The moment it became evident that coronavirus could spread instantly within psychoneurological residential facilities, all actors involved into supporting people with mental and psychosocial disabilities started to look for ways how to evacuate promptly their care recipients from those facilities. The charitable foundation “Life Route”, with the support of the EU grant, put in place two alternative forms of accommodation for its care recipients. Some went for the accompanied accommodation at a summer recreational compound in Valdai where they stayed from 15 June until 30 July. Others are still living in training apartments provided by the Foundation.
This is a completely new experience for young people with mental and psychosocial disabilities who spend almost all their life in specialized facilities – in orphanages as children, and then in adult residential facilities, where they are transferred at the age of 18. Guided by volunteers, young people learnt how to cook, keep rooms and public spaces in good order, coexist as neighbours with people of the same age, do shopping, and commute to work, school or other daily activities that the Foundation could find or organized for many of these young people.
In September, also thanks to the grant, the Foundation renewed its in-person support programmes. During the first half of September, over 50 care recipients participated in the programmes of daytime activities and accompanied accommodation.
The charitable foundation “Life route” supports people with mental and psychosocial disabilities and their families. The Foundation was among the first Russian NGOs to receive this summer an EU grant under the action “EU solidarity with Russian civil society: assistance to elderly people and adults with disabilities” that is funded by the European Union and implemented by Charitable Foundation for Philanthropy Development CAF Russia. The action aims at helping elderly people and adults with disabilities in Russia to cope the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and its implications. Apart from the EU, the key donor of the action, individual contributions were made by Belgium, Estonia, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.
(Photo courtesy of “Life Route” foundation)