Through our journeys to Ukraine and the various interesting and sometimes intriguing fundraising projects dreamed up by our members & volunteers we support two groups of people in Ukraine.
One group of people live at Kalinovka orphanage for children& adults with special needs.
Just a few years ago, Kalinovka was closed to the public and the orphans were tied into their beds 24 hours a day. Conditions were horrendous and many children were simply left there to slowly die.
All of the people at Kalinovka have a wide range of special needs from blindness to severe cerebral palsy. Few of the children receive any type of medicines to help with their syndromes. The lucky few that have wheelchairs have to make do with constantly flat tyres and chairs not designed for their size or shape.
In the winter the children&adults are shut in overcrowded rooms with nothing to do. Most spend their time rocking or self-harming in order to gain some kind of stimulation. In summer they are let outside but again there is little for them to do so they just find their favourite place to sit and rock.
The staff orphan ratio is about 1:15 with the kids and 1:30 with in the adult areas. None of the children or adults can get individual attention. It is the best the staff can do to keep them under control.
During the summers of 2011 and 2012 FYP took a group of volunteers on a life-changing journey overland in our ‘big red bus’ to help people languishing at Kalinovka. During our stay there we engaged the people at Kalinvoka in fun activities and also donated much needed play equipment.
Since then we have supported the building of a ‘family style’ home to start a process of de-institutionalising some of the orphans. It now houses nine of the orphans and they getting their first taste of ‘family’ life, learning simple skills to help them move closer to their shared dream of finding a foster family. Since the opening of the family style home two orphans have been adopted – the first two children to be adopted from Kalinovka for 50 years.
In Summer 2013 Graham Godden & Vinca Petersen made a connection with a second group of people we will support – 9 boys living at a Young Offenders institute in Southern Ukraine. We hope to visit them with the bus next year and bring them sports equipment. More on this story can be read in our Blog.