Latvia - April, 2022

Tatiana has received support by SUSTENTO organization for the provision of assistive devices, health care, accessible transport services and different kind of consultations. The support was provided within the framework of EDF and CBM joint programme.
Tatiana with her family came to Latvia from Kyiv. Tatiana is especially grateful to Gunta Anča, Chairperson at the Latvian Umbrella Body for Disability Organisations SUSTENTO, who helped to coordinate the trip and find home in Latvia.

Tatiana is the Authorized Government Official for the Rights of People with Disabilities in Ukraine. She continues to do her duties even though her daily priorities have changed. “In peacetime, my responsibilities are monitoring people with disabilities during of all stages of their life. I think I have been to all the institutions where people with disabilities live to check the situation and inform them of what they are entitled to. All the documents adopted by the government went through our office – we looked to see if they considered the needs of people with disabilities. Now my work is related to helping refugees, I can say that I deal with it 24 hours a day, seven days a week”, says Tatiana.

When the war started, Tatiana and her husband already knew that there were almost equal risks – to leave or stay. They are both in wheelchairs, making it impossible to enter the shelter or basement. “When the siren sounded, the son ran to the neighbors and asked for help. Everyone panicked. We realized that we need to find a quiet place to protect our son, because he refused to go to the basement without us”, says Tatiana. Tatiana, in collaboration with Gunta Anca and the organization she works for, has set up a refugee center in Lviv and Uzhgorod, Ukraine. There people with disabilities can spend the night, relax, take a bath, get medical and psychological assistance and then move further to another European country.