It really was party day in Belarus for the Canadians! Our day started by having tea with the Mayor of the Chausy Region. The entire delegation met at a restaurant where we were greeted and welcomed by the Mayor.
He thanked us for all of our work and initiatives helping the citizens of the Chausy Region and we took the opportunity to confirm his ongoing commitment to support the initiatives currently underway. Here is the Mayor between Annis Moreau and Margaret Campbell.
Next we attended the “Day of the Angel” Party. This party for the families of invalid children, is sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Brockville and celebrates the birthdays of the children born in the winter and spring. This is a wonderful opportunity for the Canadians to interact with these amazing children and their families. Here Pat Yuille is sitting with some of the children.
The festivities started with a puppet show made even more amazing when the puppeteers were revealed to be these three members of the organization. To see them get up and perform in front of the Canadians and their peers was just awe inspiring!
Of course there were plenty of games and the the Canadians had a lot of fun joining in and participating with the children and their families.
Neil Matheson and Lisa Axworthy, who head up the “Guardian Angel Program” are seen here with several of the children.
This party was followed by a concert at the Chausy Orphanage. It is unbelievable to see the confidence shown by these children who have had such difficult lives. The programs that we have helped to develop have given the children the opportunity to find something that they are good at and shine, and shine they have, winning awards for music, hockey, biathlon, weight lifting and more! The girl in the next picture is Kristina, who will be coming to Canada this summer as part of our “Children’s Program“, although very shy most of the time, she acted as the master of ceremonies for the concert and beamed with confidence.
The concert included children from the youngest to oldest. Here are a few of the youngest performing.
There was a judo demonstration from the judo club with lot’s of throws and some acrobatics as seen below. The club includes one girl named Yulia, when she flipped one of the boys the crowd went wild.
Here is a performance that included children of all ages.
The children managed to include some of the Canadians by pulling them up to dance with them during one number. Dave had the children laughing with his John Travolta antics.
Here are some of the older girls performing.
Four boys from the gymnastics club performed on the high-bar.
Three members of the weight lifting team performed as well including one girl named Ira who has won awards at he national level in her age group.
We were also treated to a parade of medals. The various members of the teams in-line skated around the gym wearing medals that they had won at events during the past year.
After the concert we presented quilts to the new children at the orphanage. Every year the new children are given quilts that are hand made by a group of quilters in Brockville. Nadia Nielsen, who is a member of this group, was on hand to help present them. Here are the children proudly displaying their new quilts. This is one thing that these children have that is truly their own and provides a warm hug on a cold night.
Of course the Canadians took the opportunity to get pictures with the children and spend some time together. Here is Jon Schuler with Sveta and her sister Yanna along with Nikita and Vlad.
Afterwards a dinner was hosted in our honour in the Malcomson Home for Family Living. The food we were served was all grown at the orphanage.
Here Vitalli serves us one of the broilers that was raised in the new poultry barn.
Just an awesome day for all of the Canadians. It is days like this that really motivate us to keep doing what we do!