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Sweltering. Starveling. Uneasy

May 25, 2012, 11:10 3154 Author: Lyudmila Fomina, translated by Yuliya Grytsenko www.deti.zp.ua With the onset of heat the Tryapitsin’s dormitory turned into a stinking mobile gas chamber - something must be done and urgently

Lately, I have been very distressed by the state of affairs in the Tryapitsin family, but regardless of that let me start with the good news. Firstly, our regular contributor from the United States Kevin Ruth had sent them money for a new refrigerator. This man never remains indifferent to the needs of Zaporozhye children, and we would like to pass him the gratitude of Natasha and her kids. Destiny did not award Natasha with a loving and caring family so she takes care of children all by herself and they are the whole meaning and joy of her life. Therefore, for them it is so pleasant and exciting to know that someone out there, beyond the ocean, remembers and wishes them well.

The drawing says:” Thank you very much! Now we have a beautiful refrigerator”

We also thank Vovkovinskaya Svetlana, from the United States as well, who sent several huge boxes with beautiful new clothes, toys and sweets.

Now kids have one more joy - somebody gave them a beautiful purebred kitten, white with red ears. As a result, their tiny room has one more occupant, but kids are extremely happy. A 10-year-old Dasha greeted me joyfully with the words: "And we are hungry, but we have a kitten!" They constantly don’t have enough money for food, so they have become accustomed to the constant hunger. Recently, kids persuaded their mother to buy them a cheap laptop on credit, knowing that their monthly payments would reduce their already meager diet even more. Children need some joy in life - a kitten, a computer – and for these little joys they are willing to go hungry. But how can we allow this to happen? For now we brought them a few packages with food from those that were collected for our camping trips, and we hope that some caring people will step up and support this wonderful family in the future.

Here's a sample diet of the Tryapitsin family:

First course - borshsh or other soup made on vegetable broth - 4-5 days a week, chicken broth - 2-3 times a week;

Second course - porridge or noodles with butter - 4-5 days a week, porridge or noodles with chicken liver sauce - 2-3 times a week;

Dessert - jelly, in summer - fruit compote, candy or cookies - 2-3 times a week.

Before their old gas stove oven broke Natasha could treat kids with homemade pastries that were the substantial complement to their diet.

Not so long ago my husband, I and our kids took Nastya, Dasha, Sergei and Sonya for a walk in the "Dubovka" (“Oak”) park. My oldest son was very happy to have such a big company. Senior Anastasia is serious and sensible, Dasha is joyful and Sergei is full of spirit but manageable just like our Nick. But if you look very closely, one can notice that their neat clothes are not new and Sergei feels hot in sneakers. While children were running around and going down the slides, I kept thinking that in an hour they will return to a stuffy, ground floor room where local drunks from the next door vodka joint (you can’t even call it bar) constantly curse and relive themselves right under the window; and where a beautiful new refrigerator still does not perform its intended purpose – this family simply doesn’t have anything to put in it.

Natasha has never known a well-fed, prosperous life but she’s confident they will cope. However, when I see how pale and sickly she looks I feel very uneasy - what if she overestimates her own strength? After all, she has a heart condition, and if, God forbid, something happens to her, children will remain entirely alone in this world. What makes matters even worse is that family’s extremely cramped living conditions turned into intolerable by the fact that several neighboring rooms were transformed into a grocery store where they sell liquor by the glass. Before residents filed numerous complaints at the prosecutor’s office, one could spot drunken people roaming the dormitory’s corridors and using the already horrid bathroom. But now, with no access to the bathroom, “rumochnaya” (vodka joint) customers started to relieve themselves directly under the windows and children are constantly exposed to their drunken screams and fighting. Heat, seven people in one room and only one window that can’t be open at night. The Tryapitsiny do not complain – they are used to it, but I find the conditions they live in simply inhumane. The City Council promised that the family will receive an apartment before the end of the year…

Unfortunately, more often than not people do not understand each other. They think the world would be ideal if everyone thought and acted the same way as they do. Give birth to one or two children, raise them in a two-three-room apartment - this is the generally accepted idea of a normal life. Families who do not comply with this are perceived ambiguously. A mother who gave birth to six children and brought them up in a dorm room is often misunderstood and many of our fellow citizens find her irritating.

"Who she thought would support her? What was she thinking about? She wants to live off the governments subsidies?! Where is their father? "- These are the questions people tend to ask much more often instead of a simple - "How can I help?” Even though, it doesn’t take a lot to help the Tryapitsin family.

Yes, they live in a tiny room, they do not always have enough money even for the most necessary things, but Natasha was able to give her children the most important thing - the maternal care and warmth of the hearth – simple yet very important thing that she, herself, was denied of as a child. Her children love their family, they are very close and for each other they are the dearest people in the world. The most important thing for Natasha is that her children grow up in a relaxed, warm and loving family atmosphere. She has kept them from the nightmares of her own childhood – her constantly drunk mother and stepfather who beat her and the children.

Natasha has worked since childhood, left home early at an early age and was able to build a life for herself. Children are the joy of her life and it is very sad that she can give them so little in material terms.

The feedback we received after our previous articles about this family was very shocking to her. Natasha was amazed very about it and wouldn’t allow herself to hope that strangers would show care and concern for her family.

Children’s reaction to everything is much simpler - they are incredibly happy with the gifts and attention, and dream about growing up and starting to make money, so that they too will be can help others.

The most pressing problem for Natalia today is food. I just want to appeal to all good people: "Let's feed the kids!" After all, it's unimaginable - that in a European country, in peacetime children go hungry.

Kids will be delighted to receive your support and attention and rely on help of those who care!

Details on how to make a donation to the Tryapitsin family can be found in here .

Or contact the staff of the "Happy Child" Charity Foundation.

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

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