TORONTO – Dzherelo Children’s Rehab Center in Lviv is growing by offering new, smaller branches. No longer are all programs being delivered from the one center on Chervonoyi Kalyny Avenue. Dzherelo continues to expand and develop with smaller compact settings, and a new sixth satellite branch will offer improved programming to Lviv’s children with special needs.
For over 25 years, Dzherelo Children’s Rehabilitation Center has been operating as an independent facility in Lviv, focusing on the consultation, rehabilitation treatment, education and counselling of both children with special needs and their families. For too long, many of these children had been hidden from mainstream society, locked up in homes and prevented from attending school. So, while Ukraine’s education system is slowly adapting to providing inclusive education that is close to the homes of children with special needs, Dzherelo is also making strides in this direction.
The new Dzherelo smaller satellite branches are in residential neighborhoods outside of the Lviv city center, offering services closer to the homes where children live. These new satellite projects are necessary to reduce the stressful, costly and lengthy travel times these children would otherwise face, and will ultimately improve the families’ quality of life. The settings have the advantage of having smaller group sizes, which in these times make their environments safer.
The Dzherelo team is constantly working on updating and improving their programs. Since 2018, they have opened five satellite branches in different areas of Lviv. The satellites and expansion of programs are only possible with the financial support of the city council, other government agencies and community fundraising. Together with each partner’s contribution, it is possible to renovate, furnish and install the facilities’ special equipment. Only then can the staff, trained at Dzherelo, begin taking in and integrating the children planning to attend.
With five branch satellites operating, the next challenge is expanding Dzherelo Center’s programs by opening branch No. 6 in Vynnyky (a suburb of Lviv). The facility will have a total area of nearly 300 square meters and offer daycare programs for 10 younger children plus 10 youths with special needs living nearby. The availability of services close to home is paramount for the children and their families’ health and welfare.
Lviv City Council has made a specific funding decision to allocate an appropriate building for use by Dzherelo. The local city administration provided such a building, and, in due course, other government agencies were also committed to funding the costs involved in building improvements and specific adaptations.
Dzherelo satellite branch No. 6 now requires about $23,000 (500,000 hrv) to furnish the premises with specially adapted furniture, a projector, a computer, as well as some mobile and ceiling lifts.
To ensure funding and that this expansion project is completed, Canadian donors have volunteered to supply the required portion of the costs, as indicated by the Lviv Oblast Council’s budget proposal. Druzi Dzherela, through the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF), is committed to providing the promised community contribution funds.
Readers can donate to this worthwhile project through Druzi Dzherela in Toronto with the Canada-Ukraine Foundation’s help. Contributions will ensure the successful and timely completion of Dzherelo satellite branch No. 6, which will benefit of Lviv’s special needs children.
For more information about Dzherelo, readers may visit the website at www.dzherelocentre.org.ua. To donate, readers may contact the Canada-Ukraine Foundation at https://www.cufoundation.ca/dzherelo-childrens-rehabilitation-centre/, or they can send a check to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, Dzherelo Fund, 620 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada, M5S 2H4.