CCSI received the following letter July 21, 1999
To all of my friends and colleagues at CCSI:
This is an open plea for financial support on behalf of Preodolenie, an organization of and for disabled persons in Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buriat republic of Siberia.
Preodolenie is the premier organization for the disabled in all of Russia. Erzhena Budaeva, the president of Preodolenie, is a highly respected representative of the Buriat government in Ulan Ude, and has been fighting for years to make real progress in the advancement of the cause of the disabled in Russia and especially the Buriat Republic. It is a showcase organization for the Russian Federation and other republics of the Former Soviet Union.
The advances made by Preodolenie are helping society to develop awareness of the problems and capabilities of the disabled and making real progress toward their rehabilitation and accommodation. One such benefit is the proliferation of wheelchair ramps at most public buildings in the republic. Now taken for granted in the United States, this is not a common feature in Russia. This was unheard of just ten years ago, but Preodolenie is beginning to bring Russian up to the standards that the disabled have come to expect in America.
Russia currently has no equivalent to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and so the disabled are essentially on their own with no strong voice in government. In fact, the disabled are commonly a shunned sector of Russian society, mainly because of their perceived inability to contribute significantly to the financial situation in which the country finds itself - a situation which we all know is very bad.
Prior to the financial crisis of August, 1998, Preodolenie had begun construction on a modern dormitory compound to house and provide for the rehabilitation of the disabled. It is a major construction project, professionally planned and offering the potential to help totally change the pictured for all disabled persons in Russia forever. Included in the plans are eighty apartments which will house one or two persons each. The plans also include a gymnasium and sports complex.
A photo and view of the plans can be seen at the web site:
More detailed photos and associated information will be forthcoming on the same web page.
Since the crisis, construction has stopped and cannot continue without great financial assistance. A special fund has been set up to allow outside organizations and benevolent individuals to contribute to this most worthwhile cause. The money needed to complete the project minus the sports complex is seven million rubles, or $280,000 USD. To complete the project with the sports complex, the money needed is 25 million rubles, or $1 million USD. Please help this organization and/or share this information with someone who might.
I will return to Ulan Ude next month, carrying numerous prostheses and related supplies donated by the Limbs for Life Foundation here in Oklahoma City.
To find out how to contribute to this wonderful organization, please follow the coordinates below:
Erzhena Budaeva, President
Preodolenie/Fund for Construction of Living Quarters for the Disabled
G. Ulan Ude
Bulvar Karl Marx 13
Voice Telephone (from the US): +8 (3012) 33-19-60 or 33-59-18
4832 Koelsch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73117-8407
(405) 670-6702 (evenings)
Thank you very much for your time and attention to this matter.
Last updated: July 1999
A print version of much of the information contained in this NIS Third Sector Organizations section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).