This morning was spent delivering more food boxes to impoverished families in the region. Although the day was set aside to be spent with the children at the orphanage we still needed to get more deliveries completed. Some of the houses are in pretty rough shape and this on had aleaky roof that was causing extensive moisture problems.
After noon we all met at the orphanage and the director, Vitalli, took all of the new delegates and any others interested on a tour. I always like to tag along to see the latest improvements since my last visit. In this next picture we are seeing the final touches that have been put on the infirmary since last year.
They have added two rooms with 3 beds in each for isolation in case anyone gets sick and they now have a nurse on duty 24/7. This is the actual infirmary:
Here is a picture of the cafeteria where the children eat their meals:
These ladies prepare all of the meals for the children as well as for us when we eat at the orphanage … I can attest to the fact that the food is excellent. I have never lost any weight while Belarus!
This building is currently used for storage but renovations will begin this month to turn it into a true home. The children will be given the opportunity to live in it in small groups on weekends. They will be taught to buy groceries, prepare meals, do laundry and generally live as a family. These are extremely valuable skills that they do not get to learn being raised in the orphanage environment.
Here is the half court for basketball next to the sport gym. It is a little rough, but it works:
The children have decorated some of the tree stumps with painted rocks:
Inside the sport gym is where their hockey equipment is stored as well as excersize and weight lifting equipment. I found this picture on the wall and was told it was when their hockey team placed first in the region. They later placed 6th in the province:
In the lobby of the main school building is their “wall of fame”! The words at the top say “Knowledge” & “Sport”. Below are pictures, awards and trophies won by the children at various levels right up to national!
After the tour we were treated to a concert by the children. Although this is spring break and only about 30 children are left at the orphanage, many more returned to present this concert for us. Th children make all of their own costumes and choreograph their own dances. The music teacher helps them with music selection and practice. The smiles on the children’s faces and the self-confidence shown are all bi-products of the support given to this orphanage by Canadian Aid for Chernobyl.
Here are a few pictures of the children performing:
The children enjoy both performing and watching the performances.
This year we presented the children with a new electric guitar and amplifier, which was a huge hit. Neil brought it out and presented it and then Andre played it a little and then Vitalli asked Pasha (one of the children who plays the guitar) to come up and give it a try. He had no trouble playing it but he may have had a little trouble getting the smile off of his face! It was a great moment!
After the concert we loaded up the buses and took all of the children to the ice palace in Mogilev, the closest ice rink and only one in the province. This was a blast! The children had so much fun and of course the Canadians along with our interpreters and drivers joined in. There was barely a moment when one of the children did not have a hold of our hands. Here are a few shots of the fun!
This was a fantastic day and always one of the favourites of the delegates.