The happy result of Friends of BCH recommending BCH as a partner to Healthprom in 2015, is that the hospice received funding from DfID’s Child Rights programme and so is able to employ its own legal adviser.
Irina Gamova tells us a bit about herself and what her work means to her.
It had always been my ambition to be a lawyer and I was thrilled when I graduated from the Faculty of Jurisprudence at Minsk’s Management Academy.
My first job was at the Tax Inspectorate and then I joined the Procurator’s office but I have to say that I am eternally grateful that in March 2016 I became part of the team at the Belarusian Children’s Hospice.
At BCH in Minsk, I am employed in the pivotal role of legal adviser to the Child Rights Project. The project co-ordinators out in the Belarusian regions are BCH’s ‘hands’. They help families living far from Minsk by giving them information about the work of BCH, informing them of the basic rights and entitlements for families with a disabled, chronically or terminally ill child and advising them which departments to go to for what assistance. Once the co-ordinators have assessed the problems in a family they refer back to me for advice. They ring me to discuss the best way forward and what legislation we can use to help in each particular case.
I read through all the applications our social workers make to various departments (all run by the state, of course) to check that all their advice is appropriate and correct. So many families are unaware of their legal rights. I am able to advise them on the correct course to take, what documents are needed and where to either take or send them and what the timeframe will be. So far, we have been able to find ways to help every family. This is what I find so satisfying.
This work means a lot to me because it makes me feel that I am contributing to society. What I do really helps people and I can see positive results. My family is my greatest support in my work and I would like to express my thanks to my mother, my husband and Alexander my 7-year old son.