Russia – Southern Region

Giving 67 minutes to see happiness in the eyes of sick and disabled children

Volunteers from Aspen Russia’s Southern region supported two children’s facilities for Mandela Day 2023.

Their goal for the day was simple: They wanted to distract young patients from their pain and discomfort, the anguishes of chemotherapy and other treatment that they were receiving, and rather see happiness in the eyes of each sick child. This would be no mean feat considering that some of the patients were seriously ill and many were incapacitated. But these circumstances didn’t dissuade Aspen’s team from making a difference for children at two medical facilities.

The Children's Regional Clinical Hospital of Krasnodar is the largest multidisciplinary paediatric institution in the Krasnodar territory. This hospital, which opened in 1982, accommodates up to 826 patients across 18 clinical departments and also provides perinatal and intensive care facilities. Each year about 20 000 children receive in-patient treatment, with more than 11 000 undergoing surgical interventions.

Aspen’s volunteers focused on the young patients at the Department of Oncology and Haematology who were receiving chemotherapy. This facility provides diagnostic and therapeutic care to patients suffering from diseases such as malignant lymphoid neoplasms, hematopoietic and related tissues blood disorders, hematopoietic organs and immune disorders.

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The Rostov-on-Don Rehabilitation Centre cares for children with disabilities and provides physical, psychological, social, moral and spiritual rehabilitation to patients from one to 18 years of age. These patients are inflicted with disabling diseases of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems, sensory organs, as well as mental and behavioural disorders. The Rostov-based Centre is managed by Nina Alexandrovna and 56 specialists that include teachers, speech therapists, speech pathologists, rehabilitologists, doctors, massage therapists, and others.

Aspen’s volunteers arranged a time of fun for the patients at both facilities by hosting group and individual drawing contests and a fun quizzes. The children were delighted to be spoilt with welcomed distractions and they participated joyfully, with each one aiming to win a prize. We were certain that these young patients had a great time and it was indeed a blessing to see happiness in their eyes for a few hours.