From Compassion to Change: Fund a Future of Inclusivity.

The main thing is to be alive!

Hello, my name is Pavel Lapkin. I am 48 years old.
I have cerebral palsy since birth as a result of birth trauma. From the very beginning I had severe spasticity. As a child I could still walk on crutches, but then my legs stopped extending and I had to move to a wheelchair. My hands and fingers were spastic, I couldn’t even lift a cup. But the most difficult part was to learn to tie my shoelaces: it was very difficult to master and memorize the sequence of finger movements. I tried to relax my hands which took a long time and the spasticity quickly returned as soon as I lost concentration.

I started talking around the age of 6. The spasticity of the speech-motor apparatus was also strong and increased when I was excited. It’s still going on, the excitement makes the spasticity worse. Despite my efforts to communicate in a way that people can understand, I am often not understood.

In 2016 I met Nellya Safiulina at an art festival. It was heavy rain and I started helping Nellya to clean tables and chairs. That’s how we met and my volunteer life started.

A few days later, she offered me to become a volunteer, which eventually changed my fate. Nelly and I became great friends. I vividly remember my first visit to her office; Nelly drove me there in her car. We discussed future work and master classes. That’s how I got involved: cleanup events in Sokolniki, competitions in Sochi, festivals, and trips. I go wherever I’m needed and don’t miss any opportunity to be useful.

In 2021, Zulfia, the director of our charity foundation “I Love Life”, told me about the opportunity to participate in an internship from the IP-Lab project “Empathy and Inclusion.” And I accepted, I hoped that things would change for me. Since then, I have been working in the laboratory. These are wonderful sessions, and thanks to them, real changes have begun for me.

My speech changed, my vision of the scientific work that we do changed. I’ve lost weight, the tension in my whole body disappeared, and the hand tremors subsided. My face changed, my facial expressions changed and the tension disappeared. My speech became clearer. I began to understand the task quickly, and I developed questions and interests. I became easier to perceive things.

But what I want most from our internship is to be a mentor to someone and share my experience – that’s the most important thing for me in life! I want to be useful! I want the changes possible through the empathetic practice I undergo not only to happen within me but also to be shared and observed in others who join the internship.

I appreciate having an active life stance because I am a living person. A living person should be active, joyful, and positive. The main thing is to be alive! I want to be a useful person, sharing what I have, and the path we have walked can continue in others. We need to awaken this spiritual light.

I want to be alive, and I want to be surrounded by living people!
New participants of the online internship “IP-Lab Empathy and Inclusion”
I hope we can open
new horizons together!

Hello! My name is Anna Yashina, and I live in Belarus. I believe in justice, strive to learn from mistakes, and always aim for the best. I think much in life depends on ourselves…

I am inspired by open-minded people, interesting books, and travels. I also adore my two Labradors! For many years, I have been involved in various volunteer initiatives aimed at providing more opportunities for people with and without disabilities to communicate and interact with each other. Volunteering is a significant part of my life. It makes my weekdays much brighter and more interesting.

At work, I write articles about computers and help children learn the Russian language. I love my job. It allows me to share my knowledge and, at the same time, constantly evolve and learn something new.

This spring, I met the Inclusive Practice team in person. I was endlessly inspired by what they do and very much want to contribute to their research. For me it’s not just an opportunity to try something new and interesting or do something useful, but also a chance to improve my own physical condition, as I live with cerebral palsy.

Hello. My name is Yulia Kulish. I am 35 years old and live in Belarus. I work as an accountant. I have cerebral palsy since birth.
I enjoy self-improvement, exploring new aspects of life, facing the challenges of destiny, and finding something positive in every moment of life.

I love life in all its manifestations. I am inspired by interesting people with a deep inner world, travel, solitude, and nature. I am passionate about studying psychology, the English language, and writing poetry.

Recently, I learned about the “Inclusive Practices” team, and I am eager to get to know it better. Today, I want to thank the organizers of this project. You make the world better and happier!

If life gives a chance, it must be used for the benefit of oneself and others!
Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what filling you’re going to get.

Hello! My name is Valeria.

Born into a military family, I showed an early interest in psychology, considering a career as a military psychologist. However, life, right from the beginning, threw its curveballs. In 1988, the removal of a brain hematoma made the left side of my body practically nonfunctional. Years of rehabilitation, surgeries, and hospital stays ran parallel to my education in a general school and the study of foreign languages.

In 2010, I graduated from a pedagogical university and began teaching at a school. I continue to lead an active lifestyle, coupled with annual rehabilitation sessions. My life revolves around children, psychology, and teaching. I enjoy traveling, learning new things, and passing on my experiences to others.