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Sofya Zakharova’s parents only want their child to enjoy a normal, happy life. Yet right now they are struggling to even enroll her into daycare.
Recently, the parents of Sofya tried to get their child to begin pre-k.
She was born with a deformed skull and fused fingers and toes, but her parents know that she is a funny, bright and happy child.
As the family live in a village in Russia, they had only one daycare option
But the response that they got from the organization has crushed them emotionally.
The managers of the daycare refused to admit Sofya, as they claimed that the girl’s deformed skull would make the other children scared.
They also told the parents to give Sofya cosmetic surgery before re-applying.
However, Sofya’s family could not hope to afford surgery on their child.
At present, they live in an apartment that has no water and no gas. They are in poverty but are trying to give their child a good life.
If a preschool in America refused a child because of their appearance, there would be outrage.
Unfortunately, the Zakharovas live in Russia. Russia does have some anti-discrimination laws, but according to the charity Civic Nation, these laws are only just taking shape.
So far, Sofya has mentally developed into a healthy young girl.
There is no reason why she shouldn’t be enrolled into a normal daycare facility, apart from the small-mindedness of the managers.
However, Sofya’s parents have been able to get some help.
A charity in their region, called Rainbow Goodness, has decided to help the parents fight for their child’s enrollment.
Even after Rainbow Goodness became involved and threatened legal action, the daycare organization that had refused to admit Sofya did not change its policy. Instead, the managers just kept telling the parents to give their child an operation.
Luckily, the charity has had more success in other areas.
Rainbow Goodness has been working to ensure that the family is moved into a new apartment that has heating and running water. Government officials have visited the family and said that they will work on the relocation.
Childhood psychology experts have also pleaded with the daycare to change their decision.
They have stated that the sooner that Sofya get to experience interactions with other children the better. This will help the child accept her own appearance.
Of course, to a certain degree, Sofya’s parents must have been expecting people to discriminate against their child. But at this age, they were probably worrying more about the other children in the pre-school instead of those who run it.
Eventually, the government of the area also approved Sofya for an operation to alter her appearance. She will soon travel to Moscow for the procedure.
The parents of this poor girl have really had their faith in humanity challenged, and who can blame them?
Like all parents, they just want their child to do well, but even those who are running childcare institutions are shunning her.
If it weren’t for the kind-hearted people at Rainbow Goodness, then the Zakharovas may have completely given up hope.
Perhaps one day, people will not judge others on their appearance, but stories like this show that the world still has a long way to go.
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