Update of activities from Ukraine by Dr Pavlo Kolesnyk

1.To assist Ukrainian refugees with essential/basic needs, the team of volunteers to help the refugees in Uzhgorod and the Uzhhorod Refugee Fund (“URF”) have been created. Money came from European doctors and other friends as well as from Corvallis Sister City Association-Uzhhorod (CSCA-U) (US). Using this Fund we decided to start “taming” of our potential patients from the adjacent hostels-shelters before we launched the project of “International Family Clinic of Uzhgorod “Refugees Are Welcome”.

Few days ago we thought  that  the visit of our dear friends, active council members of CSCA-U from the USA  Mark and Alice Rampton to Uzhhorod would be a good opportunity  to announce about our activities through the local media.

We were also happy to meet our dear friend from France Dr William Chickering with his son Sasha who brought the 3rd medical shipment to Uzhhorod the same day and are going to provide his future charity help to Uzhgorod.


2. The idea of advertising our activities  was to involve refugee children living at the hostels and the refugee children who attend an art school of Uzhgorod Palace of Youth into improving the territory surrounding the hostels (nearby the future Clinic). We decided to decorate in paint the ramps leading to the hostels with the national flags of Ukraine, the USA, the European Union. This action has to symbolize the gratitude of our people for the international help in the fight against the Russian invaders as well as to unite people leaving in the shelters.

We have invited volunteer doctors, residents, families with children living at the hostels, and love artist and also art teachers from the Palace, local media. We have financed paints and all necessary instruments, gloves and aprons and let the children create at their own discretion. Dozens of people including our dear American guests took part in the event too. We were able to announce the Clinic project launch on mass media during the event!


3. According to our Clinic Project, we planned to invite foreign family medicine experts, who were  to provide free hands-on consultations and demonstrations for the local family medicine trainees and students? We started putting this idea into practice already thanks to Dr Mark Rampton  to meet our young  medial volunteers and gave a training in otoscopy and tympanometry (Dr Rampton presented the volunteers otoscopes and other medical equipment for their future medical practice supporting our project “Help the helpers”.) Beside providing medications Dr Rapmton have brought some unique medical instruments for the future Clinic that can be already used  in medical treatment and teaching of our residents and senior students


4. We had a wonderful opportunity to show our foreign guests the new building of the clinic and to discuss the architecture plans of the reconstruction. Dr Rampton basing on his personal private clinic experience  gave us a valuable consultation on the justified structure of a new premises  which was in fact the eighth variant that we have regarded and we hope would be the last one. Next week we are going to start the reconstruction works.


5. 3 month of the war in Ukraine has already passed. We have a new life and work routine. It’s interesting to look at our current situation from the foreign visitor’s point of view. The following is an abstract, of ,so to say,   “a view from the outside on Uzhhorod today”  by Alice Rampton.

“To walk down the street, you would think that all is well and a war must be in another country. But then you hear of a funeral for two soldiers yesterday, you see many more soldiers on the streets, more police presence, Ukrainian flags everywhere, and many more people and traffic as Uzhhorod works hard to accommodate the displaced persons. It's uncanny and the air raid siren brings you back to reality. Plus the discussions around the table or with individuals always turn back to the war. Today I visited with about 8 women in one of the shelters and learned their stories about leaving their homes in the East and coming west. One was fleeing from the war for the second time after moving from the Luhansk region to Kharkiv. One knows that her home is destroyed. One had lost family members back in 2014. That brings reality up close.

We've been able to see the fruits of the Uzhhorod Refugee Fund at various places . Today, we helped deliver a refrigerator, drying racks (oft requested item for laundry), coffee pots, pressure cookers, ironing board and iron, dishes, etc. to one shelter with about 10 moms and 20 kids. Great bunch of women with hardship stories but working together to create a good environment for all. We've gotten out games (Twister, Connect Four, Memory, Uno) and puzzles and colouring pages and had fun times playing with the kids. Then we leave those activities with them”.


Wish you all the best.
Greetings from Ukraine
Pavlo Kolesnyk