As part of the project Rehabilitation of the Future, the Zahorii Family Fund and the Ukrainian Catholic University signed an agreement on cooperation according to which dedicated costs in the sum of 5 million hryvnias will go towards the realization of the Rehabilitation Center project at UCU’s School of Rehabilitation Medicine.
The parties signed the agreement on 27 October on World Occupational Therapy Day during a visit of representatives of the Zahorii Family Fund to the Ukrainian Catholic University.
The School of Rehabilitation Medicine is starting in Ukraine a contemporary model of providing rehabilitation help and opening professional two-year master’s-degree programs. The educational program was created with world standards according to the requirements of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and the World Confederation for Physical Therapy.
“We thank the Zahorii Family Fund for its understanding, openness, and sacrifice. Your help is a contribution to the high-quality preparation of specialists in rehabilitation in Ukraine, in the development of European rehabilitation practices and in decreasing the amount of invalids in Ukraine. The war in the east has shown that one of the challenges to the country is the question of physical rehabilitation. There exist only an insignificant amount of rehabilitation centers in Ukraine that are appropriate for providing services to soldiers of the ATO and victims of war. At this time in Przemysl [Poland] (a town situated 7 kilometers from the Ukrainian-Polish border with a population of 66,756 persons) there are five ambulatory centers, not to mention hospitals. So we see the development of the field of physical rehabilitation in Ukraine as one of our tasks. We hope to help invalids and change attitudes so people will see them as full-fledged members of society. ‘Aspire to greatness,’ said Patriarch Josyf Slipyj. You have helped us to make a significant step towards this great aim,” said UCU Rector Fr. Bohdan Prach.
In the words of the academic director of the School of Rehabilitation Medicine, Volodymyr Holyk, in Ukraine there is essentially a lack of specialists in rehabilitation. The largest numbers of these are physical therapists and occupational therapists. For example, in Canada for a population of 35 million there are 24 thousand physical therapists and 9 thousand occupational therapists. In Ukraine, however, for a population of 42 million there are two occupational therapists and 86 members of the Ukrainian Association of Physical Therapy, which only in August 2016 received the official name of its specialty in Ukraine.
“UCU’s School of Rehabilitation Medicine for the first time in Ukraine has licensed a professional educational master’s program in occupational therapy, in which the first occupational therapists in the country will study and teachers in occupational therapy will prepare them. We will use the resources of the Zahorii Family Fund to build a contemporary rehabilitation center, the first step in which is the social project Horizon of Possibilities, which will provide free rehabilitation aid for those who suffered in the ATO, volunteers, and socially-vulnerable parts of the population,” said Holyk.
“The Zahorii Family Fund initiated the program Rehabilitation of the Future, directed at the creation of a rehabilitation center and the founding of a system of education for specialists with world-class professional standards at UCU. An effective system of rehabilitation in Ukraine requires the involvement of qualified specialists, the use of modern technologies and the creation of multidisciplinary rehabilitation centers. I am sure that, thanks to the systematic approach that lies at the basis of the School of Rehabilitation and our program, we will be able maximally, effectively to help Ukrainians who need such support,” emphasized Hlib Zahorii, founder of the fund.