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The more the merrier – The story of the large Vovk family

August 5, 2010, 17:00 3330 Author: Victoria Mochalova translated by Daria Sukach deti.zp.ua From the windows of the old tiny house seven members of the foster family can see their big and wonderful house in front

Vovk family news

Vovk family help appeal

Newspaper publication about the Vovk family

The honorary diploma of Angela Nikolaevna for outstanding contribution to the education of the rising generation

According to the official sad statistics for most of the former orphanage inmates it’s extremely challenging to successfully integrate themselves into a society and have their own happy family. On the other hand, who can understand such an orphan better than a grownup who himself grew up in an orphanage or suffered from the abusive and cruel actions of parents?

In the village of Avksenovka of Verhnjodniprovskij district of Dnipropetrovsk region lives the family of Nikolaj and Angela Vovk. They have two kids together – ten-year-old Vika and eight-year-old Alyosha. Angela’s elder daughter from her first marriage, Ira, is already grown up (She’s 19 years old, married and has got a little child). Despite being his step daughter, Ira calls Nikolaj Nikolajevich her father. The family’s got a comfortable house and a big farm household. They seem to be an ordinary family…

Angela Nikolajevna was born in a problematic family. When Angela was four years old, her mom and dad were deprived of parental rights, so she, together with her elder sister, got taken to the orphanage. When Angela turned 12 years old, her parents restored their parental rights and took the girls back home. Soon after that they had a son. The family harmony was destroyed by drunken feasts and domestic violence. Angela is still keeping some bitter memories of that night when she being dressed just in her school uniform holding her little brother in her arms was walking in the snow barefoot to ask their neighbours for the night shelter.

At the age of sixteen, Angela yielded to no persuasion of her school headmaster to finish her studies. She dropped school. She went to the city of Dnipropetrovsk and entered a specialized school since she could not stand the domestic violence any more. She got married very early and became a young mom of a baby girl. But the family happiness did not last long: her husband gave in to his parents’ pressure who considered Angela to be a bad match to their son. So, the young couple got divorced. Angela finished her specialized school, and then permanently worked two jobs as a cleaner at a time to make ends meet and keep her little daughter Ira provided with food. But later she had to come back home to her mom – as she had no choice.

This sad fairy tale about a Ukrainian Cinderella had a happy end though – she has found her real happiness with Nikolaj. But now they find it very difficult to enjoy their little happiness: the newspapers, TV are full of stories about abandoned kids…In 2007 they made up their mind to adopt some orphans. After special training they headed for an orphanage to see their new little family members. Coming home by suburban train from the third trip to the orphanage – Nikolaj who used to be a military man for many years, could not help crying: his heart was bleeding to look at all those abandoned kids and realize that he cannot take all of them home.

The spouses looked for kids who would be around the same age as their biological ones. So, they have found Alyosha and Diana – a brother and a sister. At one of the visits, the boy said that he had two more sisters. It turned out that one of his sisters Eva had been already adopted but his sister Sveta had been in a hospital. The little girl was in a terrible condition: being then two years old – she was unable to walk on her own, and what’s more, her physical development fit a six month old baby!

The Vovks did not feel any fear of challenges and adopted all three kids. However they had a tough time: the kids suffered some chronic diseases and were pedagogically neglected. But thanks to the amazing softness and endlessly warm heartfelt care of mom Angela, and the true support of a strict but very tolerant dad Kolja in a short period of time children have wonderfully changed.

And guess what?! A year later Angela and Nikolaj decided to adopt five more kids, and thus, establish their own family-type children’s home and adopt an ill new-born baby. All the members of their big family are looking forward to a bundle of joy in their house. According to the Sanitary-and-epidemiologic institution standards, the family is to increase their dwelling place and get some new pieces of furniture. So, they did not waste a single minute and took a risk – in 2008 they sold their house and farm household and took a three -year loan of a necessary $1269 and purchased a two-floor unfinished house.

The notorious economic crisis has dashed all their plans. The house is purchased but nobody invests money into their repairing any more. The local authorities are helpless. To top it all, there is no heating in the house yet. The interior decoration materials are almost collected but the family is still lacking the materials for major repairs. The family has repaired with their last savings, two rooms and a kitchen in a tiny clay house which is situated on the territory of their household. So, the big family is huddling together in this tiny house and keeping themselves warm after the old manner – with the help of wood.

It’s not a big deal for them though – the more –the merrier. But your heart sinks looking at this big and beautiful house you cannot live in. The Vovk family is concerned, that under such circumstances they will not be allowed to adopt more kids; moreover, Lyosha, Diana and Sveta could be taken back to the orphanage again! Their new house is now too tiny for seven members. But the trauma the kids and foster parents will suffer in case of coming back to the orphanage is much more serious than all those little inconveniences they are facing now due to the lack of necessary living facilities.

The smallest minimum which would allow the family to use their new house are $4314,72. It’s the cost of setting up central heating and getting the permission of the house cooperative. All the other repair work is also important but this can be done step by step, whilst in the process of living in the house.

Everyone who cares for the destiny of this foster family who dreams of adopting many more abandoned kids can contribute in further development of this vitally important project!

Construction cost calculation

If you wish to help the Vovk family, you can transfer your donations to the settlement account of The Happy Child Foundation or you can personally contact the Vovk family.

The telephone number of Angela Nikolaevna: + 38(067) 664 30 62

Details for transferring your donations for the Vovk family

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You can help using convenient ways of donation (PayPal, MoneyGram, Western Union, Webmoney, etc.)

For further information contact the volunteers of the Happy Child Foundation

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