Dave Shaw, our Director of Humanitarian Aid, has given me the Humanitarian Initiatives for the spring trip and it looks like yet another exciting year for friends in Belarus! These programs are aimed at relieving short term stress (food boxes) and creating long-term, self-perpetuating solutions that will help to develop self confidence, independence and success in the children (orphanage programs). PLEASE, read through them carefully and you will see the difference that these programs can make … with your help! As you read through see if one of the initiatives jumps out as something that you would like to help sponsor or just make a general “Humanitarian Aid” donation and we will see that it is directed to a program in need. I will outline more details on donating at the end of the post.
CAC will be limiting our aid shipment to 3 transport containers of aid this spring. The containers will consist of food for a targeted 800 families including seniors on small pensions and impoverished families and families with disabled children. In addition, there will be hygiene products for impoverished families, orphans, abused / neglected children, disabled children and adults. Finally, our shoes boxes for seniors, hand made quilts, some clothing and annual supplies of hygiene products for 5 orphanages.
$20,700 (Overseas and inland shipping)
Canadian Aid for Chernobyl has launched our 9th annual food box drive; providing 65lbs of staple food products to seniors on minimal pensions, single mothers or families on social assistance, families with invalid children. Last year, we hand delivered 680 food boxes.
These boxes are genuinely appreciated and are delivered in early April when families’ preservatives are depleted.
This year’s goal is 750 families
In addition to the food boxes, CAC delegates will be hand delivering over 1000 humanitarian boxes from Canadian families to families living in the contaminated regions. In the past, families throughout Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes have sent parcels through CAC for safe distribution.
In September 2008, CAC negotiated an agreement with the Mogilev Regional Department of Education to provide the materials necessary to expand or reconstruct the Chausy Orphanage dormitory to accommodate the graduating children: allowing them the opportunity to remain living in the orphanage after grade 9.
CAC is proud to inform that 17 kids continue to live, sleep and enjoy all the extra programs and equipment that are now available within the orphanage and have been successfully integrated into school #1 for the completion of grades 10 and 11.
This will help dramatically reduce the high rate of pregnancies, crimes and suicides that is common after departure of their orphanage home and relocation of continued studies or trades. This is a satellite project not currently offered within the Republic.
Chausy Orphanage Website
After nearly 2 years of waiting, the Chausy Orphanage will soon be connected to high speed internet. This will allow CAC to partner with the orphanage and create the first webpage in the Republic featuring life at an Orphanage and promoting and recognizing the achievements of individual kids and the orphanage itself.
This initiative is designed to continue our efforts in building self esteem and stronger character in every child. The site will feature all of CAC’s Canadian partners and all initiatives, the orphanages successes, current events, student awards, and feature student of the week etc. CAC Director Stephen MacKinnon will head up this initiative. Stephen, through the Upper Canada School Board, has received international awards in this area before!!
Preparatory Home for Family Living – Malcomson Home
In September 2008, CAC initiated an agreement between the Department of Education, the Chausy Orphanage, the Department of Humanitarian Aid and CAC to construct a house on the orphanage property. This “home” will provide the opportunity for orphaned and abused children to experience family life and develop skills in family structure, finance and environment. They will learn to purchase and prepare meals, care for a home, do their laundry and enjoy life as a family. The house will sleep 5 students and one supervisor. The kids will prepare a kitchen garden each spring for food supplement and to preserve for winter. It will be also used as an incentive for kids to earn a weekend with their friends for good behavior, for excelling in their studies and /or for contributing to daily chores within the orphanage.
Currently these kids leave the orphanages with no family skills or any understanding of money management, or healthy family environment or even food preparation.
The construction of our home is nearing the final stages. The recent devaluation of the Belarusian Ruble and high inflation has driven the final cost of our home up by $8,200 USD.
Donation by the Green Family in October 2008 $15,000
Donation by the Malcomson Family in March 2009 $35,000
Donation from the Green’s in September 2009 $15,000
$8,200 + $3,000 for tv, stereo, DVD, movies etc.
Chausy Orphanage Wish list
Hockey has now become part of everyday life for the children. They train everyday for 2 hrs (1 hr am and 1 hr pm) year round. It has provided a focus for kids to strive for; many kids sent to the orphanage have psychological and serious emotional problems. Thank you – Malcomson Family! We now have a request to expand our hockey program to include the junior kids!
- Junior boys hockey equipment (ages 8 to 14) 15 sets
- Junior boys skates sizes 36 (6) to 40 (8)
- Senior boys skates sizes 40 (8) to 45 (11) core sizes 8.5 & 9
- Right hand hockey sticks (new)
- Hockey tape
- Skate laces
- DVD or CD of hockey plays & training
- NHL Official Jerseys for display
- Team travel jackets (Meteors)
- Helmet visors
- Running shoes
- Woodworking tools
- Sport mats
- Soccer balls
- Electric Piano
- Drum Set
To be purchased in Belarus
- School supplies
- Printer cartridges
- Internet support
- Educational Books
- School uniforms
Chausy Orphanage Agricultural Program
Not so many years ago in early spring, CAC would receive an urgent request from the Director of the Chausy Orphanage that food supplies had run out and they needed emergency funds for food for the children. Three years ago we introduced our Agricultural Program and on this past October 4th and 5th the children of the orphanage proudly sold their SURPLUS vegetable harvest at the Autumn Harvest Festival in Mogilev, raising $350USD. These funds will help to purchase additional fruit for the kids! NO MORE HUNGRY CHILDREN! Thank you David and Margaret Campbell for your dedication and efforts!
In our continuing efforts to broaden our agricultural program, CAC is now planning to introduce poultry. The children will learn how to raise, feed and care for both laying and meat birds, under the direction of Helen Anne Hudson of Burnbrae Farms. Blueprint drawings and design are underway now. Hopefully much of the equipment will be donated from here and sent in our containers. Helen Anne and David will oversee this initiative.
Chausy Orphanage will receive a one-year supply of toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet tissue, feminine pads, bar soap, shampoo and a $1000 emergency fund.
Orphanage Library Books
Over the last 6 years, CAC has partnered with a number of elementary schools in Leeds and Grenville, providing orphanages with several thousand new hard cover books for education and personal enjoyment. Once again, schools within the Upper Canada School Board will try to raise $3000 to purchase additional books. Since this program was initiated, 3 of the orphanages have been recognized by the Provincial Department of Education as the top educational facilities within the province. Spearheaded by Neil Matheson
Mogilev Orphanage for Girls
Mogilev Orphanage will receive a one-year supply of toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet tissue, feminine pads, bar soap, shampoo and a $1000 emergency fund.
Mistishlavel Orphanage will receive a one-year supply of toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet tissue, feminine pads, bar soap, shampoo and a $1000 emergency fund.
Orphan Education Program
Canadian Aid for Chernobyl currently has 31 orphan (status) students sponsored by Canadian families. We have 17 orphan students that will become eligible for our Education Program. We are in need of sponsors at the $500 and $1500 sponsorship levels. The donation assists in purchasing school supplies and dramatically improves the quality of life, living conditions and offers communication with the student.
Approx $22,000 existing + $10,000 new
Canadian Aid for Chernobyl has once again partnered with the Rotary Clubs of Brockville and families with disabled children: providing a medical fund of $5000 to be used for medicines, medical supplies, surgery or improvement to quality of life. There are 130 families with invalid children registered and all will receive food through our food program.
CAC hopes to raise about $10,000USD to purchase a mini van for the organization of Invalid Children. This would provide many children living in the rural areas the opportunity to attend the daycare / learning care facility in Chausy. It will give the child the opportunity to do crafts and socialize and provide the parent the time to find employment. This is a win / win situation.
$10,000 + $3,000 operating USD
CAC has agreed to support the 2 Invalid care facilities in Chausy. One is for toddlers to 17 years and the newest is 18 – 35 years. CAC will only support these facilities with supplies targeted to the interests of each student. NO office equipment or monetary donations will be given. It is our feeling that this remains the responsibility of the Chausy Administration.
Office and storage area
CAC has agreed to continue our financial support to the Organization of Invalid Children to allow them to operate from an office and small storage room. CAC will pay for the rent, electrical and heat.
Guardian Angel Program
Over and above the support of Rotary and product donations CAC continues to expand the Guardian Angel Program. Neil and his committee work tirelessly to provide monetary sponsorships and more specific needs for families on a more individual and personal basis. About 30/130 of these families now have Canadian sponsor families as well.
Ross McNeil Foundation
Over the last several years the Brockville based Ross McNeil Foundation has donated funds that supported our medical children selected to visit Canada. With the cancellation of the 2009 Children’s program, the Foundation agreed to support 18 month old Ivan in Mogilev. Ivan just underwent eye surgery in Russia with hopes that he will gain the gift of sight. Specialists felt confident following surgery of the right eye. If this proves successful, CAC has agreed to support Ivan’s surgery on his left eye!
CAC is pleased that our CAC firefighters have been working hard to acquire additional equipment to compliment what was sent in March 2009 to Mogilev and Chausy Fire departments. This includes at least 2 sets of Jaws of Life. Great job guys!
CAC has been in discussion with Adi Roch of the Ireland Chernobyl group, about the possibility of jointly purchasing a 50 passenger coach bus in Europe and presenting it to our partner Organization Hope for the Future in Minsk.
Hope for the Future sends over 2,500 children each year from the contaminated zones within Belarus to Germany every summer for rest, recuperation and dental attention. Unfortunately their coach bus is no longer road worthy and without one NO children will have an opportunity for respite to Germany. A North American coach is not a consideration as they do not meet (or they exceed) the European criteria and laws.
Total 2010 Initiatives
Was I right? What a great year and exciting spring delivery this is going to be and YOU can be a part of it!
Remember there are plenty of ways to contribute, you can click on the “Donate Now” button on the right side of your screen, click on the “What Can You Do?” link on the left side or drop into Alan Browns Men’s Wear in downtown Brockville and personally hand Dave a cheque. All donations over $20 will generate a tax receipt. Our overhead is less than 3% because we are all volunteers, have no staff and hand deliver all product to the intended recipient, so virtually every dollar you donate gets to where you want it to go! Remember, we can’t do this without you.
Thanks for your help!