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Zaporozhye Orphanage for Boys with Intellectual Disabilities is a large, grey and imposing building. If it wasn’t for the few painted tyres and mini “play areas” scattered around the grounds you would not know that children live there.
The administrators office is the best furnished and decorated room in the whole building. For the older and more capable boys there is a table tennis table set up in the main reception area. All the rooms and corridors are clean and tidy. Although there are some areas of floors, stairs etc that are in need of repair.
There are amazing classrooms set up for children of all different learning levels. But you wonder why none of the books, paints, pens etc have been used and why all the doors to these rooms are locked.
There are many doctors that work there, including a dentist. There is even a dentist chair and equipment set up. And again you wonder why many of the boys have missing, rotting, black teeth and layers of plaque if they have a dentist a few doors down.
In the group of 20 boys who require the most care is where you will find the most neglect. Boys go for 2, 3 or 4 days wearing the same clothes, it makes you wonder how often they receive a bath. Diapers left on until they fall apart. Immobile boys left for hours lying in the same position without any interaction from a caregiver. Boys tied to beds or wheelchairs, arms tied behind their backs for hours at a time. Boys biting other boys so hard that they bleed. The boy who receives the bite does not even cry because he knows no one cares.
If the group of 20 boys are taken outside they are confined to a tiny space under a shade tent. There is only one chair outside for them. A few start eating dirt as soon as they can reach it. It is obviously that many do not see the sunlight as their skin is so pale it is almost see-through.
What all these boys need the most in life is what is lacking here - love, attention and adequate medical / physical care. While it may appear, from the outside, that this institution provides all of these things, looks can be deceiving.
Zaporozhye Orphan Asylum
18, Donetskaya Str.
Phone: 3 8 061 2869758 and 38 061 2869745, 38 061 286-96-67 (reception), 38 061 286-96-64 (on duty)
Administrator Goncharenko Lyudmila Viktorovna
You can contact employees of “Happy child” fund