Journey to Ukraine 2012. Part 1 Anja’s Eco Project

Yet another team of intrepid volunteers drove out on board the big red bus to join the biggest group yet of FYP volunteers to take part in our projects in Ukraine. 

This year we got involved in 3 projects the first of which was a eco project near Kharkov.

But first the journey…..

A good sign at our first pit stop
Lucy & Paula check the route…
Paula, one of the all woman driving team!
Lucy and A watching a film at second stop – Germany.
One of my favourite views… the open road.
Everyone posing for a ‘thank you Clare’ photo after Polish meal sponsored by her.
Clues we are arriving in an ex-communist zone – block buildings and..
…Lada police cars! (can’t ever take them seriously)
Oh, and the beautiful diesel trains.

Finally after a 7 day journey we arrive in Ternavoda, a small village outside Kharkov.

The villagers have never hosted a delegation of Europeans before and are bemused by the fact we have driven so far to help them clear rubbish from their forest. 
Under the instruction of Anja Gerashchenko the village kids decorated our bus to promote her eco-project which she designed in reaction to the rubbish building up in the forests all over Ukraine where villagers dump their waste because there is no rubbish collection in remote villages. Anja shows her village, and by example many other villages, how to recycle most of the waste and dispose of the rest responsibly. 
Woven into this project is a social element – getting villagers together to care about their environment and work together helps relations within the village.

The FYP bus gets decorated.

We mark out parts of forest for the litter-pick.
To our horror we found children clearing asbestos and told them of its dangers.
One of the many huge piles of rubbish we collected over 4 days.
Bins sponsored by FYP and placed by Anja are already being used.
A party in the village at the play area funded by profits from re-cycling plastic bottles cleared from the surrounding forest.
The local Babushkas keeping a watchful eye on proceedings.
The FYP Maharishi bouncy castle being enjoyed in yet another remote spot in the world!
The villagers prepare us a traditional food – a lard and porridge mix! This mixture kept many alive during communist times and times of famine.
Spirits are high at the end of a successful days work!

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