Monthly Archives: December 2007

Neil’s GAP Trip – October 2, 2007

This is the 4th post from Neil Matheson’s trip to Belarus in October 2007

October 2nd

We all meet at the administration building for an official greeting from Mayor Anatoli Matyulin. From here we go to the hospital and meet with Doctors Galina and Galinda. Following greetings we are given a tour of the hospital with a focus on the operating rooms that will be greatly helped by funds from Don and Shirley Green. Intensive care, pediatrics, geriatrics, kitchen and laundry are all included in this tour. Back to Galinda’s office for coffee and snacks.

Tour of construction at Hospital


The Greens with Hospital Staff

Shirley Green

Food in the kitchen

In the Hospital Laundry

Next stop is the Chausy Orphanage where the delegation is greeted, of course, by the children giving speeches and offering bread and salt (beautifully costumed and well presented).



We are given a tour of the school and see that many initiatives have been started or actually completed since the spring visit. New doors, windows, counseling room, sewing room, home economics/party room, are installed. The new medical renovations are well under way and the records of health and diet for each individual child are some of the very impressing developments we are shown.



The overall impression is that Vitali has done a huge amount of work to move the renovations forward and is totally focused on achieving maximum benefit to the well-being of his children. Praise and encouragement are the tools he uses to develop the best in every child. He is a remarkable Director dedicated to his job.

Finally, worked through the last of the registration process then met with Big Irina to plan for the Day of the Angel party and choose families for Shirley and Ellen to visit. Mihail drives us to Acinovka to see Tagayeva Zhenya and to Galocheva to meet little Yekaterina Vavilova, mom Svieta and dad Anatoli for the first time. We drop off Shirley and Ellen at Garavaya’s for dinner and return to visit with Drazdova Yulia and plan the remainder of the trip with Irina Denisyenko.

Yulia Drazdova

Neil’s GAP Trip – October 1, 2007

This is post 3 of Neil’s Notes from his trip.

Monday, October 1st.

Today was to be Dima’s day of adoption. Everything that could have happened, happened as far as enabling this to go forward. We left at 8:00AM with David Campbell, Olia Valkovich and I. We headed first for Bihov to pick up Olga the adoption agent and next to the home of Rita Kuntikova who lives with her husband Igor.


They have raised 28 children.



Rita has many questions about Dima, some of which I can’t answer but she agrees to have him pay a visit to see how he will get on in this new environment. We have tea and cake and finally head off to Glusk.


We arrived at the Vesnovskii Orphanage Home and met with Klimovich Viacheslav Vladimiravich the Director. He agreed to the principle but wanted us to first have a time with Dima to see about compatibility.
The next two hours were heartbreaking as I watched Dima demonstrate his complete lack of control. His impulsive behavior, memory loss, total lack of any focus and at times highly aggressive behavior without provocation, all told of the damage he had received during his bazaar childhood with his mother Larisa Kustikova.



With six preschoolers and gas appliances there is no way for Dima to be placed in this household or any other that lacked two well-trained adults that could devote themselves to his care. We returned to the directors office and shared our concerns
Could he be given this type of one-on-one care here or should he be moved to different hospital that would address his specific needs. Hospitals, however, are organized regionally not according to different treatments – they are all equally non-specialized.

There is an Irish group that has been of great help to Dima’s hospital. Perhaps we can work with this group to assist in the hiring of extra psychiatric one-on-one trained professionals to see if this might ready him for a summer with the Kuntikov’s and possible future placement there. Rita has not closed any doors. She did make total sense to me in her decision to not go forward at this time.

Kuntikova Rita is a rare woman and a wonderful loving mother. Her success with children is amazing and I will bring the support of her foster home before the CAC board at the next meeting.



Needs: Huge needs list here: 6 preschoolers, 12 attending local school and 4 in university or career training, beds are in terrible shape, winter boots (big time), pots pans, dishes, towels, etc, etc Set up a room for packing for this family

David Campbell paid a visit to his Orphan education Program Child, Nina, a diabetic in Babrusk. I met with a girl named Natalia in Mishchitsi, near Babruisk. She was reached for on a French Canadian program that reunites persons who have lost touch. I took photos and a short video to be sent via Dave on the internet to TVA.

Neil’s GAP Trip – September 30, 2007

This is a continuation of my last post from Neil Matheson’s trip to Belarus in Sept/Oct 2007 to administer his Guardian Angel Program.

Sunday, September 30th

A very full day of visiting families in the Guardian Angel Program. Visits to Karmilina Vera, Shahmayev Zhenya, Miryugin Sasha, Kniga Sasha, Ribikina Angelika, Tolovierova Natasha, Kulyukin Gyenadi, Yakovlev Dima and Kozhyumiakina Aliesa.

Kormilin, Yuri 17/06/88


Visited on Sept 30 this woman never ceases to amaze me with her quality of motherhood. Helen McKenzie had sent me with a letter filled with love and prayers and Vera was very deeply touched by this additional act of thoughtfulness.


Vera said that she thought of Helen as her mother and thought about her every day. During our visit the mail arrived and there were pictures of her other son who is in the Airforce. She sent me home with one of these with her writing on the back.


She said that she wanted to wallpaper the living room but had to hire a car to go to Mogilev for the materials. She was given extra funds to go with Yuri and a hired driver to make the purchase and set up the living room. What a fantastic first visit to a wonderful day!


Needs: Huge needs for large pampers, vitamins

Shahmaev, Zhenya – 02/04/93


Had a very good visit and discovered that mom is still on the wagon, Zhenya did go to Minsk and has been found to not need surgery at this point.


We left the remaining funds – $180 with mom. Their general needs will be sent, I’m sure with Eric McKenzie by the Shorewood group in March.

Miriyugin, Sasha 21/10/02

Visited on September 30 in Gorbavichi. Sasha was his typical charming self with an ear to ear smile and good steady progress made this summer.


Tomorrow he goes to Mogilev Hospital to get the final tests before surgery which is scheduled on Thursday this week. He will have the muscles on the back of his legs lengthened with three incisions at the hip, knee and ankle. Mom feels very good about the upcoming operation. Dave’s cousin from Canada is looking for a family to support and this looks like it could well be a match. I brought him out for a meeting and photo shoot.

Sasha with Dave Shaw

Second visit to Sasha at the hospital in Mogilev shows Sasha standing already, following his surgery. They were informed that they would have a sponsor, Dave’s cousin. They received $200 of the $400 and will receive the remainder in March/April.
Needs: Orbitrack

Kniga, Pavil 10/04/89

Mama has a new job and a new boyfriend. Visited on Sept. 30 Pavil is home for the weekend from university in Mogilev. He is the only person in his math class to score a perfect 10 on a math test so far. He loves to work and study and is incredibly polite to boot. Little sister Katya – now a beautiful young lady is also doing incredibly well at school.


I asked Pavil to consider speaking for a few minutes at next spring’s Day of the Angel party as being an invalid” who is making it BIG time. He will consider it. His invalid status has been voided BUT we will maintain contact and support. George and Shirley Herr.
Needs: Looking into $350 needed for Geography books and a globe.

Ribikina, Angelika 05/01/99

Visited Sept. 30 with David Campbell a close friend of the Kemps.

David Campbell

We had a positive visit despite the pressure she’d felt from Irina to attend the Correction Centre in the spring. The whole family was home and we had good times with laughter as we spoke of their tractor and the summer crops.



While there we had a visit from a very intoxicated Babushka who was returning from a funeral. Looking for Pampers – 15kg – 25 kg and seeds (both great)!
Needs: big time – taken care of by Ridgetown GAP family

Tolovierov, Vladimir 04/03/93

Visited on September 30. We had a great but unusual visit. The house was in huge disarray being wallpapered and painted. Natasha was delighted to see us but embarrassed with the mess.


Their cow died six days ago and the calf bought in the spring of last year with Evelyn Hazzard’s fund is critically needed as they have no milk for the children until she can trade the fattened calf in the spring for a milking cow.


We stayed there, quite literally, til the cows came home each walked down the main street of Slastione on their own and turned in to their proper houses.


I’ll visit again if there’s time before leaving. Left $100 for milk for the kids til the spring.

October 6th . An alternate route back from a trip to Radomla took us past Slastione so we dropped in to see Natasha Tolovierova who was sick with a temperature. We looked at the wallpaper which has certainly moved forward since our last visit. Good short visit.

Needs: Farm/livestock related needs. Vitamins (always good)

Kulyukin, Gyenadi 06/06/91

We arrived at sunset on the 30th of Sept. to find mom at work and Gyenadi in the care of an older brother. The house, as usual, was very pungent with the smells of rotting meat and general filth but Gyenadi was not soiled and seemed comfortable. We left word that we sincerely hoped that he would attend the Day of the Angel Party on Wednesday and that we, of course, would be back to see them in March/April.

Needs: larger pampers and vitamins

Kozhyumiakina, Aliesa 09/05/89


Visited on September 30, 2007 at 8:00PM. This was the first of the visits delivering hearing aids provided by Murray Davidson of Davidson Hearing Centre. It fit perfectly which was evident with the smile on her face as it slipped into place.



She has agreed to help the other three recipients should I have any trouble with the installs. Each hearing aid has a box of spare parts and a year’s supply of batteries. What an amazing thing to be able to deliver.

Eric’s Note: Stay tuned there will be more posts to come …