Learning to Hear and Speak
By Larisa, Project Leader
When a child is diagnosed with a hearing loss, the hearts of his/her parents are filled with pain and hopelessness. So were the hearts of Vlas’ parents after they learned that their baby boy was born deaf. They had to decide between enrolling their son into a boarding school for children with impaired hearing, where sign language would be his only way to communication with the outside world or have him undergo a cochlear implantation surgery followed by series of rehabilitation procedures under the supervision of specialists. They chose the latter option.
Today Vlas is 19 years old. He has graduated from high school with honors, was admitted to a university and now dreams of becoming an architect. Vlas was a volunteer in our project, where he used his own story to inspire children recovering after surgery.
Impacted by such success stories, our organization, decided to help children with hearing impediments after cochlear implantation by organizing wellness camps.
In August 2017 in the town of Bucha, near Kiev, we organized such wellness rehabilitation camp, Verba, which attended 24 families with children who recently underwent cochlear implantation surgery.
For over three years, international charity fund, “Ukraine! I am for you!”, helps children impacted by hearing and speech impairments by procuring high-quality diagnostic equipment and organizing rehabilitation wellness camps. While Ukrainian government covers the cost of cochlear implantation surgery, it offers no support towards rehabilitation activities, which are vital to children’s recovery.
Thanks to our incredible donors, these 24 children now have a chance to live healthy, full, and successful lives. Your support helped us organize our wellness camp and cover all expenses, which amounted to $250.00 per child.
The first day at camp started with a warm welcome at the Kiev Railway Station, where children and their parents met for the first time. Upon their arrival to camp, families were greeted by a government official representing the Office of Protection of Children’s Rights of Ukraine. In the course of following 12 days children and their parents completed individualized and group workshops with specialists including speech therapists, psychologist and phonetic rhythmologist, who taught children to how to recognize speech and how to speak, using different methodologies.
Children and parents pay close attention in class
Parents play an important role in their child’s rehabilitation process. At our camp they attended workshops on how to facilitate learning for their children in their every-day lives.
Parents attend a lecture with a psychologist
After workshops were over, children did arts, danced, watched cartoons, played at a local park and enjoyed nature.
Children enjoyed after class outdoor activities.
Happy faces of 24 families
Our rehabilitation camp taught children and their families new skills, gave them hope, and, most importantly, the opportunity to overcome hearing and speech impairments.