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Dear friends and helpers,
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We are very thankful to all who helped us in 2014. It was the hardest and most dramatic year in our recent history. Ukraine was one of the most peaceful countries during twenty three years. However, this year thousands of internally displaced people (at least half a million) have been forced to flee from their homes to find shelter in other areas of Ukraine. About 5.000 soldiers and civilians were killed. Our region is close to these regions, so we welcomed a big number of displaced families.
Other problem was economic degradation and huge inflation this year. 1 dollar cost 8.2 UA hryvnyas in January 2014, and costs more than 18 hryvnyas now. It increased the prices of imported medicine, medical equipment, building materials in 1.5-2 times. The same situation is with surgeries in foreign clinics. Possibility of Ukrainian people to help decreased this year. Many donations come to the army to prevent Russia’s invasion, and it’s more difficult to attract donations to the children’s needs.
So, all your help in 2014 was very important and allowed us to continue our work. This year about $430.000 were donated to our charity, and expenses were $535.000 (we expended the rest of 2013). You helped us to help more than 330 sick children and 46 adults, so we've bought medical equipment in the sum $78.000. We opened “Happy Home-2” in Kalinovka for ten mentally challenged girls, and have been continuing to support “Happy Home-1” and the whole Kalinovka orphanage. Also, thanks to your help we support two more orphanages for disabled children – Velikiy Lug and Kirovo. We have almost finished the roof in the “Happy home-3” and plan to open this home in summer 2015. We have been continuing our tourist program for orphans and children from low-income families, and organizing dozens of mountain hikes and excursions for about 700 children.
We also support the "Helpus" project by helping to create two family type group homes for women (in Veseloe internat) and men (in the Chercassy region) with mental disabilities, and do some improvements in life of institutions for disabled adults. Institutions for mentally challenged adults are “terra incognita” for Ukrainians and foreigners. There are not so many people who understand this problem and want to help. Nevertheless, these thousands of disabled people are in a really difficult situation and their rights are always violated.
In addition, this year we've done advocacy work with regional authorities. This work sometimes can bring huge results, not less than charity work. For example, we’ve monitored food prices and pension money in state-run orphanages for disabled children and adults, and now we can control these prices via the website, and use this state benefit money to help these people. This has saved 10-20% money for food.
This is only a part of the projects we have in progress. You can always take a look at our financial reports here.
So, despite the crisis we continue most of our projects, and have big plans for the future. I know that some people would like to help but they think that the war is already in Zaporozhzhye and we will all disappear soon. It’s not true. There is no war here and I believe we will not face it in the future, so all our bank accounts work, and most of our donors continue to work with us.
It’s sad that there were not many foreign volunteers this year, but two girls came from New Zealand!!! We would be glad to meet more next year. It’s safe here! You are most welcome to come!
We wish peace and love to you and your families, and sincerely thank you for your open hearts and trust to our charity foundation!
Director of Happy Child
+3 8 066 513 34 35