A Concert for Canadians!

Today we were presented with a concert in our honour by the children of the Chausy Orphanage. It was a wonderful event and really showed off the talent of the children. This was an extra-curricular activity but the children put their heart and soul into it. This is an exciting time as the children know that every spring the Canadians arrive.

The concert was in the format of a story of Spring arriving with the Canadians,

told through music and dance with a few games thrown in.

Pat and Cathy collecting jewels blind-folded. Cathy found Pat’s box and emptied it as fast as he filled it. The kids thought it was hilarious!
Canadians dancing with the children.
The finale including Dave and Oleg, the orphanage director.

The final song was very inspirational and told everyone to follow their dreams and that nothing is impossible.

We have a young man helping us this week that we are very proud of. We first met Vadime when he was a young boy at the Chausy Orphanage. He spent many summers in the Brockville area as part of our “Relief from Radiation” program. He has since gone on to university in Minsk where he is studying to become a teacher. Through his own initiative he contacted a former Belarusian NHL player, who is now playing in Minsk, and managed to get an autographed jersey for us to auction off at our Gala dinner and Auction this summer.

Vadime presenting Dave with an autographed jersey for our Summer Gala Dinner and Auction.

We also took this opportunity to present the children with this years Yearbook that we had produced by Photovisions School Photography in Brockville. The children provided the pictures and content through the internet, it was printed in Brockville and the delegates carried them over in their luggage. This is a big thrill for these children every year.

Children looking through their new yearbook

Every year we present the new children at the orphanage with a hand made quilt from our quilters group headed up by Mary Bernard. Here are this years recipients with their treasured quilts.

Beautiful children with their beautiful quilts.

We also managed to get the 4th well drilled today. This family immigrated to Belarus from Moldova. The father found work in this region in 1999 and moved his wife here in 2000. They originally lived in a provided house on the collective farm that they were working on, but managed to buy this house in 2006.

Since then they have had 4 children aged 18, 14, 12 and 14 months. There are 8 people in total living in this home including the mother’s brother and mother. Like most homes in the region, water is obtained down the road from a hydrant provided by the collective farm and carted home in a large pail. Gravity feed taps are common both inside and in the yard.

Dad washing his hands in the yard.

The family keeps chickens, pigs and a goat to supplement their food supply. Here is the first water pumping from their new well. The next step is to pipe it into the house and install a cupboard, sink and tap.

Here is a picture of the family members that were home when the water started running, missing is the oldest son and mother’s brother. On the left is Margaret Campbell from Ridgetown, Ontario. The funds for this well were raised by Margaret in her home area. Margaret is a long time member of our Board of Directors.

Another very busy but very rewarding day!

Eric McKenzie

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