What a fantastic day! Unfortunately we had to unload a container this morning so part of the group did that while the rest got to attend the “Day of the Angel Party”. This is a semi-annual party that is sponsored by the Brockville Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of the 1000 Islands. It is a wonderful chance to celebrate the birthdays of these children labelled as “invalid” in this country. Lots of games and entertainment as well. Here one of the little girls showed how she could belt out a tune!
Some of the children participating in a relay race.
Here Rotarian Chris Izatt hands out one of the Birthday gifts to a child’s mother.
Meanwhile at School number 1 the second container is unloaded.
Carrying boxes into the gym.
We also were able to donate a laptop computer and laser printer to the library at the orphanage. This will allow the children to go onto the internet a do research for school projects. Here you see the librarian and two of the students checking it out.
The biggest event of the day was the ceremony to present Dave Shaw with an honorary citizenship for the region of Chausy. It was held in the concert hall with between 200 and 300 people. The ceremony was also for the signing of an agreement of cooperation between Chausy and the city of Desnogorsk in Russia.
Here the Mayors of the two cities address the crowd.
Here is Dave after being presented with his citizenship. He is only the 6th person to have this honour bestowed and the first foreigner. It is a tremendous honour for Dave and a huge recognition for our organization. We were joined at this event by many of the people who have been helped over the years; members of the Invalid Children and Invalid Adult organizations, children and staff from the Chausy Orphanage, graduates from the Chausy Orphanage who traveled here from University and College, many of our host families along with many individuals who have been helped over the years.
They had arranged lots of entertainment including singing and dancing groups from Russia and the region. Our children from the Chausy Orphanage performed several songs. Here are Karina, Kristina, Anna and Katya on stage.
Even a small group of Canadians took the stage to sing a song. From left, Donna Richards, Neil Matheson, Maggie McKenzie, Margaret Campbell and David Hutchinson.
After the ceremony, most of the Canadians returned to finish unloading the third and last container, while members of our Board of Directors attended a dinner with the mayor and staff from the two cities. Here Dave proposes a toast to friendships without borders.
We received a call that all of the Canadians were to return to the Chausy Orphanage for a surprise. When we got there all of the children were waiting outside with banners and signs saying “I Love You” and they cheered and clapped as we arrived. One boy was dressed in a suit and held an umbrella over Dave’s head as the guest of honour!
Here you see a big smile and a big heart! We were led to the music room, where all of the children were waiting for us along with the graduate students.
Here are some of the kids with the Canadians … the love in the room was unbelievable.
Dave surrounded by the children and grads while Nastya sings a song to Dave that the children composed a couple of years ago, all of the children knew the words and joined in.
Here are the lyrics to the song translated into English, of course the poetry of the song is lost in the translation, but I can tell you it is beautiful when the children sing it.A Saving Angel It is impossible to find in the world, warmer hands or kinder eyes Dave Shaw, we are your children, and we will be your children for your whole life. Dave Shaw, all these words are for you, they are just like the leaves that fall from the trees. Dave Shaw, you are the angel that has saved us all these years. You are the light that guides us through life. You have so much light in your heart, you give us hope. Thank you for this. We are grateful for our good fortune to have you!