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HAPPY DAYS: Viktor Bolog on his visit to Kendal with Karen Barden... and a saxophone
Local charity New Beginnings is appealing for a saxophone to be donated as a Christmas present to Viktor Bolog, who just four years ago was living alone on the streets of the Ukraine.
The music-mad youngster came to Kendal in July to help the charity celebrate its tenth anniversary and made his love for the musical instrument clear.
“All Viktor dreams of is the saxophone,” said charity founder Pat Harrison.
“We took him to see a jazz band when he came to stay with us and he was transfixed, all he could look at was the saxophones.
“It would be fantastic if we could get hold of one in good working order to send to the Ukraine so he can have one of his own.”
In 2004 Gazette readers raised ?20,000 to buy and furnish Genesis House, a children’s home set up by Mrs Harrison where Viktor lives now lives with other orphaned street children.
Already an accomp-lished pianist and clarinet player, music has become Viktor’s passion he hopes one day to join a circus orchestra.
“When you think about his beginnings in life it is fantastic that he has caught up with this school grades and does well in his music,” said Mrs Harrison.
“There must be someone who has a saxophone they don’t use any more that isn’t doing anything? I can’t describe how happy it would make him.”
Earlier this year former Gazette journalist and charity supporter Karen Barden bought Viktor a saxophone off eBay to take back with him to the Ukraine.
But it needed a lot of work before it could be made playable – something that couldn’t be done in the Ukraine.
Mrs Barden said: “We have had heartbreak once of giving him a saxophone and then having to take it away again.
"Gazette readers have done so much for this charity already and we’re hoping that there is just one more person out there who might be able to make Viktor’s dream come true.”
Four years ago Viktor was sold into a gang who made him beg on the streets of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.
He suffered abuse from the people running the gang, who once broke his leg during a vicious beating.
He was eventually picked up by police and placed in an orphanage and then in the children’s home run by New Beginnings.
He has since been fostered by the home’s managers Sasha and Olena Bolog who recently accompanied Viktor on his first trip to Kendal.