Ukrainian version

The contribution of California Ukrainians to the rehabilitation center "4.5.0. Prykarpattia"

Ліза Гоц

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A new place of hope and recovery is being born in Kalush, Ivano-Frankivsk region ‒ the rehabilitation center “4.5.0. Prykarpattia” rehabilitation center for war veterans, which will open in the summer of 2024. Vasylina Perehuda, the wife of fallen soldier Oleh Perehuda, is currently working on its creation.

The birth of an idea

First of all, the idea to create the center belongs to Oleh Perehuda, a company commander of the 80th Air Assault Brigade who was posthumously awarded the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, III class. It was Oleh’s return from the war in 2016 that became a turning point in the young couple’s lives. The Ukrainian society of that time was absolutely not ready to receive its heroes with dignity: problems with the perception of people who fought and defended the lives of others, rejection of the circumstances and fear. Thus, all these moments prompted the idea of creating a rehabilitation center. It was not just a dream ‒ it was a need determined by time and circumstances.

From dream to realization

In 2021, Oleh and his fellow brothers started a non-profit organization, then found a nice place and began negotiating with the city authorities. However, in 2022, the project was put on hold as the full-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022. Oleh had to go back to defending Ukraine and sadly, he died in June of the same year in Donetsk region.

His wife, Vasylyna Perehuda, and nieces ‒ Olha Lylak and Yulia Partsey ‒ continue to bring this idea to life.

Challenges and support

The task Vasylyna and her team set for themselves was not easy. Negotiating with the authorities, finding funding ‒ all this required not only effort but also immense faith in success. The former water station “Khotyn,” near the Limnytsia River, turned out to be the ideal location for the rehabilitation center due to its seclusion from city noise and proximity to nature.

Vasylyna Perehuda says: a lease agreement was signed with the city council for 25 years. The building area is 280 square meters, which will house a sports rehabilitation hall, a massage room, a psychologist’s office, an occupational therapy kitchen, a dressing room, and an inclusive restroom.

Over time, plans include landscaping the adjacent area, with the center having a special sports ground, beehives, and a fishing spot.

Joint efforts

Vasylyna admits that the project would not have been possible without the support of her friends, team, volunteers, and charitable organizations. The project is funded by donations from large businesses, donors, and charitable organizations. The team behind the center actively cooperates with various foundations, accepting both financial and material assistance.

Helping wounded soldiers is one of the priority areas of activity of the non-profit organization “Hromada”, therefore funds in the amount of $5,000, which were directed to the development of the rehabilitation center “4.5.0. Prykarpattia” helped speed up the opening day of the institution.

As the head of the center notes, with these funds it was possible to make a ceiling in a large rehabilitation center, namely: to insulate the ceiling and install a heating system, and in other rooms to insulate and install stretch ceilings, which helped to speed up the completion of the main nuances of the repair.

Financing of such and similar projects is possible thanks to the active participation of our donors, therefore any donation is important and changes life for the better, contributes to the recovery of our Heroes.

Please continue to support our initiatives, you can make your donation via the link:

About the rehabilitation center

“4.5.0. Prykarpattia” will be a place of physical and psychological rehabilitation, assistance in socialization and employment. The team plans to provide free assistance to every veteran. The center will offer individual and group sessions, training in self-help techniques and social integration. In addition, not only military personnel but also their families will be able to seek help at the center.

The center is now ready to open. The ceilings, lights, and walls have been installed and the necessary equipment purchased. The opening is scheduled for the end of August, but pilot cases will begin in July.

Call to action

Vasylyna Perehuda urges everyone who has similar ideas not to be afraid to implement them and seek support. She recalls the words of her husband: “If not us, then who? If not now, when?” Her story is an inspiration for many, demonstrating how self-belief and community support can change lives for the better.