I’d like to start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and all the best for 2017. Here at Dnipro Kids we are looking forward to 2017 with some excitement.
We intend to go into 2017 with the same objectives we set last year and fund two main trips for the family orphanages. The first, around Easter time, will be a two day trip to Kharkiv (including a visit to the water park there). The second is planned to be a four day trip to Odessa. We last travelled to Odessa with the larger Tabachnaya and Odinkovka orphanages back in 2012, just before they were closed down. A few of the older children at our family orphanages would have been on that trip, but for the vast majority it will be their first Dnipro Kids trip to the city.
If you are in a position to help with the fundraising for these proposed excursions, either by donations or assisting with fundraising events, then we’d be very happy to hear from you.
We have set up a Just Giving fundraising page for the spring trip to Kharkiv, and will repeat this in the summer for our Odessa trip.
Christmas Events in Dnipro
We organised three Christmas events for the family orphanages this year, read about them below.
Kyivstar Christmas Party
The first, on December 17, was generously provided by Kyivstar at their main building in the city. Utilising their on-site auditorium, the company put on an excellent Christmas show for the kids. Every child got a personal invitation card from Kyivstar to attend the show.
Once again the Kyivstar staff were a real credit. It must have taken a lot of rehearsals to produce the show, and this year there was also a lot of thought put into the messages behind the show.
The show was based around cyber criminals that managed to steal Christmas. The two heroes of the story enter the digital word to try and track down the criminals, and save Christmas.
Along the way they meet fake Santas, that tell them lies and try and put them off the trail. The serious message behind this is that in a digital age the children need to be very careful of which sites they visit, which apps they use, what they say to people online and to try and stay safe.
The fact that the Kyivstar staff could put together a show that was both informative and entertaining is a credit to all those that were involved. They also had some great interaction with the kids in the audience.
Of course the heroes eventually found the real Santa and saved Christmas!
As they were leaving the kids had one more little surprise, and were able to exchange their invitation tickets for a Christmas gift.
A huge thank you to Kyivstar from Dnipro Kids, for putting the show on and for the invitation.
The second Christmas party was on the 24th of December and was organised by Natasha and Irina. It was at the lovely Utkabar Restaurant in the centre of Dnipro, with both food and entertainment on the menu.
The family orphanages met on the plaza, directly outside the restaurant, and enjoyed some of the Christmas buzz and Christmas decorations before heading in.
The restaurant had re-organised the whole seating plan in order to cater for such a large group, and set aside a stage area for the entertainment that was lined up.
Children were greeted by a selection of super-heroes and cartoon characters as they entered, who were on hand the whole time for entertainment and photographs.
The children (and some adults) were encouraged up on to the stage to participate in games, sing and tell jokes.
It might not have been the “traditional” Christmas dinner we might expect, but the food was enjoyed by all.
As well as the food that was brought out, the children all had the opportunity to make their own pizza as well. An area was set aside and children split into groups to get some pizza making lessons. They could choose whatever toppings they wanted, and then the pizza was taken away and cooked for them.
Then Santa made an ‘explosive’ entrance….
After wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas he got some of the children up on stage, just to check that they’d been good.
He then dug deep into his bag and pulled out Christmas gifts for everyone. To be fair, he’d received a little note from the orphanage parents that the kids all needed new slippers, and also that some much needed toiletries wouldn’t go amiss.
On our last trip to Ukraine we met with a lovely couple, Sergei and Nadia, who had just opened up their home to four orphaned brothers. This was their first proper Dnipro Kids event and they were so thankful. They took the stage to thank Natasha, Irina and Dnipro Kids for offering to help them on their new venture, and to thank all the other families for their help and support. I’m sure the Shevchenko family orphanage will feature in future updates, as we get to know brothers Sasha, Kiril, Danil and little Vova a little bit better in the coming year.
Natasha and Irina tell us that the event was a great success, and enjoyed by both children and adults. And even at the very end there was still time for one more nice surprise .. with everyone getting a tasty piece of cake!
The third Christmas event this year was a trip to the pantomime on the 2nd of January. It was at one of the best theatres in Dnipro and had some great reviews, so the kids were pretty excited about it.
Everybody met in the foyer of the theatre, and were entertained by some of the actors who’d dressed up for some pre-show entertainment.
They were then invited to take their seats ready for the main show, which was about two children that were turned into snowmen.
In a race against time they had to get to the sun and tell him to stay out of sight, so that they never melted.
During their quest though, they came across lots of woodland animals that were starting to get very cold because the sun was late in coming out.
Thankfully the Snow Queen was on hand to turn the children back again, so the sun could come out and warm everybody up.
It was a really good show, and the kids really enjoyed it. And, afterwards, Dnipro Kids workers Natasha and Irina handed out sweets for everyone.
All the kids and the orphanage parents said a huge thank you to the girls, and to Dnipro Kids, for organising such amazing Christmas events.
Please Support Our Work
If you’d like to contribute towards our fundraising efforts, you can fine donation details here.
And don’t forget our Just Giving page for the spring trip to the water park!