At the initiative of the Russian Orthodox Church in the building of its Compound in Damascus [opened] (https://fscch.ru/ru/news/the-center-for-childrens-rehabilitation-7765 /) a unique Center for Children's Rehabilitation and Prosthetics, where they began to provide assistance to Syrian children who lost their limbs during the military conflict: leading Russian implantologists, as well as specialists of other profiles, help them recover, learn to lead a normal life.
On the air of the program "Church and Peace" on the TV channel "Russia 24", Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, spoke about the project to help the children of Syria and about the Center itself, in the opening of which he took part on March 6.
"A few years ago, we started a rehabilitation program for those Syrian children who were blown up by mines or otherwise suffered from the armed conflict," the hierarch noted. – The situations there are very different: for example, one boy, who later came to us for treatment in Moscow, was approached by a man at recess near the school and gave a toy. When that person walked away, the toy in the child's hands exploded, causing the boy to lose both hands."
Many of the victims have several injuries at once: they have lost sight and any limb, and it happens that they do not have several limbs.
"We started bringing these children to Russia," the DECR chairman noted, pointing out that working with such patients involves the participation of a lot of specialists, because if a child has lost limbs, it is not enough for him to simply put a prosthesis: he needs to be taught how to use this prosthesis, the victim must undergo comprehensive psychological rehabilitation.
"When these children came, they could not smile, they hardly spoke. They were given paper and colored pencils – they chose black and drew rockets and bombs. That's all they had in mind. Psychologists, rehabilitologists, those doctors who are engaged in spine correction worked with them (as a rule, if a child loses limbs, it begins to affect the spine, the body configuration changes). In general, a lot of complex work was required," the hierarch stated.
He also recalled that, unlike an adult, the child is growing, and about once every six months, children who have lost limbs need new prostheses, which means they must be constantly monitored by doctors. "We realized very quickly that we would not be able to bring children to Russia in this mode and give them adequate help, so on the basis of the Russian Orthodox Church's Compound in Damascus (and this is a four-story mansion that has a basement with a separate entrance), we created a Rehabilitation Center where children who have lost their limbs, vision; specialists will work with them," said Bishop Hilarion.
As the archpastor noted, the opening of the unique rehabilitation center attracted a lot of attention from the Syrian public: the ceremony was attended by Syrian Government ministers, the mayor of Damascus, other government representatives, religious and public figures.
Touching upon the topic of financial support for the project, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk said: "Yes, it is very difficult to find funds for this now. But we turned to the Foundation for the Support of Christian Heritage and Culture, with the help of which we managed, in fact, to create this center and adapt the premises of the Courtyard for it. We hope that in the very next few days the Foundation will consider our request to allocate funds so that we can continue this noble and very important activity begun with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with the participation of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch."