Our Support for Moldova and Ukraine

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Join Us in Supporting Refugees from Ukraine

The war in Ukraine continues to have long-reaching effects for people with disability across Eastern Europe. Join us as we support inclusive practices and services for refugees from Ukraine and people with disabilities to live fully included lives in the community.

Ks-19

Join Us in Supporting Refugees from Ukraine

The war in Ukraine continues to have long-reaching effects for people with disability across Eastern Europe. Join us as we support inclusive practices and services for refugees from Ukraine and people with disabilities to live fully included lives in the community.

Keystone Moldova Ukraine Donation
Adapted transportation

Personal Stories

Accessible Transportation

The impact of the adapted transport service provided by the 5 Keystone mobile teams has been truly transformative, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

Read the report

Liubovi’s Story

In the city of Chișinău, where the streets are narrow and the sidewalks are crowded and unsuited for people needing specialized support, lives Liubovi, a woman whose life was irreversibly changed by an accident. Confined to a wheelchair, Liubovi has fought a daily battle not just with her physical limitations, but also with an environment seemingly indifferent to her struggles. In a city unequipped for her needs, every day was a challenge, each journey an unwanted adventure.

Liubovi’s life is governed by a strict schedule, dictated by her daily routine and the vital necessity of receiving dialysis procedures three times a week. However, the journey to the dialysis center was a significant challenge due to the unfriendly streets and a lack of accessible public transportation – turning every trip into a marathon of obstacles.

One day, Liubovi reached out to Keystone Moldova for help as the Keystone Moldova team is well-acquainted with the difficulties faced by persons with disabilities. Keystone Moldova offered her specialized transport services tailored to her needs, ensuring that Liubovi could safely and comfortably get to the dialysis center for her 7:00am appointments three days a week. Keystone’s adapted vehicle, equipped to support her wheelchair, became a bridge between Liubovi and the world beyond her walls, providing simpler and safer access to vital treatments. The adapted vehicle also provided a key to freedom as Liubovi began to feel once again that she belonged to the community as an active and valuable member, rather than a passive spectator.

Through the support of donors, Keystone Moldova has come together to offer logistical assistance to people in need. Together, we continue to build a better and more accessible future for all community members.

Oleg P.’s Story

Oleg P. lives approximately 110 kilometers from Moldova’s capital city, Chișinău. Fifteen years ago, he fell out of a tree and injured his spinal cord. His disability has made finding a job difficult, and his wife has been caring for him. At the beginning of 2023, he was diagnosed with cancer, and after chemotherapy, underwent a successful surgery in Chișinău and has recovered well.

To monitor his condition, he needs to return to Chișinău periodically for appointments and consultations. Because he uses a wheelchair, traveling is not easy as regional public transportation in Moldova is not accessible. In his search for accessible transportation, Oleg got in touch with one of Keystone Moldova’s Mobile Teams. Thanks to the accessible van, Oleg is able to travel from his home to his medical appointments and back.

I.’s Story

For more than a year and a half, Mrs. A. and her minor son E. have been living in Moldova because of the war in Ukraine. Minor I. has a disability and uses a wheelchair. When they first came to Moldova from Ukraine, they stayed with a host family. The rent was paid by the company where Mrs. A’s husband worked. Then in Marcj, they moved to Vulcănești, where I. stayed with a Moldovan family, rent-free.

I.’s mother is unable to work because she needs to care for her son. “I spoke with another mother who has a disabled child and I found out about Keystone Moldova,” she said. “Since then, Keystone Moldova has helped us a lot, providing us with hygiene products, medicine, vouchers, and a blanket. But the more important this for us is they helped us do two rehabilitation courses for our son at the Center for Rehabilitation in Ceadâr-Lunga.”

Keystone Moldova facilitated the process of signing up for free rehabilitation at the Republican Rehabilitation Center for Children in Chișinău. “To move to Chișinău, we needed accessible transportation. Again, Keystone Moldova helped us with this, so we could travel to Chișinău. WE are very grateful to the organization for supporting us and helping us.”

Because of the accessible van, I. was able to travel approximately 180 kilometers to receive the support he needed.

Support for People from Ukraine

E. is an adult from Ukraine who came to Moldova in Spring 2022. Keystone Moldova helped E. obtain a wheelchair and a walker free of charge from other organizations. From project resources, she received two types of vouchers – one for shoes and clothing, and another for food and non-food products. Her goal was to continue to Switzerland, and Keystone Moldova facilitated her journey. She is now in Switzerland, where she does consultation and research on her disability.

Support for People from Moldova

Although Mrs. V. lived in Moldova, she spent several years working abroad. When her health declined, she returned to Moldova, where her health continued to deteriorate, resulting in the amputation of both of her legs. Her daughter now takes care of her rather than work, and the family’s financial situation became difficult. After seeing a post on the Keystone Moldova Facebook Page about available support, they reached out. The family completed the needs identification questionnaire and received medicine, hygiene products, and food and non-food vouchers. All support was delivered to Mrs. V.’s home in the village.

Care for Children

Little S. was born a month before the war in Ukraine began, and she and her mother had to cross the border into Moldova. From birth, the child had a developmental delay, but because she did not have any identity documents, she could not see a family doctor or receive treatment. Her mother joined several support groups, where she learned about available resources and called Keystone Moldova for help. Keystone Moldova connected her with a surgeon and a neurologist, and S. received appropriate medications and supplements. Her mother is now reassured about the health of her child, who is developing healthily according to age.

Support for Moldova and Ukraine

Keystone Human Services has been providing support for refugees from Ukraine since the war began in February 2022. We stepped forward to help, and although we are not a humanitarian organization, we are committed to being a good neighbor and creating more accessible communities for everyone.

As the war drags on, it is not only affecting everyone who has been displaced, but also Moldovans as they open their homes and stretch resources to welcome and accommodate people from Ukraine, whether they’re passing through or settling for the long-term to stay close to their homes.

Keystone Moldova has been a trusted NGO in the Republic of Moldova for 20 years, working to make sure people with disability are included in every part of society. We know crises like this have long-term impacts. We’re leading the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Disability Task Force to ensure people with disability are included in policies related to emergency situations. We’re lending our expertise in inclusive practice as Moldova builds inclusive infrastructure and social services that account for the needs of both refugees with disabilities and Moldovans who have been affected by the war. People will need support as they build their resilience and look to the future.

We’re looking to people’s immediate needs today, tomorrow, next week—food, fuel, accessible shelter, other supplies. We’re also looking to what people will need in the years to come as they rebuild their lives.

How Your Donation Helps

Your donation makes an impact. You can help make sure people with disabilities are included not just in disaster relief efforts but in all facets of society. Below are some of the ways we are supporting refugees from Ukraine, as well as people with disability throughout Moldova and Eastern Europe.

  • Psychological counseling, especially mental health first aid
  • Social support, including assistive equipment, access to social care and rehabilitation services, winterization support, food, hygienic supplies, special nutrition, accessible transportation, and other primary needs
  • Health care support, including medical needs assessments, urgent-need medicines, specialized medical support, surgeries, laboratory diagnostics, personal medical equipment, therapy, and rehabilitation services
  • Educational support, including inclusive education within Moldovan schools
  • Informational support and referrals to other services
  • Legal support
  • Support for people with disabilities in Ukraine, including sharing expertise in social inclusion, person-centered planning, Social Role Valorization, case management, and the development of support services to strengthen the capacities of organizations of people with disabilities, parents, and service providers in emergency situations

Natalia and her family came to Moldova from Ukraine during the war. She found medical support from Keystone Moldova for her son and father, who have disabilities.

After she left her home in Ukraine during the war, Lidia received hygienic supplies, food, and urgent need medicines through Keystone Moldova.

Keystone Moldova provides support for refugees from Ukraine, host families, and others within Moldova. Among other things, we connect people with resources and services, including vouchers for food, clothing, and other products, as well as appliances and furniture.

Disability Inclusive Disaster Relief

During a crisis, people with disability—especially women with disability—are at risk of abandonment, violence, and death. They are often cut off from information, resources, and their community. Article 11 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities speaks to countries’ responsibilities to ensure the protection and safety of people with disability during armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies, and natural disasters, among other crises.

Keystone Moldova is making sure that people with disability are included in every conversation. As leaders of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Disability Task Force, we’re advocating for inclusive relief efforts and policies so people with disability are not left behind. We’re mapping the needs of refugees with disabilities within shelters and homes throughout Moldova and streamlining the way human service NGOs provide support for people with disability.

Hotline Support Service

Hotline Support Service

Ukrainians with disabilities, their families, and caregivers in Moldova can call the hotline support service to access information and counseling.

Toll-free: 080010808

Viber and text: +373 60 60 15 49

Hotline Support Service

Hotline Support Service

Ukrainians with disabilities, their families, and caregivers in Moldova can call the hotline support service to access information and counseling.

Toll-free: 080010808

Viber and text: +373 60 60 15 49

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Support for Refugees with Disabilities

Keystone Moldova is a leader in the national task force with the UN Human Rights Office in Moldova to address the needs of refugees with disabilities. Representatives from national and international NGOs, central public authorities, and donors are working together to coordinate services and supports.

We are mapping people’s needs and making information accessible for people with disabilities, as well as making sure people have access to food, assistive equipment, accessible transportation, medical care, and medications. We’re working to make sure refugees with disabilities can access the community-based services they need.

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About Keystone Moldova

Keystone Moldova promotes inclusion for people with disability, emphasizing full participation in the community. Our expertise lies in deinstitutionalization, sustainable community-based services and systems design, inclusive policy development, and inclusive education. We take a rights-based approach to ensure that people with disability are included in all parts of society. Keystone Moldova partners with national and local governments and advocates to reform and develop the framework for the social protection system and community-based services, and we have consulted with countries and NGOs around the world.

Visit KeystoneMoldova.md to learn more.