«We are not magicians, but it is easier with us!»
Under this unofficial motto was held the first international practical conference on dementia in Ukraine, organized by ICF "Jewish Hesed" Bnei Azriel" together with the British public organization WJR and with the support of the Kiev city state administration. According to Beth Saffer, a representative of the British organization, this is the first event of this scale for WJR, and they have not met anything like this in any of the countries which they cooperate with.
Therefore, the international practical conference "Actual issues of dementia in the XXI century: foreign and domestic experience" was held in the big conference hall of NASU for two days and gathered more than 260 specialists from eight countries. The participants of the event were specialists in the social sphere from state institutions, public and commercial organizations of Ukraine; representatives of Jewish charitable foundations of Ukraine and foreign public charitable Jewish organizations. And each of our guests brought a piece of their own experience, soul and sincere confidence that helping people with dementia is not only possible but also necessary!
During the two days of the conference, the external observer might think that its participants do not need any breaks, lunches, even sleep – in such an active, lively and enthusiastic way the experts shared their own achievements and adopted the experience of colleagues. "We are not magicians, but it is easier with us! – This phrase sounded in one of the first plenary speeches, became the leitmotif of the whole event.
Plenary sessions, panel discussions, breakout sessions and master classes: all this organically flowed into one another, giving the guests of ICF "Jewish Hesed "Bnei Azriel" possibility to listen and hear each other. And the highlight of the conference were master classes conducted by social workers of Kiev Hesed, practices for which each reception and each exercise is a personal experience of trial and error, it is success stories and bitter tears of disappointment. And each presentation found a response in the minds and souls of those present. They were not false, pompous and superior, they were full of life in all its colors: from bright, cheerful and life – affirming, to gloomy, dark and even black – everything was for real.
ICF "Jewish Hesed "Bnei Azriel" thanks its partners and co-organizers, foreign guests and all participants of the conference for having found an opportunity to join the event and expressed a desire to work together on solving actual issues of dementia today.