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Ukrainian and Belarusian children getting therapy in Slovenia

Debeli Rtič, 21 August - A group of children affected by the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and Belarusian children who still feel the effects of the radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster are on holiday at Slovenia's seaside until the end of this week to receive psychosocial and medical rehabilitation.

Debeli Rtič
Logo of the Debeli Rtič youth resort on the Slovenian coast.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

The 64 Ukrainian and 30 Belarusian children arrived at a youth and health resort at Debeli Rtič on 14 August as part of a project organised by the Slovenian-run organisation ITF Enhancing Human Security in cooperation with the resort operated by the Slovenian Red Cross.

The Ukrainian children are getting psychological rehabilitation treatment to alleviate the effects of the armed conflict that has affected the Ukrainian people.

Since 2014, the violence in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatist forces and the Ukrainian military has claimed more than 13,000 civilian lives.

The resort's rehabilitation programmes will help the young cope with the difficult experiences and be better prepared to face future challenges.

The children from Belarus came to the resort due to health problems caused by the radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The rehabilitation includes therapies that promote health and general well-being, such as respiratory physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and various exercises.

Foreign Ministry official Uroš Vajgl told reporters on Tuesday that Slovenia finances the project as part of bilateral development cooperation, contributing to the well-being of those who need it the most.

According to Vajgl, the project has been successful because the children are physically and mentally stronger now.

The project manager at the ITF organisation Urban Špital added that the children made progress in just a few days and that their progress means additional motivation for such projects in the future.

Slovenia has already hosted 928 Ukrainian children for rehabilitation since 2005 and 239 Belarusian children since 2012.

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© STA, 2019