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 and another live in the new Happy Village a few miles up the road.
Just a decade ago, Kalinovka orphanage was closed to the public and the ‘state orphans’ were tied into their beds 24 hours a day. Conditions were horrendous and many children and adults 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. Even to this day 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.
FYP helps in two ways; we fund an ‘educator’ who works with the institutionalised men & boys giving them things to do such as drawing, sewing and singing as well as other learning and play. Secondly we fund a continuous effort to remove as many of the people from Kalinovka into private family style homes, either in the Happy Village or nearby. By doing these two things FYP gives not only a first taste of education to those that have been written of as “uneducatable” but also a chance of freedom from the state run institution and a life in the outside world.
Our work also enables people in the UK, who often would not easily be able to volunteer, to come on life changing journeys with us to the Ukraine. Whilst helping there the volunteers have experiences and forge friendships which in turn create emotional rewards for them.
Between 2011 and 2019 FYP has taken many groups of volunteers on journeys overland in our ‘big red bus’ and we will continue to do so in the future.