Sloviansk, Donetsk Oblast, 8 December 2020 – Today, in Sloviansk, Donetsk Oblast, the first adaptive climbing wall in eastern Ukraine was officially opened at the Donbas State Pedagogical University. The construction and further equipment of the inclusive sports facility was carried out by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme with the financial support of the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Adaptive climbing is one of the most effective practices for the rehabilitation and socialization of people with disabilities, and is actively used in countries around the world such as the United States and the United Kingdom. From now on, children attending the Sloviansk Inclusive Resource Centre, university students, including physical therapy majors, and local athletes will be able to include climbing in their sports training. The climbing programmes are specially adapted to the needs of specific audiences and will be overseen by teachers and specialists in rehabilitation and physical therapy.
The coordinator of the Social Cohesion and Community Security Component of the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, Rustam Pulatov, said that the opening of an adaptive climbing wall would promote inclusive education in eastern Ukraine.
“Despite the long-lasting armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, people, especially children with disabilities, must have access to educational opportunities and development,” Pulatov said. “We’re convinced that this climbing wall is a good start for opening similar inclusive sites not only in the east, but all across Ukraine, and together with our partners we will make every effort to achieve this as soon as possible.”
The head of the “Donbas” regional federation of mountaineering and climbing, Ihor Nosachenko, noted that sport climbing became an Olympic sport in 2020, so interest in this sport is growing rapidly. “It is important that similar sports facilities are created in Donetsk Oblast with the financial support of international donors,” Nosachenko said. “Our athletes from Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and neighbouring communities will be glad to use this climbing wall.”
The total cost of the climbing wall, including the repair of the ceiling and the replacement of stained glass windows in the sports centre, amounted to U.S. $56,140 (UAH 1.6 million).
The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Thirteen international partners support the Programme: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Maksym Kytsiuk, Communications Associate, UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, firstname.lastname@example.org, +380 63 576 1839