Add a comment
Despite the snow , cold and wind the charity bike ride for children with tuberculosis went through as planned. The event was initiated by the people’s organization “Zaporozhe Bicycle” and the charity group "Happy Child" Charity Foundation, in order to collect money for hepatoprotectors, immunostimulants and vitamins which are not paid for by the government budget.
The weather seemed to test the strength and will of the volunteers. In the morning there was sun and it gave us a glimmer of hope that the rest of the day would be nice and sunny. Suddenly, clouds started to form and it started to get cold and began to snow. Traveling in that kind of weather and talking to people on the street is not exactly easy. The volunteers’ hands and feet were cold and the snow was in their face when trying to ride the bikes. Nevertheless, over 20 bicyclists rode on their “iron” horses during the bike ride.
It is good to note that many citizens of Zaporozhe, despite the snow and bitter wind, stopped to make a donation and speak with the volunteers. Unfortunately, many people were skeptical of making a donation due to the many dishonest people in the world. Thanks to the enthusiasm and sincerity of the volunteers, people were more willing to make a donation to the charity knowing that the money would help sick children. As one donor explained: people are more willing to donate when they can trust the people that are collecting the funds.
After about three hours, the volunteers collected 1,635 hryvnia and 1 kopeck. The donations will be held in a special fund maintained by the charity group “Happy Child” to go towards buying necessary equipment for the children’s tuberculosis center. Complete financial information can be found by clicking here.
According to Lyudmila Chernysheva, the director of the Children’s Unit at Zaporozhe Regional TB Center, the help provided by the volunteers is truly needed. Due to the structure and limitations of the budget, there is not enough money for immunostimulants and vitamins that help reduce the side effects and strength the immune systems. Additionally, the monies are used for diapers for the babies, hygienic products, games and other items the budget cannot cover. Her ward is for babies from six to 20 months old. Due to the insufficient budget, the money comes from either the parents or from caring volunteers and donors. A list of the needs and ways to help are provided on a special section of the charity website Happy Child.
Fairly exhausted, cold and tired from the bike ride, the volunteers were more than compensated for their efforts upon arrival at the children’s center. We were met with the happiness of the children, a chorus of thank you’s and hot tea.
Happy Child manager, Nikolai Kolodyazhny, said that the event was very successful. He explained that the main goal was to collect money and in this respect they met their goal. For the fund, it was also successful in other respects. Above all, they educated people about the problems of the children’s tuberculosis ward and its needs. Additionally, it helps get out the word about our foundation and the importance of the foundation in the Zaporozhe community. After all, the more people know about the charity and trust it, the more money it will be able to collect and help children in need. And in the end, the more money we collect the more children we can help.
The volunteers from “Zaporozhe Bicyclists” do not only care about the development of safe methods of transportation and infrastructure for bicyclists, but also about other issues in the city and its residents. Roman Stoev gave us some insight into their group. Roman is a student at a medical university. He worked as an intern in the tuberculosis ward and learned about the issues firsthand. Thanks to his experience, he wanted to have a bike ride in support of the TB clinic. His fellow members whole-heartedly supported the idea and hope to have similar charity ride in the future in Zaporozhe.
The highlight of the day was the bright and emotional meeting between members of Happy Child Charity and Bogdan. Bodgan has developed pulmonary tuberculosis and tuberculosis of the spine which has left him confined to his bed. Currently, Bogdan is having some familial issues concerning his mother’s legal rights (he officially does not have a father). One set of Bogdan’s grandparents has agreed to take custody of Bogdan. The courts will make the final decision.
Bogdan received a positive prognosis from his neurologist. Due to the illness, his motor-skills and height will be affected. But after treatment, he will be healthy and able to lead a more normal life. The fund gave Bogdan a little red car to cheer him up. The moment he received the gift he was ecstatic – he started to smile and tried to communicate with us. For a child that has been left without the warmth and love of parents – this was a truly happy day!
Bogdan even tried to explain the gift he would like next time we meet. Unfortunately, baby sign language is not easy to understand. Therefore, more qualified medical professionals tried to understand his request and next time we hope to surprise him with another little gift and make his dream come true.
The Charity Fund “Happy Child” sincerely thanks our friends from the volunteer group Zaporozhe Bicyclists for their initiative, journalists and representatives of the media for reporting our story. We also want to say thank you to all those thoughtful residents of Zaporozhe that donated and to everyone that shared our story on the website, social media or by word of mouth. Thank you everyone for giving Bogdan such a special day!