The BRAIN Foundation Global Initiative – Ukraine Assistance

We are pleased to report that our call for support for people with intellectual disabilities caught in the Ukrainian crisis has an overwhelming response. The UN estimates 2.7 million people with disabilities are at risk due to the military attacks in Ukraine! Reports from the war torn country indicate that access to support for basic life necessities including medication, oxygen supplies.

We are deeply grateful to all our donors who have joined hands with the BRAIN Foundation to raise the monies that will be used to help people with disabilities through the Ukrainian charity organization “Djerela” that provides 24/7 residential care, in the shifts of 10-14 days, for adults with Intellectual disabilities. Parents and caregivers are afforded some rest during these times which has become paramount in the context of the difficult situation with energy supply in Kyiv due to the bombing of infrastructure facilities.

“With your funds we have been able to provide counseling services for war-related trauma and stress and supply critical, life-saving anti-seizure medications. We have also been able to fund specific projects like the purchase materials for installing a restored chimney, buying materials for repair and modernization of the heating system, installing the boiler room, boiler and the chimney, buying materials for the repair, modernization and preparation of the transit building, fund repair work on monitoring and modernization of water supply, electricity supply, sewerage and ventilation systems, and help pay the electricity bill!”

A Crisis Within a Crisis: What is Happening to People with Autism and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Ukraine

Our interview with Yuliia Klepets, Mom of an adult with autism and executive director of VGO Coalition.

No way out

Evacuating or fleeing to neighboring countries has not been an option, especially for disabled adults with chronic health conditions, mobility challenges, lack of transportation, or inability to cope with a 28-hour train ride packed with 20 people standing in one compartment.

While women and children got priority evacuation, people with disabilities did not despite the ratification of Article 11 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by both Ukraine and Russia.

Lack of accessibility

Most bomb shelters are not accessible for people with disabilities, so they have no choice but to continue staying in unsafe locations wherever they are.

Severe shortage

Severe lack of food, hygiene products, medications, and doctors which is leading to deteriorating health.

Abandoned or forgotten

Those living in residential care homes have no support staff left or have had their facilities destroyed due to bombing and moved into overflowing hospitals with limited supplies.

This desperate situation is described by Yuliia Klepets, VGO Coalition Ukraine, and mother of an adult daughter with autism and intellectual disability.