First Steps to Independence … In 3D!

Today was kind of a mixed bag of details to be worked out and a really fun outing for a group of us.  I am going to start at the end of the day and work backwards.  Dave, Natasha (our interpreter) and I met with with Oleg and Svetlana, the Orphanage Director and Assistant Director to discuss the children who will be coming to Brockville for the Summer Respite Program.  We reviewed the returning children and discussed the new children that we are looking for.  This is always a fun exercise as we know the children will be excited at the opportunity to come to Canada.


We also visited with Ola, who came to Brockville as a child and stayed with the U’Ren family.  They asked us to come by and discuss her daughters medical issues and to see if we could help.  Dasha has a vision problem with 80% vision in one eye and only 15% in the other.  Dave made a call to Dr Lindsay, a Brockville Ophthalmologist, who has agreed to review her case.  We are hoping to get her to Brockville this summer for treatment.  It is pretty amazing to be helping a second generation of children in this region.


The highlight of our day was a trip to the movie theatre.  Last year we met a 19 year old girl who had been involved in a devastating car accident.  Click here to read more of her story.  She has been working hard since then on exercises provided by Marla Ferguson, an occupational therapist from Kingston, and has made great improvements in her mobility.  She is very self conscious of her difficulty walking and has not been anywhere but home or a hospital since her accident.  Her parents are wonderful people and have cared for her 24/7.  We felt it was time for her to have an outing and the movie seemed like the perfect first step.  Here is the movie theatre in Mogilev.


Vika chose “Oz, the Great and Powerful in 3D” and of course it was in Russian!


The trip was a huge success with everyone enjoying popcorn and of course the Canadians made a great fuss over Vika … who never stopped smiling!  Here is our gang in our attractive 3D glasses with Vika in the center of the front row:


Her parents were very relieved to have her home safely but also very appreciative of the opportunity for Vika to start to stretch her comfort zone.  For myself and the rest of the Canadians it was wonderful to watch this beautiful young woman start to spread her wings and take these first few steps towards regaining her independence!

Eric McKenzie

1 thought on “First Steps to Independence … In 3D!

  1. Margie

    It is so great to hear all the heart-warming stories from Belarus again this year. You all do such amazing work ~ love the pictures, too!

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