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Unusual Day Off for Unusual People

November 19, 2013, 10:30 3789 Author: Yulia Akhtman, translated by Oxana Burns www.klubok.org.ua Girls from the Vesyolovskiy psychoneurological nursing home visited the Children's railroad and a landscaped park on the Embankment

On Sunday, November 10th, eleven fosterlings of the Vesyolovskiy neuropsychiatric nursing home visited the Children's Railway of P.R. Popovich.

Girls went for a train ride and managed to see the Plavni (marshy and reedy banks) and new buildings of the Southern residential district out of the windows of the train, walked on the zoo territory, visited the halls of aquariums, terrariums, and a winter garden. It was their first visit to this picturesque part of the city.

The purpose of this sightseeing trip was just a simple and banal desire to give these people with mental disorders some positive emotions.

The administration of the Children's Railway is sympathetic to such visits of the "Happy Child" Foundation. This is why the doors of the Children's Railway (which at the same time is one of the largest and most popular entertainment centers of Zaporozhye) are always open and we are always welcome here. And taking this opportunity I’d like to say a special thanks to the management.

The Vesyolovsky psycho-neurological institution of the Zaporozhye Regional Council is located in the village of Uritskoye, the Zaporozhye region. According to Alla Yurievna Volkovinskaya, an employee of the establishment, 320 people suffering from mental disorders are hospitalized and undergo in-patient treatment here. Thirty of them completely lost the ability to carry out activities of daily living and require constant supervision and care due to their physical health status. The age of the people under care living in the psycho-neurological institution ranges from 18 or older.

According to the materials of Andrey Chernousov: "Most nursing homes are located far away from the regional center (mainly in small towns and villages), which significantly complicates the access of representatives of both state and public organizations as well as volunteers who could help them solve their problems. Such establishments completely fall out of the information space (up to now nursing homes have no websites): society is completely unaware of their problems and has no idea of what can be done to provide help they heed (the list of needs is missing), or about achievements and positive experiences of individual institutions".

Before leaving the visitors had an opportunity to stroll along the landscape alleys of the park on the Embankment and where despite their not quite young age, they went on the swings and slides with genuine delight. Watching the girls, I continued my dialogue with Alla Yurievna regarding one of the girls, whose behavior particularly caught my attention:

- How old is she?

- Twenty. She has got a husband and a child...

- Really?.. (a word escaped my lips)

- Yes. Until recently she has been quite adequate.

- What happened?

- Some bastards raped her. As a result, mental disorders came into sight, she couldn’t cope with it. Her husband decided to place her to this psycho-neurological institution .

There was nothing to reply to this, words failed me. Sometimes silence speaks much louder than transcendental and abstruse intellectual words. I kept looking at this girl and could not believe that not long ago her usual routine was not much different from anyone else’s – taking care of her family, home, a baby – like many of us do… And one day life can reverse so dramatically. In a flash. Anyone’s life can.

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