On June 7, as part of the comprehensive program "Yes, I can", the Parimatch Foundation visited ICC Artek to congratulate the first participants of the project "Implementation of inclusion in children's environment."
This program is implemented in cooperation with the Foundation and the International Children’s Center Artek and aims to create a barrier-free and safe space in the children’s environment for the full recovery of children with disabilities, including children in wheelchairs.
At the time of the visit, the center already had 6 “Yes, I can” wards from Kyiv, Odesa, and Khmelnytskyi districts, together with accompanying social workers who help such children in their daily affairs.
The peculiarity of inclusive changes in Artek is integrating and unifying children, regardless of their physical condition or special educational needs, into general groups.
“The most important thing for such children is communication. At first, they didn’t want to be in groups, they said, “We’re fine here, maybe we’ll all stay together” but it’s only been a couple of days, and they’ve met, found friends and are very happy” – said Kateryna Biloruska, president of the Parimatch Foundation. “This is what we wanted – children with disabilities to integrate, socialize, and other children to develop tolerance and perceive it all correctly.”
Also, as part of an inclusive change, the Foundation plans to organize a children’s sports tournament.
Every year, the center provides free tickets for inclusive camp shifts to the wards of the program, but some children in wheelchairs could not visit them due to lack of infrastructure: they could not enter the building and fully use the rooms and toilets. In 2020, the foundation provided Artek with lifts that allow children to now enter the building and donated special beds and desks for classes. In turn, the center has renovated the premises and toilets, so now children in wheelchairs can attend inclusive changes throughout the year.