The Zaporozhye Orphanage and School for Special Needs Children
I am sending this post from Odessa, Ukraine where I arrived late last night! Before I send any news of visits and events in Odessa I wanted to mention a visit to the Zaporozhye Orphanage and School for Special Needs Children.
We have been helping this orphanage several times and those who have been reading these reports over the years will remember this location.
This institution is supposed to be a boarding home and school for special needs boys from ages 5-18 (when they reach 19 they have to be relocated to an adult institution). In theory it was established to provide the parents a means of basic education for their children and the children would attend and stay at the school some but stay at home as well. Lyudmila, the Director, told me that there are currently 120 boys at the home but only 3 parents come and take their children home at times. Basically this is a full care institution.
It was this orphanage that had its hot water cut off and thanks to Don England’s Bible Class (College church of Christ, Searcy, AR) we were able to purchase the water heaters that provide the critical hot water for these special needs children.
Here is a previous report link: http://www.kachelman.com/ukraine/blog/2016/04/21/report-14-april-21-2016/ To see the newspaper report on the hot water project please click this link: http://www.thedailycitizen.com/eedition/page_33184cbc-99b4-50c1-b982-907e7d8abae1.html#page_a08 or download this PDF: 16 06 03 Special needs orphanage receives help
I was told before arriving that the staff were excited about my coming and had prepared a great feast for me. They said their specialty was liver! The fried livers and onions are delicious and I was expecting that dish but arrived to find they had liver pate spread on bread, deviled liver eggs (I guess the liver was mashed up with the egg yoke and then put into the whites), liver bread rolls, liver balls (some kind of liver cooked and rolled into ping pong ball size with some rolled in shredded cheese and others rolled in an unknown substance), some different salads with liver and then there was the marinated herring, fried herring, and other things.
As usual Lyudmila was bubbling over with smiles and warm greetings. She is truly a delight and ever since coming to take over this orphanage the entire atmosphere has changed in a wonderful way. As we walked through the halls the boys would smile and hug her calling her “momma!” The staff reflects Lyudmila’s positivism. This home is full of joy, love and happiness.
We were taken on a tour of the facility showing us the water heaters and the remodeling that has been done and is underway. I was taken to one of the boy’s bathroom and saw how neatly they keep things arranged—each has a hand towel and foot towel that is hung in his numbered slot. The same number identifies each boy’s toothbrush and toothpaste. We were shown several of the handicapped assist equipment pieces that we have shipped on containers. One of the assist items is being used by a boy who cannot stand on his own. But when they put him into this piece of equipment he is able to play soccer with the rest of the boys!
The older boys took me to their room and proudly showed me how well they keep their rooms. One told me that the first thing he does each morning is to say his prayers to Jesus and then make up his bed. Another of the older boys is captivated with plants and has all sorts of flowers and plants growing inside. Lyudmila says when he is asked what he wants he never says candy but always wants dirt to plant some seeds!
A group was busy in the craft room. One young man was busy doing a beaded needlework. He has finished several of these and has won prizes in contests where his craft work was entered.
After looking through the inside areas we were taken outside. It was a bright sunny day and today was bath day and clean up outside day! A large number of boys passed carrying rakes and brooms and were taken to the outside areas that needed cleaning. They were told what to do and several began working.
The needs of this special needs home continue to be on the “wish list” that Lyudmila gave me. They would like some special outside exercise equipment for the boys; they would like to have some unbreakable dishes for the older boys who are learning how to care for themselves in the kitchen; they are working on a therapy moist heat area for the boys and need a special water heating device for that project. Of course they continue needing clothing, bed linens, diapers and personal hygiene items for the boys.
Visiting this home is always a delight. The boys living there are loved and they have learned how to love. They are very considerate and polite. They love to have their photo taken with the visitors. You cannot help but love them!
We ended the visit with a prolonged lunch where I tasted liver cuisine in every imaginable (and some unimaginable) way! I just wish some of my good friends who love liver could have been sitting by my side (Jerry Max Morgan pops into my mind!).
I assured the good ladies at the orphanage that their kindness was way too great because they decided to bag up all of the leftovers and send with me. So I had liver pate on a steady diet (morning, noon and night) for the next two days! I can verify that deviled eggs with the live and yoke filling do not look too good as it has been carried about for a couple of days in a backpack…the presentation has lost its appeal…
We left Zaporozhye on the night “fast train” going to Kyiv where we would make connections to arrive in Odessa in the late night the next day. We have arrived in Odessa to a schedule packed full. Fun with meals continues as Tanya was closely examining a menu and I heard a squeal of delight as she found a item that she says is her very favorite—“stuffed chicken neck.” (Where are you Jerry Max????)
John L. Kachelman, Jr.