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Maria Lvova-Belova visits Donbass on a humanitarian mission

July 14, 2022

On July 12–14, Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova visited the Donetsk People’s Republic. She met with the Head of the Republic, held a number of events as part of the Into the Hands of Children campaign, handed humanitarian relief over to medical institutions and to individual families, and brought children to Russia for rehabilitation and placement with families. 

The Commissioner discussed the result of joint efforts to help families with children with Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin and enlisted his support for three key areas of her activities.

The first is to create a unified republican database for orphans and children left without paternal care, which will make it much easier to choose adoptive parents for them. The second area is to continue cooperation within the framework of the humanitarian project Into the Hands of Children. The regional headquarters of the campaign has already opened in the DPR and the first centre offering temporary accommodation for mothers with children is being organised there. The third aspect concerns special centres for teenagers. Several of these centres will soon be opened in Donbass.

Together with the Children’s Rights Adviser to the DPR Head Eleonora Fedorenko, Maria Lvova-Belova held the first meeting of the regional headquarters of the Into the Hands of Children campaign. The project was launched three months ago in cooperation with the Russian Humanitarian Mission. Since then they have managed to raise about 30 million rubles in donations and sent six humanitarian convoys to Donbass. A team of ten employees at the regional headquarters will handle requests for aid on-site and coordinate the delivery of goods.

Maria Lvova-Belova also visited the first temporary accommodation centre for mothers with children, which is being created with the support of the campaign partners. Only children and families with children will stay there. The centre will invite paediatricians to provide primary care and psychologists to work with children who were in the areas of hostilities.

Maria Lvova-Belova met with families that had earlier requested support through the project Into the Hands of Children. She gave them food packages, medications, personal supplies, toys, household cleaning products, furniture and computers for children’s education. A family with a boy with developmental disorders received a wheelchair. Overall, four families were given individual assistance during the trip.

The Children’s Commissioner also visited the Donetsk regional traumatology hospital to which medical equipment was delivered. She talked with doctors and patients. Under a preliminary agreement, she took three children to Moscow for rehabilitation.

In addition, Ms Lvova-Belova flew to Russia with 13 orphans and children left without parental care who had come from social institutions in Donetsk, Shakhtersk and Makeyevka. Another nineteen children in these categories had been evacuated earlier and joined the Commissioner in Rostov-on-Don.

These children have already been placed with adoptive families in Moscow, as well as in the Moscow, Voronezh and Tula regions and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area. A number of orphans from the DPR will soon leave for the Kaluga Region as well. Overall, 108 minors will be placed with families in Russia.

July 14, 2022