Anna is a housewife whose daily life if filled with the usual chores of a mother and wife looking after her husband and three children. And her eldest boy has cerebral palsy and needs more support and attention than other kids. Pavel is 12, he goes to school and learns to play piano. A long time ago the diagnosis of their first-born became a real shock to the parents, but with time the family achieved a lot of progress. Now the boy is not dependent on a wheelchair, he exercises a lot every day to maintain mobility.
“It was really difficult for us at first to respond to challenges appropriately, to take control over the situation. Ongoing rehabilitation programme completely dominated our life as a family. But with time we adapted to Pasha’s special needs. It is not easy. We have to stay focused on our son all the time – he needs assistance with absolutely everything. At one point I realised that I also needed support, I was so very tired”, reminisces Anna.
One day, while collecting Pavel from school, Anna noticed that an unfamiliar woman came to pick up another child with disability. The boy’s mother later told Anna about the “Short Breaks Foster Care Service” (“Peredishka”) they were receiving from “Partnership for Every Child” and how that woman was helping the family.
Anna’s family has benefited from “Peredishka” for the last three years. A wonderful social assistant Diana visits Pasha on a regular basis. She accompanies the boy to his music school and other classes, helps with meals, takes him for walks, assists with his homework.
“At first it was not easy,” admits Anna. “One needs to entrust one’s child to a complete stranger! And yet, I decided to take this step. We started with going outdoors, homework, then other things came up. Thanks to Diana I can give my time and attention to other children, do the cleaning and cooking, and just relax. And all the time I am confident that Pavel is with a reliable person, someone I can trust. Pavel now uses the time more efficiently! Our society will be much better if children with disabilities are able to adjust to life and find a role for themselves. To achieve this, we must develop their talents and abilities. But this is such a challenge for parents who struggle under pressure of problems they face. That is why this kind of assistance, provided by “Peredishka”, is absolutely invaluable!”
“Short Breaks Foster Care Service” is free of charge for Anna’s family and all other families. The work of social assistants and specialists is funded through charitable donations. You can also support the programme by making a one-off or a regular donation on https://p4ec.ru so that everyone in need of the “Short Breaks Service” is able to have it.