Wednesday, 10:30. In the capital’s cinema “planet Cinema” session. But the audience had in their hands cups of popcorn, and infants, toys and bottles of milk. Nightmare childfree session for parents with children recently has become a reality in Ukraine.
However, it looks not so scary. Ordinary film standard cinema, but in the hall a dim light was on, the sound is a little quieter, and stroll between the rows of moms with kids. Children tend to jump on the chair, perching right on the floor, get to know each other, but overall are pretty quiet. Part of the young viewers even manages to sleep with the jokes of heroes of Comedy films.
“Quiet sessions” — a new trend in Ukraine. While this service provides only two of the cinema “planet Cinema” and “Zhovten”, but in the future they will be joined by others. At least on this count, active moms and dads coming together in a Facebook community to defend the right to satisfaction of basic needs of life.
The sessions in the cinema, changing tables in public places, ramps, convenient transportation for the strollers that the West has long been business as usual in Ukraine yet looks exotic.
“After the law, signed by Barack Obama in October 2016, in the US, public men’s restrooms equipped with baby changing tables. At a time when the American men won the right to a comfortable and decent parental responsibilities for child care, we are in Ukraine we continue to discuss whether we need these facilities,” — said the founder of FB group “Kyiv, druzhnya to batkiv I my” Olga Mirtala.
In Ukraine, the mother out of the house with the baby, forced to Excel in trying to change the baby diapers, in the car, in the ladies ‘ room, if the weather permits — just on my knees, sitting on the bench, or in a wheelchair, traditionally catching yourself condemning and dissatisfied eye. Feeding in public places similar story.
Started from scratch. Sessions of “0+” in the cinema “Zhovten” is popular
The inconvenience and suffering not only ordinary moms, but even the authorities. “Disturbances in the city at every step, says the MP, mother of five daughters Anna hopko. — Not in any public transport easily accessible with a stroller. Ramps started to install only the last few years, but very often to use them is simply dangerous, because they are too cool.”
On the one hand, this situation is a legacy of the Soviet Union, when a nursery, kindergarten and school for children, and separately — transport, work and urban infrastructure for adults, says psychologist Alina Kotenko. “But over the years of Ukraine’s independence family values are actually nominal, she adds. Even employers prefer not to accept mothers with children. Constantly broadcast a hidden message: we don’t need children until they grew up.”
Ukrainian mothers are trained from childhood to endure, lies in their genes the ability to cope with difficulties. And therefore does not occur even thought that they can help. In the end, the mothers often know neither their rights nor what they can and need to protect.
“I was recently in one of the shopping center of Zaporozhye. There is a lift, ramp, shop, toilet for people with disabilities and no changing table — gives the example of Olga Mirtala. When I asked why, it turned out that in three years about table asked one person — me. That is, the mom is satisfied.”
However, the situation is beginning, though very slowly, but still changing. And mainly because of the women themselves. The same “quiet sessions” appeared in Ukraine due to a concerned mother — the Director of the Lviv “Planet Cinema” Oksana Halevai, which is now itself partially in the decree.
“Talking with moms, I discovered a common problem: there is no entertainment. Many mothers start early to show children cartoons, but the movies were separated by a few factors — too loud and dark. Plus the surrounding is not very tolerant of little brats,” she says. And “quiet sessions” that have long been practiced abroad again given the opportunity, these factors are removed.
More than my mom. Olga Mirtala wants to make Ukrainian cities friendly to children
On the first session in Lviv was visited by about 20 mothers with babies. Now they regularly conduct. “We announced that in the hall you can go with a stroller, acquiring a changing table, diapers, wipes, diaper — says Oksana Haleva. I told about our experience with the management of the network, and it was decided to hold such events not only in Lviv.”
One of the first Metropolitan sessions has been a journalist and mother of six-month-old baby Svitlana tuchynska. “The session learned in the Facebook — group mothers. I liked the cartoon, and format, and the friendly attitude of the staff. Five-month-old son looked at the screen, sometimes ate, sometimes did remarkably well behaved. However, the toilet had a changing table, so I had to change a diaper right in the room” — says she. In the “Planet Cinema” changing tables promised to deliver.
March 15-sessions for moms launched and Kiev Zhovten. To baby sessions at the cinema came thoroughly: toys on the floor in front of the screen, changing table in room, microwave, space for wheelchairs in the lobby. On the first session in the “Jotne” came nearly a hundred moms and dads with young children.
“The more places where comfortable with kids, the better, — says Olga Mirtala that triggered impressions. — Especially the cinema — in the heart of the city, and moms with strollers easier to get there. We got two tables and we continue to collect toys to children during the sessions, had something to do”.
With restaurants the same story: changing tables and baby rooms are more likely to appear in the school, which is headed by a woman-mother. “Restaurants are private property. To provide convenience for moms, that’s their business. Besides, a lot depends on the format,” explains the actress, restaurateur and mother of two sons Dasha Malakhova.
In her restaurant Kartata Potata there are chairs, tables, diapers, and specially trained waiters who know how to help the mother with the child. Children running around between the tables. “This is our format, — says Dasha Malakhova. — While I understand that because of this, lose customers, which could, for example, come for a romantic dinner.”
All are equal. MP Hanna hopko is faced with the inconvenience, as other moms
Children Of The Lion
Limited to cinemas and restaurants active mothers do not intend to. Changing tables in shopping centers and state institutions, with ramps, lifts for wheelchairs, very friendly to children and parents in the development of these and several more projects. And leading in their implementation, not the capital, and Lviv.
“In Kiev, mom is quite passive. Do you know why our most successful project is the movie? Because we did everything themselves. And where need assistance, things slowed”, — with regret Mircale.
Twice she and her group prepared the projects, which could be allocated out of the budget. One of them involves the installation of changing tables in the toilets of government agencies and shopping centres.
“This project got on the website of city Council for 2.5 months 788 votes of the necessary 10 thousand! For comparison: petition about the Theatre on Podol [scandalous building on Andreevsky descent in Kiev] for the week collected 6 thousand.”
Slowly, but develops the project “share a table”. Mom ask not to throw away unneeded changing table, and give them to museums, cinemas and FECs. Constantly filled with a map of places friendly to children. Olga Mirtala encourages moms and dads to join the initiative, not only to read, but to fill the map with stories about the places where they are. She hopes that through “quiet sessions” about the initiative know as many people as possible. And while the forecasts are cautious, after the information about the session hit the media, the group of “Kyiv druzhnya” increased significantly.
In Lviv, this group exists for several years. It also formed the concerned parents. From the capital it differs in that it has turned into a public organization, which is supported by local officials and politicians.
“We started with that decided stickers to mark the places where happy children — recalls one of the founders of the group Christine Aduha. First there were 20, then more and more, so we decided to create an interactive map”.
Foot under the table. Dasha Malakhova made his restaurant, convenient for parents with children
The activists won government funding for the construction of an inclusive Playground, which is suitable for children with disabilities, has created a map of Lviv sites. “If there’s a problem, then authorities react and eliminate it for a maximum period of two weeks,” explains Aduha. The organization is involved in children’s clubs, hospitals, and now, together with the city Council is developing a comprehensive program “Lviv, friendly to kids”.
The icing on this cake is mobile app Friendly City, created by the programmer from Ivano-Frankivsk Igor Romanchuk. With his help on the maps of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk you can monitor the availability and quality of ramps in public places — hospitals, pharmacies, shops, near ATMs. Green means the building is completely adapted for people with special needs or moms with strollers. Yellow — the ramp in the building, but they are not very comfortable. Red warns that the house impossible to get into without assistance.
“Friendly” group on the example of Kiev and Lviv in the nearest future we are going to organize in the winery.
Not to say that Ukrainian officials completely ignore the problems of moms. But their initiatives are sometimes very surprising. For example, squares Obolon in Kiev plan to equip special cabanas children. “Trees and shrubs in public gardens will be planted in such a way as to protect walkers from the wind and insulate the noise of the streets, to children in wheelchairs wouldn’t Wake up from sudden sound level changes,” adds the inspirer of the project Vladislav Mikhailenko.
The idea seems to be interesting, but it raises a few questions. It is planned that the keys of these houses to mothers of infants will be issued, representatives of social services at the place of residence. And what about moms who just come to walk in Obolon? Why give the keys are only mothers and not fathers? The keys will need to charge before each walk or only once and for a couple of years? How to use cabanas in the winter?
And only mothers know how and what needs to be changed in the first place. “All the buildings, institutions, public facilities need to be built or converted on the principle of “universal design” is when everyone in the room from the entrance and door handles to switches, are placed so that a person of any age, with different physical features and peculiarities of development could easily be in this room,” says hopko.
To such a level of tolerance to the mothers of Ukraine is still far. But things are moving. “Quiet sessions” became interested in other major cinema chain. There is interest on the part of the advertisers: for example, in “Jovine” children will enjoy free diapers in Japan. In Kiev and Zhitomir are a group of moms who want to implement the experience in the cinemas in their district. Facilities for kids appear in an increasing number of institutions, including cultural ones. For example, in the aforementioned scandalous Theatre on Podol. You may show here and plays for mothers with children.