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“I give my heart to children” is the title of a book by the great Ukrainian teacher, Sukhomlunskiy. Luckily, there are people in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia who also give their hearts to children from orphanages. I’d like to tell you about one such family.
There lives a wonderful couple in our city – Galina Pavlovna and Dmitry Semenovich. They’ve both retired, having brought up their own children, and now enjoy spending time with their grandchildren. It’s been seven years since grandma Galya and grandpa Dima (it’s what the children call them) started to regularly visit orphanages of the Zaporizhia region and host children for weekends and school vacations. In addition, the couple tries their best to help street kids and their homeless parents who live on railway stations.
Although grandma Galya doesn’t bring lots of sweets when she enters an orphanage, children happily run to her. At home grandma Galya teaches the girls to cook a traditional Ukrainian beetroot soup (Borscsh) and clean the house, and helps them to master the art of being neat and attentive housewives. The boys enjoy helping out their grandpa outside. The children love visiting with their grandma the botanical garden where they look after plants. The botanical garden administration in its turn provides the orphanages with planting stocks every spring.
The grandparents’ house is furnished rather modestly– they haven’t got any computer, almost never use their TV-set and even have no washing machine as grandma washes everything by herself. However, they’ve got the most important thing - love and a desire to help children.
Sometimes the children make Galina Pavlovna and Dmitry Semenovich upset since some kids start to smoke in orphanages, some are rather aggressive to other children, and some of them are not really diligent students at school. At the same time the grandparents’ home is like a holy church for the children where they get a sense of what is good or bad. This home will always remain in their memory as the place where they learnt to figure out how to differentiate good and bad in their future complicated grownup life.
In 2010 Dmitry Semenovich and Galina Pavlovna decided to get custody of three children from different orphanages. All the children have got some health problems as well as learning difficulties, and one child was previously staying in the nursery home for disabled. Despite all the challenges the grandparents have to face, they still find the strength to carry on and give their hosting kids all their love and care.
This article may give you food for thought about the ways you can help the orphans – from simple to more advanced aid such as hosting a child from an orphanage during school vacations or even just inviting him\her for lunch. If you wish to host children from an orphanage you should read the memo on our website about hosting an orphan. You should also read The Hosting of an Orphans” guide.
Since the Orphan Hosting Programme has not been legislated yet in Ukraine, there is no exact algorithm of “how to host an orphan”. But with your will, bolstered by the support of the director of an orphanage– it’s quite real.
If you have any questions concerning the hosting of an orphan contact the volunteers of “The Happy Child” Charity Foundation.
We hope that our readers will financially support the family of Galina Pavlovna and Dmitry Semenovich, as it’s rather complicated to maintain meals for 3-4 children at weekends or school vacations! This family always needs some product stuff, developing toys, as well as some household appliances.
If you want to contact Dmitry Semenovich and Galina Pavlovna you may call them: +38 066 1702122 or +38 0612 62 57 54
If you live in another city or country you may transfer your donations through “The Happy Child” Foundation, which has been supporting this family for more than a year.