Valeriia is reunited with her students and passion despite the conflict in eastern Ukraine
Valeriia Borisova used to work as a teacher in the Support Center for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Donetsk. When the conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out, she left the city to escape the fighting and moved further north to a small town called Kramatorsk. Despite her previous experience, it was difficult for Valeriia to find employment in Kramatorsk where the job market is much smaller and opportunities are harder to come by.
After a year of job searching, parents of one of her clients from Donetsk asked if she could provide private classes for their six-year-old child. Valeriia seized the opportunity and immediately went out to buy the materials she needed, including learning cards, books and manuals, with her own money. When we asked her about her work, Valeriia said: “This work doesn’t just bring income, but also satisfaction. I love children and I am happy to see them progress.”
With this first class, Valeriia got back to action. The family quickly saw how much their child benefitted, and news spread. “I was approached by other parents with requests for private classes for their children. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to provide classes to so many children alone…I was so happy when I found out that I will receive a grant from People in Need. It would solve so many issues for me,” Valeriia says.
More space and learning materials for 40 students
With the grant of 25,000 UAH Valeriia was able to expand. She rented an apartment to dedicate a space for conducting classes. She bought basic furniture and extra learning materials for her students. As the number of children attending her classes grew, she hired an assistant, Daria, to support her. “With Daria, the process became much easier, besides she is a child development specialist and already had experience working with children with disabilities,” Valeriia says.
Valeriia and Daria currently teach 40 children and are prepared to teach more in the future. “I really like my job and I’m going to continue and progress. My assistant and I are learning new teaching methods, trying to bring something new and interesting to the learning process. My aim is to open my own school here for children with disabilities,” says Valeriia.
Valeriia received a grant from People in Need, thanks to generous financial support from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).