We had an opportunity to meet with our long time friend Vitalli. Previously he was the director of the Chausy Orphanage where we have helped to make many improvements under his leadership. Next he moved into the Chausy Municipal administration as a Deputy Mayor. He again helped us in this capacity to develop programs and make changes to help the schools and community. Three months ago he moved into the position of Director of the Juvenile Detention Centre in Mogilev, the capital of the region. The delegation was invited to meet with him and tour the facility. Here is Vitalli with a few members of the delegation.
Vitalli explained that he missed working directly with the children and making a difference in their lives, so when this opportunity presented itself, he jumped at the chance. The compound is quite large, approximately 20 acres. It is a locked facility with high fences and security.
We met in the administration building which was built in 1924.
This facility is designed to help these youths, aged 14-18, complete their high school as well as receive technical training in woodworking, masonry and tiling. This way when they leave they have marketable skills with which to secure employment and hopefully move their lives in a positive direction.
Although the extensive workshops contain every manner of power equipment, students are also taught the basics. Each student has his own workbench and tool-set assigned.
We were very impressed with the quality of the workmanship. We saw everything from broom handles to panelled doors.
Here the teacher is showing Colin some finished cupboard doors.
They even build chairs for the kindergartens in several sizes just for children.
Here Vitalli and the instructor are showing us a complete set of doors with jamb and threshold that were ready for installation.
We feel that there is a real possibility of a partnership with this facility to provide us with wood products. For example, they could build small kitchen cupboards for our families in our “running water” initiative, which provides running water to needy families.
As much as we will miss the close relationship to the Chausy administration that Vitalli has afforded us, we know that in the end it is the children brought to this facility that will really benefit. Vitalli is a visionary who will bring his personal passion for his work, along with his compassion for the children, to help these children find the right path.