Yesterday we kicked off our fund raising efforts by posting our fund raising flyer, so today we thought we would share our initiatives for 2014 with you. Along with our regular and critical deliveries of food, medicine and other necessities we also have a few new and exciting opportunities to help as well. Our partners in Belarus desperately need to replace a coach bus used to transport children out of the country for respite from radiation and the local Department of Education has asked us to help with computers, education supplies and equipment for extra-curricular activities. Please read on and find the initiative that strikes a chord with you!
On behalf of Dave Shaw – Director of Humanitarian Aid
CAC will limit our aid shipment to 3 transport containers of aid this spring. The containers will consist of food and parcels for a targeted 800 families including seniors on small pensions and impoverished families and families with disabled children. In addition, we hope to raise enough funds for hygiene products for impoverished families, orphans, abused / neglected children, disabled children and adults. Also 800 shoes boxes for seniors, hand made quilts, clothing, footwear, wheelchairs and walkers
$20,700 needed (Overseas and inland shipping)
Canadian Aid for Chernobyl has launched our 13th annual food box drive; providing 60lbs 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 624 food boxes.
These boxes are genuinely appreciated and will be hand delivered in early April when families’ preserves are depleted.
We hope to provide food to more than 650 families!
In addition to the food boxes, CAC delegates will deliver more than 400 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.
Coach Bus for Respite Transport
Each year our partner in Minsk (Hope for the Future) transports over 2,500 children for respite from radiation outside of Belarus. Their present bus has been deemed unsafe and taken off of the road. With other NGO’s they have managed to raise all but $16,000 to replace it. CAC has committed to raising the balance.
Chausy Regional Hospital
CAC has entered into a two year agreement with the Chausy Authorities and Don and Shirley Green’s Family Foundation to renovate both the sterilization room and the emergency rooms. These rooms are in desperate need of repair and upgrade.
Chausy Regional Department of Education
CAC has entered into an agreement to help provide laptop computers, sports equipment and education supplies.
Chausy Orphanage – Child Sponsorship
In June of 2011, the President of Belarus passed a decree that due to the economic crisis, all children living in orphanages throughout the Republic, that have parents or relatives, must return to their families regardless of the living conditions or abusive circumstances or neglect. This had an immediate impact on 50% of the children living in the Chausy Orphanage.
Canadian Aid for Chernobyl took immediate action to plea to the Government to pass a law that would allow children living in dangerous or abusive situations to be “sponsored” by Canadians to return to the safe environment of the Chausy Orphanage. This is the first “foreign” agreement for sponsorship of children living in an orphanage in the history of Belarus!
Chausy Orphanage – Agricultural Program
After years of operating the Chausy Orphanage with critical food shortage in late winter and early spring, in 2005, Canadian Aid for Chernobyl introduced the Agricultural Program. Through the support of our donors, we provided the machinery, equipment and seeds needed to harvest sufficient potatoes and various vegetables for the entire year. In fact, for the last three harvests they have yielded a surplus and the children took their produce to market.
In 2010, we appealed to our supporters to help us expand this program and we built a state of the art poultry barn and delivered it to the orphanage in April 2011. What a success! The hens are yielding 90 eggs a day, and the orphanage is raising its 3rd round of 50 broilers!
In 2013, we successfully introduced pork into our Agricultural Program, building a small structure suitable for 6 -8 young pigs. Thank you to CAC Officer David Campbell who spearheaded this project!
Funds needed to support our agricultural program: providing feed for the layers, broilers and pigs, crop fertilizer, fuel and machinery maintenance.
Chausy Orphanage – Student Projects
Internet / Yearbook / Videos
The goals of this initiative is to work with the students at the Chausy Orphanage School to improve their technical skills, celebrate the students’ successes and build their self-esteem. The last 2 years school yearbooks were a huge success. The students, school director and staff are now very keen on continuing this keepsake yearbook again. Students from Belarus and Canada are working hard together as a team to produce the 2013/2014 yearbook. CAC has introduced the children to the worldwide web and this initiative will maintain the Internet connection to the school and expand student use of email and the web. With continued technical support and training from CAC, students will also continue to create short videos showing their stories and their lives at the orphanage. CAC Director Stephen MacKinnon heads up this initiative, applying his award-winning expertise and experience in a new challenging environment.
CAC has been developing and supporting the Music Program in the Orphanage for more than 10 years. The children are now competing throughout Belarus in song and dance. Several have even composed their own music. In the Spring of 2013, we expanded this program to introduce acoustic guitars, electric guitars, electric bass guitars, drum sets, tambourines, song books etc. In addition we took several instructors with us and it was a tremendous success. This initiative is dedicated to the memory of the late Greg Moreau.
This year CAC plans to replace some of the older sound equipment.
Orphanage Library, Books and Magazines
Over the last 9 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 $3,000 to purchase additional books, magazines and a desk top computer for student research. 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 CAC Director Neil Matheson
Malcomson Home for Family Living
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” is now complete and provides the opportunity for orphaned and abused children to experience family life and develop skills in family structure and finance. They learn to purchase and prepare meals, care for a home, do their laundry and enjoy life as a family. The house sleeps 6 students and one supervisor. Until now, the graduating kids leave the orphanage with no family skills, no understanding of money management, no experience at food preparation or how to live in a healthy family environment.
CAC has received numerous letters from the children who enjoy the house and are deeply motivated to strive for a better future and have enjoyed a positive taste for family living. They are having a blast!! Special thanks to the Malcomson Family.
Chausy Orphanage Wish list
To be purchased in Belarus
- School supplies
- Printer cartridges
- Internet support
- Educational Books
Repairs and maintenance
- Bedroom renovations
- Washroom repairs
- Cafeteria Kitchen Renovation
- Skates and Skate laces
- Hockey Gloves
- Running/sport/cross country shoes
- Soccer balls
- Paper napkins
- Hygiene products
- Greenhouse plastic
Initiatives for the Physically, Mentally and Medically Challenged
Guardian Angel Program
The Guardian Angel Program is an ongoing program that deals with children/young adults in the Chausy Region of Belarus who have been labelled “Invalid” because of some physical/emotional/intellectual challenge. This label has often had them treated as undesirables. They are often treated poorly in their villages/towns, in schools, if even possible, and prejudice is often applied by general citizens, doctors, employers and by police.
At this time we have 160 families registered in this program
Our main objective is to ease their situation in any way. Helping caregivers by making their days in any way easier and they themselves feel more significant/valued/cared for, can often give some hope and sense of significance. Clothing, food, transportation, ambulatory devices (wheelchairs, etc.) are just some of the things and services we try to provide for those who struggle.
Invalid Children Support
Canadian Aid for Chernobyl has once again partnered with the Rotary Club of Brockville and Rotary Club of 1000 Islands and families with disabled children: providing a medical fund of $5,000 to be used for medicines, medical supplies, surgery or improvement to quality of life.
There are 160 families with physically, mentally or medically challenged children currently registered! Thank you Rotarians for making a tremendous difference in the lives of these children!
Mini Van – Invalid Children
In 2010, CAC partnered with Don and Shirley Green and successfully purchased a mini van for the organization of Invalid Children. This has now made it possible for many children living in the rural areas the opportunity to attend daycare and our new social workshop / learning care facility in Chausy. It has given the child/young adult the opportunity to do crafts, woodworking and most importantly an opportunity to socialize and to feel significant.
$5,000 operating budget needed
Social Workshop for Invalid Children and Young Adults
CAC is pleased to announce the grand opening of the areas first Social Workshop for children and young adults with physical and mental challenges. Located in the center of Chausy in a former school, it offers a classroom environment and interaction with regular children. This is a wonderful opportunity to support our vision to integrate children with challenges into society. Our kids are busy making crafts, carving wood, sewing as well as selling their creations at local markets and fairs. CAC is responsible for the classroom expenses, heat and electricity. The city authorities are responsible for providing the psychologist. Special thanks to the Utting Foundation for sponsoring this workshop in 2013
CAC has agreed to continue our financial support to the Organization of Invalid Children to allow them to operate their distribution of humanitarian aid from a small storage room. CAC pays for the rent, electrical and minimal heat.
Invalid Adult Support
CAC continues to support the Organization for Adults with Disabilities by providing funds for office and storage areas.
Dream Mountain Crisis Center for Women and Children
Alcohol abuse has been the root of serious domestic violence and social problems in Eastern Europe for several decades. In the Fall of 2012 the Dream Mountains Crisis Centre for Women and Children was officially opened and is now receiving recognition and interest throughout Belarus. This year CAC will continue its support including supplies for assessment of children, interior decoration for a less institutional atmosphere as well as clothing and toys for children.
Shoeboxes For Seniors
Many seniors living in the affected regions of rural Belarus are destitute and lacking in basic hygiene items.
The Shoeboxes for Seniors committee has been in full swing packing and receiving products, since early spring, for our delivery in March. Over 700 boxes have been lovingly packed with essential items; toothbrushes, paste, soap, hand creams, small towels etc. These boxes are hand delivered by Social Service and are overwhelmingly accepted. Spearheaded by Colleen Gray.
Quilts for Chernobyl
Once again, our quilters have been hard at work creating beautiful hand-made quilts for our orphans and impoverished children. This March, we will have the pleasure of presenting over 100 quilts … lots of excited and happy children. What a wonderful gift for a child!
Spearheaded by Mary Bernard.
Thanks for reviewing our initiatives and feel free to help us raise these funds for these important projects anyway you can. Share this with family and friends, click the “donate now” button, mail us a cheque or drop off a donation at Alan Brown’s in downtown Brockville. Thanks to all of our supporters, together we are making a tremendous difference!