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Humanitarian cooperation

21 Jun 2023

Aleksei Talai on health recuperation program for children from Donbass

Aleksei Talai on health recuperation program for children from Donbass
An archive photo

MINSK, 21 June (BelTA) - Aleksei Talai, a public figure, Paralympian and motivational coach, founder of the Aleksei Talai Charitable Foundation, talked about the health recuperation program for children from Donbass in Belarus at a briefing for the press in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

Aleksei Talai said that he has been engaged in charity for a long time, even before the charitable foundation was set up. In this regard, he recalled the events of 2014, a coup d'état in Ukraine and the hostilities and civil war in Donbass that followed. He realized that people needed help. More so, he began to get information from people, primarily parents.

"It was hard to watch all this. My story started to come back in my mind [Aleksei Talai tripped on a German land mine, a relic of World War II, as a child, lost his legs and arms]. But that was the reality and something had to be done about it," he said.

Since the program was launched the Aleksei Talai Charitable Foundation has hosted groups of children from the DPR, LPR and Zaporozhye region in Belarus for health recuperation. "As a person with disabilities, as a simple disabled person, I wanted to focus on children with disabilities, children who were injured in hostilities and shelling," he explained.

Aleksei Talai recalled the boy Ivan and his story. The boy’s younger brother was killed on the spot during shelling and he himself was injured, losing his arms and legs. The child's face was badly injured too. After a while, Aleksei met with Ivan's mother in Moscow as she insisted on a personal meeting with him. He considered it his duty to convey the boy a message that all was not lost and that he could have a happy life.

"It was very hard to look at these guys. Both in the Donetsk People's Republic where I went  on a business trip on my own in 2021, and then, when we launched the program in Belarus. It is very difficult to talk to and hear their stories: some of them had their parents killed in front of their eyes," Aleksei Talai said, adding that the children needed rehabilitation.

The first group came from the DPR in September 2021. Those were nine children with disabilities, accompanied by seven adults, parents or authorized persons who had a notarized power of attorney for this. They had all the necessary documents drawn up, the Paralympian noted. The children underwent medical rehabilitation at the National Children's Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation, and then left by bus (they arrived by bus too).

Then, thanks to friendly relations with the national children’s education and recreation center Zubrenok, the foundation was able to bring a fairly large group of physically healthy children. When the word of mouth spread that Belarus hosts children from the DPR for health recuperation, the foundation received more requests to host physically healthy children. "Of course, we could not refuse, and together with Zubrenok we were able to do it," Aleksei Talai said, adding that a fairly large group of more than 100 people holidayed in Zubrenok from September to October 2021.


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