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Maria Lvova-Belova visited the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions

September 2, 2023

From August 30 to September 2, the Commissioner for Children's Rights under the President of the Russian Federation, Maria Lvova-Belova, visited the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.

In the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Maria Lvova-Belova visited with 16-year-old Kirill, a student at a local educational institution who sustained a severe wound in August and is currently undergoing treatment at the Republican Children's Clinical Hospital. At the commissioner’s request, the teenager will soon be transferred for treatment and rehabilitation from Donetsk to a federal medical centre in Moscow. The commissioner also brought humanitarian aid to the hospital.

At a children's orphanage in Donetsk, Maria Lvova-Belova reviewed personal records of the residents to assess their chances of being placed with foster families and addressed specific issues to assist parents in reuniting with their children. As part of the Happy Childhood charitable project which is implemented in collaboration with the St Basil the Great Foundation, she handed over the keys to a new Lada Granta car to the institution's top executives, and two pieces of wound healing equipment and gifts for young patients at the Republican Hospital's paediatric traumatology department.

The children's orphanage in Shakhtyorsk, which the commissioner has been supporting for some time now in collaboration with the St Basil the Great Foundation, received a second certificate for 3 million rubles to continue the construction of a medical building and improvement projects.

With Maria Lvova-Belova's support, the Federal Youth Centre conducted a workshop for specialists from the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics who work at local youth clubs. The representatives from the LPR received a certificate for 5 million rubles for the development of a new youth centre. The commissioner gave awards to the youth centres from Makeyevka and Belovodsk who won the national competition of teenage socialisation programmes.

At the request of residents, Maria Lvova-Belova helped organise a classical choreography class in Mariupol. She received a request from the mother of two girls to help revive a ballet school in the city. The twin girls had been studying ballet for nine years and dream of continuing their education. Thirty children of various ages took part in the class, and professional ballet artists and experienced teachers from the Krasnodar Territory and the Rostov Region were invited to conduct the class. Maria Lvova-Belova said there were plans to establish a ballet studio at the Mariupol Centre for Children and Youth Creativity, where major renovations are nearing completion.

Furthermore, the commissioner, along with teenagers, participated in the beautification of Mariupol's Rodina Park. With Maria Lvova-Belova and the Country for Children charitable foundation’s support, a sports area for teenagers with fitness equipment and other athletic facilities will be built in the park soon.

In the Zaporozhye Region, Maria Lvova-Belova delivered musical instruments to two music schools in Melitopol. The schools received several types of accordion, acoustic guitars, and violins as gifts. She also discussed priority issues with the staff of General Education School No. 15. During a meeting with the members of the Children's Public Council under the Children's Commissioner in the Zaporozhye Region, young people shared their dreams and plans. Maria Lvova-Belova gifted the teenagers backpacks for school.

The Melitopol headquarters of the humanitarian mission In Children’s Hands constantly receives requests from families raising children with disabilities and large families. They receive targeted assistance. The commissioner visited one of these families, where a child with health problems is being raised. As part of a humanitarian effort, the commissioner presented the girl with a versatile small wheelchair with reinforced wheels and a Velodoctor rehabilitation device.

According to Maria Lvova-Belova, much remains to be done in Zaporozhye to create commissions on juvenile affairs, guardianship bodies, psychological, medical and pedagogical commissions that will work with children with different forms of disability.

In the Kherson Region, Maria Lvova-Belova met with large families from Genichesk, received a number of targeted requests and handed over humanitarian aid to the families. According to the parents, the housing issue for large families is the most important one, since the property market is poorly represented and lease payments are significantly up. At the commissioner’s meeting with representatives of regional authorities the possibility of forming a programme to reimburse the families with three and more children for rental expenses was discussed. In addition, the lack of specialists – rehabilitation therapists and psychiatrists – at in-patient institutions for children was reviewed. Maria Lvova-Belova offered several young adults with disabilities to apply for an assisted living accommodation at the Noviye Berega art estate which is located in the Penza Region.

September 2, 2023