How Displaced People With Special Needs Are Coping in Ukraine
27 May, 2015

In the small town of Serhiivka, Odesa region, health retreats have taken in 1000 internally displaced people with special needs. With varying degrees of disabilities these people are considered to be some of the most vulnerable by the authorities.

One of those living at the Speranza children’s summer camp is Zhanna who left the Donbas region in October with her son, Igor. Their hometown of Spartak is right next to Donetsk airport and therefore right in the line of fire.

“On our street they are maybe about 5 or 6 houses left,” said Zhanna. Her leg was amputated and she is now confined to wheelchair.

They left Spartak under fire on foot. Igor carried his mother in his own arms as there were no cars around anymore.

“There’s nothing left… the furniture is there and all that we collected over the years,” said Igor showing a video of his house in Spartak which was completely destroyed by the shelling.

As at the 23 March 2015 the UN estimated that there are 1,178,000 IDPs in Ukraine. For several months a team of Hromadske journalists traveled around Ukraine, from Sloviansk to Lviv, in search of stories of those who were left without their homes because of the war and the annexation. This the third story of part 2 in the Displaced series, a project about the lives of internally displaced persons in Ukraine from the Donbas region and Crimea.

// Hromadske with the support of the Thomson Foundation. Filmed in February, 2015.