2005 Ukraine Trip
In April 2005 I was able to go on another journey to Odessa, Ukraine. Linda and I took 6 suitcases with us, 1 each with our clothes, 1 filled with hygiene bags (tooth brushes, tooth paste, soap, washcloth, shampoo & conditioner) put together by ladies from a local Lutheran church, 1 filled with quilts made by ladies from another church, and 2 with craft supplies for the children.
We went to 5 different orphanages to do crafts and /or leave craft materials. We were able to go to 9 different orphanages in Odessa and 1 in Kiev. The orphanage in Kiev had much help from organizations like McDonalds, Sony and other corporations. It was a very nice orphanage; wish the ones in Odessa could look so nice! There were other orphanages that are just as bad as ours, but we didnt get a chance to see them. We need more corporate donations from companies here as well as overseas. It would make such a difference!
We visited an older girl, Helen, about 20 years old, in the hospital. She had had appendicitis and with Dr. Ginadys help the complex appendectomy was done. Dr. Ginady is a Doctor there who helps with all of the kids in the orphanages. If he doesnt know how to do the surgery himself, he knows who can. Dr. Ginady works a lot with the children who have cleft palate problems, we went with him to Slobodka when most live, outside of Odessa. We were able to help Helen with her meds, water, etc. When someone is in the hospital there, the family generally has to help, as orphan children have no one to help, UAC or other organizations step in to help. There have been children that have died because no one was there for them.
I had taken letters from a 5th grade class at our local Waldorf school, plus socks a few had knitted in their classroom with the help from a local yarn store owner, Frankie West. I gave these socks and letters to the TB Clinic, Lastishka. Here, children of all ages live while they have prophylactic treatment for their exposure to TB. This Clinic is right next to the Black Sea, in a beautiful place. I asked if the children could write some letters back to the children here in CA. They did, and were translated by UAC staff there. The children at our Waldorf School in Jamestown were very pleased.
The hygiene kits were passed out to a mental orphanage, #34, where children about 7-16 live. Conditions are very bad there still, but slowly improving. #34 needs hot water heaters for bathrooms, new windows in the bathrooms and through out the orphanage. Doors to give privacy in the bathrooms, to separate the toilets from the rest of the bathroom. Bedrooms need rugs, more blankets, wardrobe closets for their clothes, chairs to sit on etc. We gave beads to the art teacher as well as other art and crafts supplies. The children here have mild mental problems, such as downs syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), some may not be able to read, but many enjoy doing crafts and do beautiful bead work.
We bought sanitary pads for the girls in 3 orphanages and some older scholarship students that would otherwise be using rags. This is one thing that unfortunately does run out when not replaced often.
Linda and I also went to Alexandrovka and saw that they still had not gotten a hot water heater that they had asked for last year. When asked how much one would cost, we were told $140, so with donated money we bought one for them and hopefully it should be installed soon. This orphanage also needs windows replaced, the ones they have now are very dangerous, if pushed could fall out.
We asked the children from #4 Orphanage to paint some pictures so that we could put them on a website to sell as greeting cards, calendars, placemats, etc. Hopefully this can be a way for them to earn some money that would go back to the orphanages. It would be so wonderful if the country of Ukraine could start helping their own orphans.
All in all it was a good trip, and as always too much to do and too little time. We were there for 3 weeks this time, but still didnt get all we wanted to done. As always, we need more donations to get things for the children. UAC can only do so much, we need help from other sources. These children have nothing and no one to help. Their country is trying hard to become a democracy and that takes time. Over 80% of the population is poor. We need all of the help we can get. Please contact me or w if you can help. Thank you, Lynette .
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