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Helping Children Without Limbs to be Happy

December 25, 2012, 12:00 4294 Author: Alexandra Budilka, translated by Yevheniya Devyatkova www.deti.zp.ua One year ago on December 1st in the village of Kalinovka (Zaporozhye Region) the first family-type home in the region was opened for nine special-needs orphaned children. Now the construction of another “Happy Home” for seven more kids has begun

One year ago in the village of Kalinovka a former counting house (floor area — about 200 sqm), built by German Mennonite community about a hundred years ago, was reconstructed to be reopened on December 1st as the first family-type home in the region for nine orphaned children with special needs. It became a home for the most capable boys from the Chernigov Children's Home which is also situated in Kalinovka. Now the construction of another “Happy Home” for seven more children has begun.

There are 122 kids with physical or cognitive disabilities in Chernigov Children's Home ages four to thirty-five. There are five orphans and fifty-one child deprived of parental care among them. They all require constant supervision and medical care. Some of them were left by their mothers right after their birth. 140 staff members are employed at the children's home including 70 caregivers who come to Kalinovka from nearby villages. Many children are just lying in their beds, diseased and inactive — a shocking sight. But there are those who, despite their physical limitations, can move around by themselves. There are those with impressive brainwork. It is for those children who can be taught and trained that the volunteers decided to build separate houses, to create their own hearth and home.

Today there are about 7000 children with severe developmental disorders in psycho-neurological institutions of Ukraine. Most of them belong to large groups of sometimes up to 30 children and have no possibility of adaptation to individual life.

“Raising orphaned children is much more effective not at the orphanages with a lot of pupils but in families or small groups. A child with physical disabilities has a very little chance of being adopted... That's why a family-type institution is so important for such children,” - says Albert Pavlov, the President of the “Happy Child” foundation.

The idea of opening family-type homes came to the employees of the “Happy Child” foundation which has been helping the Chernigov Children's Home since 2007. The project found support in the foundation's foreign partners and the local Regional Council. The reconstruction cost $111,029 and took about 15 months to complete. Now there are volunteers and caregivers who teach children and live with them in this family environment. For the children, who used to live in barrack-like orphanage, this is a real home where they feel protected and comfortable. They now have hope and the will to live and to be useful members of society. The “Happy Home” also attracts adoptive parents. The volunteers told us about Alyosha, a boy who has no limbs, who has recently been adopted and now lives in the USA with a real family.

Alyosha and his family

The reconstruction of another building, a former bakehouse, has begun in Kalinovka. It is situated near the first “Happy Home” and, when finished, will form a single complex with it.

The second “Happy Home” will host seven children, however the building is smaller, so an extension to it was needed. The construction workers have already poured concrete for its foundation, maybe, they will build walls before winter starts,” - told us Nikolay Slavov, the head of the children's home.

This is what the “Happy Home-2” will look like once it's finished

The volunteers have collected about $18,011 for the reconstruction while according to the contractor's estimate the total amount needed is $69,578. The volunteers express their gratitude to the Ukraine Charity Foundation for the $9,869 donation. However in order to make the children's dream come true they still need to collect more than $49,346... The children's home also needs volunteers for nursing the children. Living far from the so-called “civilization”, these kids with their illnesses and problems have a great need of communication, love and support, they are always happy to have visitors.

Those of you who wish to help by making a donation or visiting the orphanage can contact the Happy Child foundation via e-mail info@deti.zp.ua.

Happy Child foundation - effective help to the most needy children of the Zaporozhye region, Ukraine, since 2004

They need help:
Polina Belogurova
Polina Belogurova

Cerebral palsy, spastic diplegia

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