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– by Alex Love
A deaf woman who works with students at the Rochester Institute of Technology has been assisting other deaf people in Ukraine. Regina Kiperman-Kiselgof was born in Russia but moved to Ukraine as a child. She explained Ukraine has thousands of deaf people who can’t hear to take cover when air raid sirens go off or explosions happen. “Some of them feel like they must stay awake all night long, so they don’t miss something. And if they see a massive exit of people, they just try to follow the crowd to escape.” To help those stuck in the conflict, Regina sends supplies and money through online platforms like Deaf Bridge, Off the Grid Missions, or the World Federation of the Deaf. She also guides them to routes where they can safely evacuate. “We need volunteers to pick up people to help them escape Kyiv, and money for food and for getting a taxi or bus. Right now, I am working on finding locations where deaf people can go to be picked up.” “Without the help from the rest of the world, we would starve and die. We’re so thankful,” said Regina’s friend Elena Tkalich. Elena can’t leave Kyiv because her parents are too old and sick. She expressed how horrific life has become since the war began. “There have been babies born in basements with no medical care. People are asking for warm clothes because people are freezing. Young mothers need milk for their babies.” Elena explained every day more innocent Ukrainian people are dying from Russian attacks on residential areas. But she explained they are determined to stay and defend their homeland. – rochesterfirst.com

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