Special Needs and Euro 2012

We have been hearing some rumblings about the extravagant funds that were needed to properly co-host Euro 2012. And for what? If you’re not a sports enthusiast, and particularly futbol, do you really care that stadiums were upgraded? Do you really care about the huge fan zones, added security, tourists? Some businesses — particularly beer and alcohol companies — will certainly see a spike in income…but maybe only temporarily.

Flowers are beautifully displayed throughout the city. Will these new gardens and window boxes be cared for after the final game is played in Kyiv?

Was any of the money spent on lasting projects…that will benefit those other than fans?

I think most people would agree that improvement of the roads has been a real blessing to anyone traveling around the country. Some folks might believe that English being posted and spoken on the metro lines has been a help for foreigners…and Ukrainians wishing to learn English. Certainly Andrievsky Uzviz is sporting a fresh new appearance.

Thank you, Euro 2012.

But, I was most encouraged by an article I read today about the improvements being made for the handicapped and disabled. These changes will affect countless Ukrainians as they maneuver around the cities. Not just fans. And not for just one month.

And the process that took place to evaluate whether buildings, sidewalks, stadiums were handicap-accessible has changed the view for many involved.

As Ukraine Medical Outreach continues to reach out to those that society has neglected, we are striving to empower health-care providers and families caring for those with special needs. May these structural improvements be just the beginning of a new awareness of and approach to dealing with these challenges.

For this we thank you, Euro 2012.



  1. Mary Beates says:

    I am not even sure how I found your blog site, but it has been a joy to read! My husband, Mike, has actually spent a little time in Kiev, when he was there with Joni and Friends, delivering wheelchairs with their Wheels for the World project some years ago. Seeing this posting about disabilities of course rings true to me and my husband. We have a disabled daughter and have adopted two children that have fetal alcohol syndrome. I thought you might be very interested in learning that Mike has recently had a book published by Crossway, entitled: Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace. This book is not a “how to” book but a “why to” book on ministering to the disabled. Perhaps this could be a tool for you and your husband as you continue to reach out to the needy in Kiev and beyond.He also has a facebook page under the same title, please feel free to check that out. The book is available on Amazon and also out in the Kindle form. God’s richest blessings be on you. Thank you for all you are doing!!! In His Grip, Mary Beates

    • I don’t know how you found my site either, but I am so happy that you did! I will most definitely be heading to the facebook page! This looks like a great resource…the best things I’ve read so far along this line are all written by Joni, such an amazing woman! Please check out our ministry facebook page: Ukraine Medical Outreach, Inc. (not the group, but the page)…like it and you will be kept up to date on our work here. We also have a website (same name) and you can read there about what has happened here, our mission, our dreams, etc.

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