A few months ago, we introduced you to Kirrily Manning, an Australian Occupational Therapist (OT) playing a key role working to develop the OT profession in Ukraine. You can read more about her story here in English and here in Ukrainian.
Throughout the years that Go Global, Ukraine ran at Curtin University (2009-2013) led by Kirrily, over 70 students from occupational therapy, speech therapy, physiotherapy and nutrition travelled to Ukraine. The key focus of this program was to up-skill orphanage care staff for children with disabilities so that every day care practices could become more therapeutic in nature.
However this program was suspended in 2014 because of the war in Ukraine and the MH17 tragedy. Kirrily Manning continued to work on a voluntary basis with established partners, taking Alumni of the program to work in a voluntary capacity to continue the project work started. This has included ongoing training, writing of university curriculum for Lviv Polytechnic University and working with World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) to introduce the first occupational course to potential trainings at Lviv Catholic University in 2018.
Now, through the Ukrainian Crisis Аppeal, we are hoping to raise funds to provide an 8 week course in 2020 to provide much needed occupation based rehabilitation skills so that people with disabilities in Ukraine do not have to wait years for the professional to establish itself before they receive high quality, evidence based rehabilitation.
The course covers several areas of practice including physical rehabilitation, neurological intervention, paediatrics and mental health. It will provide a scaffolding approach successfully piloted in Vietnam with over 100 health practitioners and is ready to roll out in Ukraine, with a key component being the training of trainers so that dependence on external, international assistance will be avoided.
It is proposed that 40 rehabilitation professionals will participate full time in the course from at least 20 institutions. (Four weeks online and 4 weeks in person classes over the summer). This will be followed by an additional 40 professionals trained in 2021, trained by 2 trainers identified during course one and mentored for an additional 12 months.
After training, each of these 80 professionals treat 6- 8 patients per day i.e. up to approximately 1600 patients per week. The total cost of the course, plus the additional 12 months ‘train the trainer’ is just over $100 000, which means that each therapy session provided by course participants is just 70 cents! We need to raise amount of money to make this program happen.
You can help make this program possible! Donate today to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal: UkraineCrisisAppeal.org
Excerpts of this article were originally published in the Church and Life newspaper and have been republished with permission. You can read their full article here. It is also available in Ukrainian here.