at the age of 12 was run by a car in front of his mother’s eyes. He was in a coma for two months. After recovering consciousness, Vlad began a life-long struggle for control of his own body. Already 7 years Vlad has been engaged in physical rehabilitation and has achieved outstanding results. His daily record is 600 push-ups and 600 repetitions of exercises with dumbbells. The guy wants to get well, get married, work as a system administrator and do video editing.

Head of the NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” Natalia Sevidova invited an American psychologist Ottis W. Chip Taylor to hold seminars in Kyiv

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During training in Nikopol, Head of the NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” Natalia Sevidova agreed with American psychologist Ottis W. Chip Taylor on a workshop on February 22-24 in Kyiv.

The agenda of the training program will be announced by organizers in the near future.

Trainer: Ottis W. Chip Taylor is an American psychotherapist with 30-year experience in overcoming traumatic syndromes of military, treatment of alcohol and drug addiction and related problems. He worked in leading US clinics.

Since 2006, “Chip” has worked in Ukraine as a general practitioner and a consultant in overcoming alcoholism, drug addiction, PTSD, gambling, nicotine addiction, computer addiction, sexual disorders, prevention of suicide. He has experience with military suffering addictive behaviour as a result of participation in hostilities.