My name is Anzhelika Romaneyko. My family and I live in Minsk.
I have 2 wonderful kids. I used to have an ordinary life like many other people have. My daughter Anechkya was growing up (she is 19 years old now); I had a job I liked, had many friends and acquaintances.
But my life changed forever when my son Vanechka was born. He is 6 years old now; he is a very positive and active boy despite all the circumstances, including the fact that he is blind in one eye.
We noticed a spot on his right eye from the very first days of his life. We feared greatly that this would influence our son’s sight. Unfortunately, our fears were justified – doctors diagnosed several serious disorders. The sight in the right eye can’t be recovered. Vanechka became a child with disabilities. An inflammatory process was noticed in the left eye too, but we managed to save the left eyesight thanks to the doctors. My child still remembers vividly how I was given injections to him and pouring drops of medicine into his eyes.
Constant worries about Vanya’s health helped to distract my mind from reality, but it was difficult to get used to the pain we all had.
We have only few Vanya’s childhood photos. It was too difficult for me to see the eyes of my son, my heart was breaking and tears were pouring down.
Now Vanya has many photos, like any of his peers: photos with his favorite toys, in a park, on vacation... He lives a normal life, like any kids of his age. He goes to usual kindergarten. My son will become soon a first-form boy. I hope very much that he will meet their new friends, he will be successful in studies and will be happy to go to school.
When reflecting on the past, I realize that things could have gone so differently. Some mothers, who don’t receive necessary support, become unsociable and crawl into their shells together with their children.
However, I was lucky. One day a lady approached me in the street and told me about NGO “BelAPDIiMI”. Then I became a member of this organization. I immediately felt a very warm and cordial support from other members. I am not alone! People understand me! They hear me! They want to help! My son and I started actively participating in life and activity of the organization. Later on, I became a member of the Central Council of NGO “BelAPDIiMI”.
I started attending seminars, training, lectures, master classed and other different off-site activities, sometimes together with Vanechka. It is not only interesting but also very useful for me. I can now share the information and knowledge I learned with other moms who found themselves in a desperate situation.
Thanks to the association my son attend a hobby group on radio journalism and different master classes where we make handmade thematic articles together. And this is a wonderful opportunity to meet interesting people, to find news friends for Vanechka.
Vanechka and other children from the association became real models last autumn! They demonstrated successfully the Spring/Summer collection made by Tatiana Efremova, a Belarusian designer, at the Belarus Fashion Week. It was the first time for Belarus when children with disabilities together with their healthy peers walked along a real catwalk!
My son and 5 other boys and girls from our organization have been attending tennis lessons 2 times a week during the last 2 months thanks to supporting from Non-Profit “BelAPDIiMI” and one of their funders Star of Hope. The lessons are held in Max Mirnyi Centre. Max Mirnyi is a tennis player famous not only in Belarus, but all over the world. Children are engaged in therapeutic physical training there, they play, learn the nuts and bolts of tennis, and what is of great importance – communicate with each other and make acquaintances with other children. My son is delighted with the lessons! He makes progress! He can be successful in sports despite vision disorders.
We are very happy that NGO “BelAPDIiMI” and Star of Hope gives our children an opportunity to realize their talents in different spheres of life, to demonstrate the whole world that they can be successful and that they don’t differ from other people.
We always need extra support for this type of work.