Most effective ministries usually take time to develop and ECW has been blessed to spend 10 days with our partner Alpha & Omega in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine this past June to work with the children at the local orphanage and plan for the future. During our visit, we provided training to workers at a local orphanage, medical students and others in the community on best practices in working with children with cerebral palsy. Also, because of your donations, we were able to purchase a van allowing the children access to their community and full time director to help with increasing our impact in the region. In our meetings with Alpha & Omega, we affirmed our commitment to a long term relationship as co-laborers for the Kingdom.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
In many areas of Ukraine, a disability is a stigma. Disabled children at times are left in orphanages or hidden by their families with limited access to their communities. Children in orphanages and those that have aged out and now living in a nursing home are often forgotten and thus invisible. We are currently looking into opportunities to partnering with a day center to help families raise their children while providing education and support. For two days, we provided training on how to respond to the special needs of children with cerebral palsy (CP). We discussed the types of CP and the therapy possibilities. Riffton, a medical equipment company, was the highlight of the training as we demonstrated the many uses of their Activity Chair that was graciously donated.
ART SHOW and FIELD TRIP
From a historical perspective, individualism was suppressed before the breakup of the Soviet Union. That mindset still lingers.
One of the goals of ECW and A&O is to show the community that children with disabilities have value and can contribute in society. Every year at the end of the school year an art exhibit is held in Dnepropetrovsk for school aged children to display their paintings/artwork. Last year was the first year that the orphans from the special needs orphanage were allowed to display their paintings. As a side note, art is very important in this culture. For the orphans to be allowed to add their art AND to be able to attend is significant. Getting the orphans to the center where their artwork was displayed was a difficult task. Most of them are physically handicapped and do not have the appropriate mobility equipment. They were carried up three flights of stairs and then whatever mobility equipment they do have was brought in. What happened as the program unfolded could only come from God. People not associated with the orphanage started to come and interact with the orphans. We heard over and over again the surprise they experienced when they saw that these sweet children, who have the same types of dreams as anyone else, could do anything like this. This past spring they were allowed to participate once again.
We were so blessed to see the joy on their faces as we visited an art museum and renaissance show. This was a fantastic time of recreation and personal growth. We pray that we can continue to support more opportunities in the future.
REPORT FROM ALPHA & OMEGA (A&O)
Here is the report for the ministry in the orphanage for the kids with special needs for October.
There were two trips to the theater called “Krik”. The first time there were children from the orphanage, the second time the graduates from the orphanage, who live in the nursing home (adult institution), were able to go.
There were also two tea parties for the kids, one at the orphanage and another in the nursing home.
At the Thanksgiving celebration with A&O there were 10 children from the orphanage and 4 from the nursing home.
1. Ukrainian language and literature – 15.5 hours2. Mathematics – 22.5 hours
3. Computer science – 6 hours
4. Drawing – 6 hours
5. Biology – 10 hours
6. History – 2 hours
7. English – 2 hours.
Total: 64 hours of lessons per month.
Two times at the A&O center we held meetings with the teachers (experienced students from the National University) where we planned their work and made schedule. October 15 – there was a trip to the orphanage with the program on the theme of “Sports and Achievements.” The money which was sent for the ministry ($2,000) to the orphan kids with disabilities:
A&O staff member attend summer camp…………………………..180
Help to the family of Olga and Alexy………………………………….500
(This is ECW’s connection to the special needs orphanage)
Thanksgiving celebration (14 kids) (food, transportation)……..130
Lessons in life skills (64 hours)………………………………………….448
Program at the orphanage……………………………………………….100
Meetings with the girls at the orphanage……………………………..90
(evening meetings over a cup of tea, talks, counseling)
Four Birthday presents for the kids from the orphanage…………40
ECW, through generous donations have been able to financially support (A&O).
Quotes and details from Slavik, of A&O.
SPECIAL NEEDS TRANSPORTATION.
Thank you so much! Here, pictured to the left is our new van. This van will allow children in the orphanage to be able to get out in the community. These children will now have an opportunity for a full life in their community where they can learn, work, play and go to church. Having access to others, to community, has been an elusive dream for many disabled people, especially for those with significant physical and cognitive differences. This van can now help can reduce the isolation and loneliness many children with disabilities feel while living in the orphanage.
We are looking forward to many trips in the future! We also will be able to minister to the children in the nursing home so they can participate in activities too. We are so grateful that we can serve, love, and lead people to Christ. This is part of our vision that shapes their lives and ministry. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us. Any donation no matter how small or big helps.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.