Monthly Archives: July 2012

An amazing day near the Russian border in Eastern Ukraine

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Today was a day I will never forget.
Anja took us to visit an orphanage (or ‘internat’) for adults with disabilities.
There we met a wonderful group of men and the fantastic staff who look after them. Under the attentive eye of a new director the internat had undergone 6 months of transformation. Bed ridden men are now taken from their rooms and put in wooden pavilions outside to enjoy the fresh air (for the first time in years); the more able bodied men have been taught to make beautiful bead trees and generally there is an atmosphere of mutual respect.

This has been done on a tiny budget – most buildings are shabby and the men dressed in scruffy clothes but considering staff members are paid a pittance (the full time Psychologist working there only gets 40$ a month) they have made a huge effort to improve the lives of the patients.
We were all charmed by the gentle inquisitiveness and enthusiasm of the residents and they seemed charmed by our visit so everyone had a great time!

FYP is hoping to raise funds to complete the ‘family style’ home (like the one at Kalinovka) there. Only £3000 would complete two rooms!

Later on in the afternoon we returned ‘home’ to help the local village kids decorate the FYP bus ahead of our parade tomorrow to promote the ecological-social project we are working on with Anja.

Below the children enjoy a break on the FYP Maharishi bouncy castle.

We have arrived in Kiev!

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And we have Kharkiv in our sights!

After a day of driving on Ukraine’s crazy highways in 35 degree heat and soliciting the constant attention of the Traffic Police, we are in Kiev.

We avoided any fines from the police this year – possibly because of our all female driving team – and also avoided most cavernous pot-holes, stray animals and kamikaze truckers,so we feel ready to travel even further East tomorrow. (Kharkiv is as far east as Moscow)

Tonight all 7 of us are being spoilt by the annual and unfailing hospitality of Anna & family in Kiev. They have stuffed us with delicious food and fruits from their garden and now we are collapsing into beds dotted all over their house.

Tomorrow night we will be in our “wooden house in the forest” in a small village east of Kharkiv and the day after we will start work with the local children on their ‘Eco project’.

More news will follow when we are back in the land of wifi!

Over and out from Team FYP ( :

Just beyond Warsaw!

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We have made it this far in perfect FYP harmony and tomorrow we cross over the border into Ukraine!
Here’s a photo of Ernie (who has taken to foreign travel like a duck to water), Archie and Lucy after a delicious meal of Polish dumplings generously donated by Clare. Thanks honey! (will buy the last ice creams before the border too – as u instructed!)

Onwards and upwards!

Love the FYP crew.

Ukraine Prep

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I have such a crazy amount of things to do this week – we leave for the Ukraine on Monday(!!) – so I have no time to explain our mission in detail but I thought I would give you three images relating to three of the projects we will be participating in in the next 6 weeks…… later I hope to elaborate. Big Love, FYP
We cannot wait to see the faces of the orphans at Kalinovka when we arrive once again to show them the love and give them the attention that they so crave but never receive.  

For all those that saw the documentary “Ukraine’s Forgotten Children” you will know how important it is to support the adults with disabilities stuck in the state institutions in Ukraine. We will be visiting them and working with them on projects also. During our time there the trees in this photo will be strung with our huge length of Love Bunting made by our fabulous participants in the Bunting Project (see below). 
But, before all that we will be helping the kids in a remote village near Kharkov change their world for the better with an eco project that is a small model for great change across Ukraine. They will reverse the trend of dumping rubbish in the local woods and rivers by educating other villagers and setting up recycling points. These poor village children work tirelessly to save their environment and we will go and help them!