Today a group of us including Dave Shaw made the trip to two orphanages, Kostukovichi and Klimovichi. Since the deliveries had already been made these were visits to meet with the staff and children and discuss potential future projects. This trip takes us through the evacuation zone so we made a brief stop along the way. Here is a shot of the signs you see posted throughout the evacuation zone basically warning you not to stop or enter this side road due to high levels of radiation left over from Chernobyl:
Here is what is left of a house that we stopped at:
Inside was a little eerie with lots of things that were left when the family was evacuated. Right by the door was a pair of boots and this shoe:
The ceiling had been wallpapered and the wall paper was falling down. Behind the paper was several layers of newspapers including this one from 1959:
When we arrived at the Kostkovichi Orphanage the children were still dressed in their uniforms which are all made at the school by the children. Here are two of the girls:
One of the great things that we got to do here (as well as at the Mogelev Orphanage for Girls and the Chausy Orphanage) is to deliver new books for the library. Every year kids from the Brockville area participate in a reading challenge program (Lyn, Front of Yonge and Commonwealth Public Schools). They get sponsored to read books in a prescribed period and the money raised buys books for the orphanages. It not only benefits the orphanages but the children themselves benefit by developing a love of reading. Here are pictures of a few of the kids “checking out” the books. Within a few minutes these children were drawn right into the books and of course they are anxious to look at them all:
On the tour we stopped for a look at the concert hall where the children had made all of the curtains themselves … very impressive:
Here are more curtains that the children have made. They have completed curtains for almost the entire orphanage:
Another real joy for the delegation is delivering the beautiful hand made quilts that are made especially for the children of the orphanages by the talented women of the 1000 Islands Quilt Guild. These children have few personal possessions and receiving this beautiful and practical gift is something they will treasure for their whole life. Here are some of the kids receiving their quilts:
And here are some showing off their quilts:
Last fall when Shirley Green visited this orphanage she donated the money for a Home Economics Room and we got to see this new room on our tour. Here is picture of one side of the room:
The bathrooms have finally all been completed at this orphanage, there is the last one to be completed:
The children of this orphanage are very lucky to have an extremely talented wood craft teacher. He has amazing talent and vision in his own artwork and loves to get the children to see the potential in every piece of wood. He tries to get them to see the natural form of the wood and see things that already exist and expand on it. Here is one small example of an item made by a student:
Our next stop was at the Klimivichi Orphanage for Invalid Children. This is a new orphanage for us and we are still in the preliminary stages of prioritizing wants and needs. There are definitely a lot of needs in this building! The building itself is in dire need of repair. Many of the windows are rotten and leaking. Here is a picture of one of the windows:
Of course like the other orphanages this one needs new washrooms:
Some of the children were having naps when we arrived, you can really see the smile in this girls eyes. You can see in this picture there is a need for new beds as well:
This is the computer room, if you look closely you can see that none of them are plugged in. They are required to have computers in all of the schools and orphanages, apparently the law does not require them to work!:
We are definitely going to be able to help with the library. Many of the shelves were completely empty and the books they do have are very old and very worn:
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, a man in New Zealand, who discovered our organization on the internet, sent us a donation to buy something to help some children in an orphanage so we decided this was the perfect place. We purchased drawing paper, coloured paper, pencil crayons and glue and presented it to a group of children who were in a class while we were visiting. They were very excited and enthusiastic with this gift. It was a beautiful way to start our relationship with these kids, it is stuff that they will be able to use everyday and bring them plenty of joy:
We hope that over the next few years we can bring about some of the changes we have helped to make in the other orphanages and that we will also get to see the changes in the children that comes with this sort of project … improved self-esteem and the realization that they can achieve any goal if they put their mind to it.
Wow Eric that was so awesome of you to do that 4 me, not just me but 4 the kid’s as well, I bet they will have loads of fun :).
Your pic’s are great I loved the water tower and OMG that wooden Duck (well that’s what I could see) was just the bees knees bet the maker is very proud to have made that and rightly so.
The girl taken a cat nap in her bed, Wow Eric u sure know how to get some great pics. I wunder how could people not want to help and you have such a good way with words, she really could do with a much better bed.
Life for me is just a walk in the park compared to all you have shown me.
Well Eric & Dave and every single person that is apart of this I want to say cheers to you all.
The last thing I want to say if I can? To Anyone who is reading this and can give a little then give it a try the feeling is Great
great work. hope your trip home was ok.