The "Those who impress" tour started in Rivne
This week in Rivne there was a meeting of the team of the "Those who impress" tour, which TSN of the "1+1" channel implements in partnership with the Embassy of Great Britain in order to inspire Ukrainians to create modern, convenient and accessible cities, as well as to draw attention to people's problems with a disability
To the assembly hall of the National University of Water Management and Nature Management, people began to gather an hour before the start - they took a commemorative photo, looked at the photos of the "Winners" project and with the help of virtual reality went through an experiment - wearing a special helmet, the viewer could try to overcome the path in a wheelchair on his own from the track at the railway station to the public transport stop. Thus, the creators of the project wanted to draw attention to the imperfect situation with the accessibility of Ukrainian cities - lack of navigation, inconvenient ramps, malfunctioning elevators and call for a tolerant attitude towards people with disabilities. The creators emphasize that the main principle of a barrier-free environment is the opportunity for all citizens to be "included" in public life and to use the city space without outside help. Hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities in Ukraine face obstacles on their way every day. It is in our power to change this and build accessible and impressive cities.
Nearby, the partners of the project - the Museum "Tretya plis poivnochnoch" - introduced those willing to interactive exhibits, where visitors tried to guess the famous sculptures by touch. In addition, the guests were told about how blind people live, were taught to write and read Braille.
In a crowded hall, more than 500 visitors, including students, representatives of local authorities, communities, activists and volunteers, people with disabilities, came to listen to motivational speeches by TSN anchor Marichka Padalko, TSN journalist Natalia Nagornaya, Paralympic champion Yulia Batenkova-Bauman, choreographer and judge "Dancing with the Stars" by Vlad Yama, public activist Yulia Resenchuk and the mayor of Reni Ihor Plekhova.
During the speech of biathlete Yulia Batenkova-Bauman, many could not hold back tears. At the age of 8, she lost her mother and brother in a car accident, and she had her right arm amputated. Then she learned to do even simple household things anew. But difficulties did not break her. Now Yulia is a Paralympic champion, she has 9 silver and 5 bronze medals. In several Paralympics in a row, the girl was separated from the first place by seconds.
"After the games in 2014, I asked: Lord, if you don't give me that gold medal, then give me a "golden" child. I got pregnant immediately after returning home. My daughter was named Zlata - she is my most important "gold". This year, she set herself the task of definitely bringing her a gold medal from the Paralympics in PyeongChang, - Yuliya recalled in Rivne. This year, as part of the relay, the biathlete did get the coveted first place. She brought this award with her to Rivne and decided to give everyone the opportunity to hold it in their hands.
Finally, Julia shared her ideas of what an impressive city should be. In her opinion, it should pay enough attention to sports, and the infrastructure should allow all residents to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
Yuliya Resenchuk, head of the AIK Charitable Foundation, which helps people with disabilities find employment in the IT sphere, also spoke about the opportunities for self-realization for everyone. The girl herself has been moving around in a wheelchair for 11 years, and now she inspires others to lead an independent lifestyle. Yulia is confident that a large number of grants, as well as the ability of communities to independently manage their own budgets, make it possible to implement many useful social projects for their city. However, the main strength, according to the girl, is the initiative and active position of citizens. "We have successful cases that we implemented without any funding. The combined efforts of caring people are capable of producing incredible changes in society," Resenchuk believes.
TSN anchor Marichka Padalko also agreed with her.
"I believe in the theory of small things, so I encourage you to be proactive. Having decided to do something in your city, Ukraine will change step by step. We don't have to wait for them to do everything for us. This will never happen! We have to do it for ourselves in our own yard, city, university, and start with our family," the presenter urged from the stage and added that she wants Ukrainians to know about the concepts of "inclusion" and "decentralization" not from news and laws , but on his own initiative.
A trip to the city of the judge of "Dancing with the Stars" Vlad Yama was a real gift for the equals. The famous and successful choreographer recalled how he came to Rivne at the age of 9 for the championship of Ukraine in ballroom dancing.
"Before that, I won all possible championships in my native Zaporizhzhia. And in Rivne, my partner and I took 52nd place. By the way, there were exactly 52 pairs of participants in our category, - the dancer jokingly recalled. - But after that, I began to believe that I would become the world champion in ballroom dancing and do everything possible for this. And although this dream did not come true, hard work on myself helped me achieve success. And today I have the opportunity to speak before you. I want to address you with a message: feel, believe, do."
Returning years later to Rivne at the request of the audience and to loud applause, Vlad impromptuly danced samba on the stage.
The tour "Those who impress" continues. The next city the project team will visit will be Kramatorsk on November 7.