The following report is from Stephen MacKinnon who has been working with the Children at the Chausy Orphanage over the past few years, helping to develop computer skills, creating a Yearbook and making videos. Stephens work is a real highlight for the children and he gives them projects that they work on for the whole school year. (EMcK)
Busy Times at the Chausy Orphanage
There was lots of activity at the Chausy Orphanage School during the recent CAC delegation. The orphanage students worked hard planning their new and improved yearbook. Three students here are reviewing mugshot photos on the computer. The photographs will be used by students of Smith Falls Collegiate to produce the third yearbook for the Chausy school which will be delivered in the spring.
Production started on two new student videos. One video features Continue reading →
We have returned from Belarus but there are still a few things to report so there will be another blog or two over the next week. This past spring while we were in Belarus I reported on the purchase of books for the Chausy Orphanage through a program we call “Reading for Excellence“. Back here in Canada two young girls read this blog and decided that they wanted to help, so they started their own “Reading for Excellence” program, they rounded up sponsors, read books and between the two of them raised over $150! Here is a picture of Kathryn and Emily the two 11 year old grade 5 students:
Here are 3 appreciative children from the Chausy Orphanage Continue reading →
This afternoon we had a meeting with the Mayor of the Chausy Region, Mayor Anatoli Matulin, to discuss the projects we had completed as well as our future initiatives. He thanked us for the work that we do to help his community and he was really appreciative of all of our activity. We were discussing our work with the families of invalid children and invalid adults and he told us that we had helped to change his outlook and attitude towards these members of his community. Since for the most part, this group has been hidden and shunned from society it was not something that he had spent time thinking about, but our commitment to help bring them out and integrate them into society has caused him to stop and consider their place in in the community and he is very happy with direction in which we are all headed.
We were invited to participate in a round table discussion with various authorities as well as Irina Denisyenko, who heads up the Families of Invalid Children organization in the Chausy Region. Our shared vision for this group is to help integrate people with disabilities into main stream society and help raise awareness in the community. Reports from the past year were presented to discuss what worked and what challenges were faced. It was amazing to hear all of the success they had with hand making and selling items at fairs and bazaars, and the pride that these children and adults felt at being involved in their community. This “social workshop” is so important and we heard from two mothers, one who explained that her daughter, Nastia, told her every morning as she got ready to go to the workshop that she had to go to “school” and a second who’s boy, Misha, told her every morning that he had to go to “work”. The improvement in self esteem is amazing! The largest challenge was the news that they were losing their workshop space as the local Social Services organization needed it.
Here are some of the participants with Elena Pahomenko who chaired the meeting.
Later we met with Vitalli who is Continue reading →