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The instructor of the Foundation, Natasha P., who works with adults, attended a training event in Kyiv. The training was organized by the Psychiatrists Association of Ukraine. It was dedicated to the issues of professional ethics, attentive behavior skills, needs and their assessment in psychiatry, multidisciplinary team work, and professional burnout. Skill-building sessions were held in a rehabilitation center where our instructor had a chance to attend decoupage classes (to do crafts using napkins, disposable tableware, and crepe paper) as well as music therapy, fairy tale therapy, and even dancing therapy classes. I truly hope that Natasha will benefit from the training and, in our turn, we will do our best to allow orphanage staff enhance their knowledge as one of the biggest issues of the existing system is that the services to adults with special needs are provided by people having no basic, let along special, knowledge and there are no regular training sessions organized for them.
However, let us not talk about sad things as we are now already purchasing materials for the art activities Natasha mastered in Kyiv. Apart from that, even before the training she prepared decorations for the Christmas tree using paper, learned poems and songs with some of her students, and as for the adults she works with, they now enjoy drawing, doing puzzles and playing with nesting blocks.
Since November, we launched a position of an adult instructor and we already see the positive outcomes – minimum socialization of the most “learning-disabled” students and real excitement of those who “realize” that they are going to have a class. Now we need your support and common sense of the Ministry of Social Policy for the number of staff to cover the real needs of our students rather than being in compliance with the formal order of 2008.
At the end of December, we brought a children’s doctor and a neuropathologist from the Tokmak city to examine the residents of Kalinovka. I would like to emphasize once more that we are looking for a doctor to work in Kalinovka and are ready to consider offers and suggestions from the specialists who would like to work in our children’s home. I would also like to remind you that we have a massage therapist working in Kalinovka for the fifth month already, who lives in the children’s home every second week. Therefore, we are not losing our hope to find a good doctor from Zaporozhzhye for Kalinovka residents as well.
In December, we did not organize any tours for our residents, but we allocated UAH 1.500 (180 US dollars) to pay for the gasoline to go to Berdyansk and Zaporozhe. Besides, last month we spent UAH 352 (42 US dollars) to buy medications for Artem N. His story of rehabilitation goes back to 2012. We truly hope that as time goes by Artem will learn to walk with no aid, especially considering that now he also has daily massage sessions.
Last month we continued our works to construct the second Happy Home in Kalinovka. To be more exact, gypsum boards have been assembled on the walls; under-floor heating has been completed as well as the missing inner walls – vestibule and the inner wall between the kitchen and the bathroom. Besides, heating and water sewage reconstruction works have been finished. In the nearest two weeks, the front porch shed will be completed. Moreover, the works inside the premises are in progress. We hope that our girls will be able to move in in February or maybe we will be able make them a present for the 8th of March. Anyway, we would like to thank all those who support this project!
Last-year failure in Kalinovka were the works to reconstruct the boiler room, which currently uses the most expensive type of fuel. We hope that a New Year miracle will happen, and that in 2014 the boiler room will finally be reconstructed. We would like to thank in advance all those who are responsible.
The brightest point of the last month was the visit of volunteers to children, which took place on December 29th. On the New Year Eve, we were playing guitar and singing, dancing and watching the show of very talented Oleg, who we can already predict will become a star of some comic TV show.
The children cited poems, went dancing in a round next to a Christmas tree, which was mostly decorated by their hand-made toys. Honestly, in December I saw a lot of Christmas trees, but the Christmas tree in the Happy Home was one of the most beautiful.
And, finally, we would like to say a big Thank you to all those good people who donated toys, stationery, and clothes before the holidays. We are grateful to Emma and Grant from the Great Britain for their package, to school students from Dneprorudny, to Olya for a big box of new toys we have not had time to unpack yet, to Vlad and Vova for sports clothes and footwear, which brought joy to both small and adult residents of Kalinovka. Moreover, part of the toys and stationery will remain for the second Happy Home and we are very glad as we will be able to use the funds of the Foundation to pay for the work of instructors in the second home. Thank you all that you believe in those children as we do, more than us and together with us, thank you!
Report on the instructors’ activities:
At the classes of Sofia Sh. 4 out of 9 students from the Happy Home learnt to count from 1 to 8 and backwards. Besides, children in this group make up their own math tasks. Between classes, Sofia offers children some physical training. Children from the same group memorized songs and poems and prepared costumes for the New Year celebration.
Danil K. from the group of Raisa G. improved his crawling skills and is now able to hold his head up well. Besides, the boy helps putting toys in order. Sasha K. moves along the room well using his walking frame. It is a good result, considering that the boy is 18 years old and before he was sitting in his wheelchair all the time or was just lying in his bed. In the same group, the instructor Olga M. taught Olya R. to easily find her favorite doll in the room. Julia Ch. is now able to select her “own” rattle out of all others. Nastya M. from among all other toys choses her musical drum. The girl keeps her favorite toy with her all the time.
The needs of Kalinovka as of 6 January 2014:
1. Construction materials for the second Happy Home
2. CDs with the sounds of nature and with children’s music
3. Musical therapy discs
4. Musical toys
5. Toy construction sets
6. Building blocks
7. Nesting blocks
8. Book “Applied Ornaments with Small Children” by Yanushko
9. Book “Pre-schoolers on a Walk” by Sukhar
10. Alma set
14. Socks sizes 38-45
15. Musical instruments
16. Squared notebooks
17. Embroidery sets
18. Writing and mathematics copybooks
19. Colored wool
Thank you for your help and your moral support, remember that we are the only ones who can help those children and grown-ups! Every dollar and every minute of your attention towards those special children are as good as gold. Do good!