Chausy Gets a New Citizen!

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.

IMG_5150Dave 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.

IMG_5125_DSC_0870Here 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!

Eric McKenzie

11 thoughts on “Chausy Gets a New Citizen!

  1. Barry King

    Very well deserved Dave. I saw many times how committed you are
    and was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Chausy with one of
    the groups. It was clearly evident how valuable Canadian Aid for
    Chernobyl is for the residents, children, orphanages, schools, hospital, seniors and the community itself.

    Canada is a word spoken in Chausy with a special meaning……,
    respect, appreciation, hope, anticipation and THANK YOU. When they
    speak your name it also has multiple meanings…..benefactor, hero, generous, dependable, leader, protector.

    Dave, thank you for all you and everyone affilited with Canadian Aid for Chernobyl do for Chausy and its people. Your untiring efforts have given members, supporters, Brockville and Candians a source of pride.

  2. Steve Kennish

    Impressive .I look fwd to the blog and share it with many .
    It is great to see how a whole village has adopted you and it has spread .Now they will be looking at these blogs and working on their English at the library .
    Thanks for Inspiring Us !

  3. connie lou Sebast

    it is with tears in my eyes that i am writing. i am crying with joy at the wonderful work that Dave and all of the many others have given selflessly to these children over these many years.

    And the song! How tremendous that these children see Dave as their angel, he and the many many others supporting him are indeed angels.

  4. Anne

    The work you Canadians are doing in Chausey is so amazing – heartfelt – and rewarding! This website information has been a “must see” while you are away – thank you all, for your contributions to make such a difference to these people!

  5. Michael & Joyce Kaye


    Thank you Dave for all your vision for the children and families of Belarus, your tenacity and hard work and your leadership. You have inspired not only the children and people of Belarus but all of your supporters here at home. Thank you so much. Congratulations!!!!!!

    Michael & Joyce Kaye, Brantford, ON

  6. Elizabeth Stromberg

    Love really does have no borders – if only more people in the world could see this and follow the example of your organisation. Congratulations to you all.

  7. Margie

    What an inspiration ~ Dave and Eric, the stories you share are real life examples of what a difference caring can make. I echo Kate, Wow!

  8. Jennifer Hopson

    Congratulations Dave! This is a beautiful tribute to you, you are truly an Angel and a Father to the children of Belarus. Thank you for being such a source of inspiration to those of us involved with Canadian Aid for Chernobyl.

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