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Englishmen in Kalinovka

October 15, 2012, 18:45 4016 Author: Mariya Syemashkina, Roman Kirchenko www.deti.zp.ua Volunteers from Great Britain have spent more than a week with kids at Kalinovka boarding school

A group of volunteers from United Kingdom came to Ukraine in August this year. When we say came we mean drove down – in a small coaster with right side steering wheel. People of different ages , the youngest one among them was Eve, only three years old. The main task was to exchange experiences in such areas as charity, environment and sustainability. The folks visited Zaporizhzha children asylum for boys at Velikiy Lug. But the main destination was The Chernigov Child’s Home in the village of Kalinovka. As we are the staff of Charity Fund “Happy Child”, it was very useful and exciting to have that close communication with our foreign colleagues. It’s a pleasure to meet people from another culture and speaking a different language, but with same ideas and goals and so dedicated to humanitarian objectives. In Zaporozhye We arranged a short trip to Khortitza Island for the group.


At Cossacks Show

Strength assessment

With real Cossacks

Before departure of Anglo-coaster to Kalinovka, we managed to film an interview with participants of the trip.

Same day, they left for Kalinovka.

Some of the English volunteers have been to Kalinovka before. Zina, Vinka, Simon have come for the third time and planning to come again and again.

First day in Kalinovka and Albert showed our English colleagues “youth” department of the asylum and I suggested to take disabled lying children outdoors, and they happily agreed. Most of the people that are working in England with adults and children with special needs, having tender emotions dealing with disabled and lying children. Grown up men from Zaporozhye have been shocked for several times in a row.

Steve and Daneel

Stuart and Tatyana

Ange and Anastasia

The second day in Kaliniovka and we set up for help at another building for girls and boys. We managed to have a breakfast faster than the kids so we were allowed to feed some of them as well.

Graham and Nikolai

After the breakfast, volunteers helped to take the kids to the playground next to “Happy house”. Still it’s the most desirable entertainment place for the rest of children in the asylum, because this kind of merry-go-round, slide for stroller children, and comfortable swings are only next to one building.

Trevor, Steve, Ivy and Nikolai

English volunteers were doing everything possible and impossible, everything what they were asked for in Kalinovka. All manly team was carrying pickles jars and water for the house. When the nurse asked in a joking manner about it, on the spot I translated the request to supermen into English and they immediately, like Chip and Dale, were rushing to help weak women, who always had to carry heavy buckets full of water.

Peter and Stuart

Almost every day we got a fee concert from our English colleagues – one of them played guitar, the rest were signing. Children were “playing” guitar with pleasure as well. Some of them were doing it in a very cute way.

Victor – guitar player

The Concert

Oleg and Mervin

Twice per week they arranged football games in Kalinovka. They prepared t-shirts particularly for that event: red and blue colors, that were given to many pupils of the asylum after. By the way, there was “Kalinovka” printed on the back. Also staff children that are living on the territory of children asylum took part in the football games as well.


The hardest for our guests was to visit our disabled adults and children departments, as to compare with Great Britain, care for such adults and children in Ukraine is very different and unfortunately not to our advantage. So according to our English colleagues, they don’t have any boarding establishment for adults – and instead they have all adults with special needs living two or three together in the house and are being visited and taken care of by a nurse. They live an ordinary house – as any other person in their country. Sometimes they were sadly smiling and telling us that they had this situation dozens of years ago...

Disabled children near the block

Graham and Valeriy

Especially intensive attention was paid by our English volunteers to Igor and Vlad – from the disabled lying children block – who are hitting themselves and that is why the staff of the boarding school have to use special and unpopular education methods. But anyway, English volunteers just were touching their hands, always trying to make them hold something or just put the children into walkers, and it was a different not bed environment and more interesting than just hitting themselves with legs.

Trevor and Vlad

Igor, Peter and Zoe

Three years old Ivy, together with her parents is being taught from her childhood to accept all people in the same way –and together with her mom, Zoann and dad Peter she is playing with little members of Kalinovka society. Though they are a couple of years older than her, Ivy, being so small, understands and feels the importance of this help and is not jealous trying to get her parents attention.

Ivy and Daneel


During Kalinovka holidays, our friends almost didn’t have any troubles – not considering the fact that for breakfast they asked for oat flakes with no butter and no salt and were surprised how its possible to eat fried fish for breakfast. But at the last days they were brave to try it. And after tensed hours of working with children were repeating that its “borsch time ”.


Almost all kids in Kalinovka got handmade teddy bears from one English lady as a gift. Every teddy bear has got a carry bag, that was used by children on the spot in the right and in the wrong ways.

Teddy bears



English volunteers are helping children from the bottom of their hearts and many of them came to Kalinovka to spend a quality time during the summer. Some of them are working with difficult teenagers, some of them don’t help others as a part of their work, but all of them have one similarity – aspiration to give a feeling to special children and adults that they are a part of normal life.

All together

Thank you for this exciting time and see you soon!

PS: By the way, our friends managed to get onto TV screens, but with another subject matter – environment and sustainability — Link.

Happy Child foundation - effective help to the most needy children of the Zaporozhye region, Ukraine, since 2004

They need help:
Yaroslav Kopiyko
Yaroslav Kopiyko

Cerebral palsy, spastic tetraparesis

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Vitaly Yurchenko
Vitaly Yurchenko

Bilateral sensorineural deafness of the III degree

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$ 414 766

Our expenses in 2023
To 117 sick children $79 641
Medical equipment: $2 475
Humanitarian help: $126 749
To disabled children: $130 284
To children's village: $13 496
To orphans and poor children: $14 882
"Helpus" - help to adults: $21 885
Service expenses: $40 101
Total sum of expenses: $435 387

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