Dnipro Kids Update – May 2017

We have quite a few stories from the orphanages in this update, which will hopefully show the varied level of support that your donations help to fund. Although a couple of months have passed since the last sponsors update I think that this one shows there is ongoing support all year round for the orphanages, and the children, which your generous donations help to support.

Join Us On The Committee – Volunteer request

Unfortunately, we have had a couple of valued committee members move on over the last couple of years, so we are looking to add to our committee with one or two new volunteers who are able to assist with the running of the charity.

If you think you are in a position to assist with the work we do, and can spare some of your free time to help out, then we are keen to hear from you. Simply drop us an email and we’d be happy to chat to you about what would be involved.

Now, lets have a look at some of the activities we have funded over the last couple of months…

Orphanage visits

The first place visited on the Spring trip, with committee members Carol and Duncan, was the Igren orphanage. Orphanage visits are an ideal way for committee members to see first hand how the kids were getting on, and to assess the improvements made since the previous visit.

You may recall that the Igren orphanage welcomed two more girls to their family last year, and a spacious balcony was converted into a very comfortable bedroom to help accommodate them.


You may recall that the Igren orphanage welcomed two more girls to their family last year and a spacious balcony was converted into a very comfortable bedroom to accommodate them. We’re happy to report that the girls have well and truly settled in and the kids are all extremely happy. We’re used to meeting children who are recent additions to the orphanage families but on this occasion the new Igren family members were somewhat furrier – two gorgeous kittens.
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The family welcomed our committee members with a wonderful lunch and, despite the drizzly weather, the orphanage parents were determined to get the barbecue fired up.

Igren bbq

Bowling Trip for Orphanages

After the visit to the Igren orphanage Duncan and Carol had to rush back into town and help prepare things for an evening of bowling for the orphanages.

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Some of the younger kids opted out of the bowling in favour of the amusement arcade next door.

arcade fun
arcade car

Orphanage Trip to Kharkiv

A year ago, we took the Dnipro Kids on an amazing trip to Kharkiv where they got the stay in a luxurious four star hotel and spend a day and a half in the city’s Jungle Waterpark.

The children had so much fun there that they were desperate for a repeat visit, so this spring saw us return to Kharkiv to hit the waterslides once again.

We had an early start and a three and a half hour coach journey north to Kharkiv. It was finally time to make our return to the Jungle. Dnipro Kids now works with seven orphanages so we need two coaches to get us to our destination on trips like this. The plus side for the kids though is that they get a bit more room to spread out and relax during the journeys.
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The kids could hardly contain their excitement when we arrived at the Jungle and quickly scoffed their lunch before getting in the pool.
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For the youngest kids there was a kiddie’s pool with its own waterslide and mini waterfalls.
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The older kids enjoyed diving, a wave machine, river rapids, a Jacuzzi and some scarily fun slides.
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In the evening we treated the orphanage parents to some refreshments and took the opportunity to officially welcome our newest orphanage parents, the Denisenkos, to the Dnipro Kids ‘family’.
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The new parents commented how grateful they were for Dnipro Kids’ support and said the help and advice from the other orphanage parents they had befriended through Dnipro Kids was invaluable to them.

The following day the kids were able to spend the morning in the water again. The water slides and wave machine were off limits at this point but that meant the kids could focus their efforts on nailing their diving techniques.

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In the afternoon, we had to dry off and depart the Jungle. But, before heading back to Dnipro, we stopped off at the ‘Stargorod’ (old city) restaurant for a bite to eat…
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Even a visit to the ‘beer barrel’ toilets turned out to be quite exciting for the kids!
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Our next port of call was to the Feldman Ecopark in Kharkiv. This visit was a bit of a worry in the morning, as it was raining heavily and there was a worry we’d have to miss out. However, a welcome weather change late morning meant that by the time we arrived it was dry and sunny.
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This landscape park is a charity project with the goal of educating a mentally and physically healthy generation, and is home to more than 2,000 animals of 200 species and a petting zoo.
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As you can imagine, and as much as the orphanage parents might have enjoyed the trip, it’s not an easy task trying to keep an eye on 10 children in a water park, or watching them run off in different directions at a wildlife park. So before hopping on the coaches again to complete our journey back to Dnipro, and as a little treat at the end of the trip, Dnipro Kids gifted the orphanage parents shopping vouchers as a ‘thank you’ for their hard work over the two days.
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And there was a pleasant surprise as the orphanage parents returned the favour with gifts for the committee members that had helped organise events.
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Invitation to visit ATO Museum (Anti-Terrorist Operations)

Prior to our visit to Dnipro the committee members had received an invitation to meet with ATO volunteers and volunteers from the River Of Life charity. The River of Life organisation, as some of you may remember, were heavily involved with last year’s Children of War project that saw 20 Ukrainian children (affected by the current situation) travel to Edinburgh for a 2 week holiday.

We were invited to meet at the newly opened ATO Museum, which chronicles the country’s ongoing resistance against Russian armed forces.
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It is fitting that the museum is based in Dnipro as the Dnipro region has provided more troops, and suffered greater losses, than any other Ukrainian region.

After meeting with our hosts we were given a hugely informative, and very emotional, tour of the museum. One particularly emotional room displays photos and details of all the Ukrainian soldiers who have lost their lives in the war. It is truly shocking to see the amount of lives lost during this conflict.
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While another wall showcases children’s drawings depicting their hopes for peace.
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Ukraine’s Channel 9 News reported on our visit, with Dnipro Kids chairman Stevie Carr discussing the work Dnipro Kids has undertaken recently with the River Of Life charity to help war-impacted children.
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Spring Birthday Trip

There is no doubt that the visit to the museum had an emotional impact on everyone that visited, we were quite thankful that the mood was lightened in the evening. It was time for the Spring Birthday Trip, and a trip to a play centre had been organised.
The Spring trip would normally have been done by now but the orphanage parents, and the kids, had asked for it to be delayed so that the committee members could join them.

Upon arrival it was clear that this was an excellent venue for the birthday party. There were so many things to do, and suited for all ages, that it was clearly going to be a task to get the kids out at the end of the party.

After getting ourselves settled into a quiet area in the cafe, the kids were let loose – and they were like a bullet out of a gun into the play area! With a climbing area, trampoline section, slides into a ball pit, air hockey, basketball, climbing frames and an amusement arcade there certainly wasn’t a lack of things for them to do.
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The kids also tucked into some pizza…We briefly managed to round them all back together for some pizza, but they didn’t hang around for long.

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Just before the end of the birthday trip we gathered the kids again, to give them each a birthday present. Dasha, Masha and Nadya got nice backpacks, with a little surprise of girly accessories inside.

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Kiril, Artur and Vika received suitcases with wheels. It might seem like a strange request for a birthday present, but when orphanage children are travelling on excursions and trips they usually have to carry their own bags. To have their own personal little suitcase with wheels is something that they got quite excited about.

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Timur, Yura and Vladimir got Lego sets. The boys really love making the sets up, and have many boxes of Lego parts at in their home.

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With the party finished, and committee members leaving the next day, it was time to say our emotional goodbyes.


River of Life Event

Dnipro Kids has decided to continue with its support of the River of Life organisation, and the families in Dnipro affected by the war. As part of this continued support an event was organised during the last committee visit to the city. As the bowling trips had proven to be very popular with the orphanage kids we decided to do the same for River of Life families.

Some of the children that attended were ones that had been on the Children of War trip last year, so it was nice to meet up with them once again.

River of Life
River Of Life bowling
bowling River of Life

The mothers and the kids really enjoyed the bowling.

RoL bowling
bowling RoL

After the bowling we had some pizza, and some nice desserts, organised for everyone.

River of Life pizza

The event was a great success and the mothers wanted to say a huge thank you to Dnipro Kids. One of the mothers said that these events were really appreciated, but that also just knowing that there were people so far away thinking of them was a huge lift to their spirits. We certainly hope that we will be able to do more for these families in the future.

River of Life group

Please Support Our Work

If you don’t make a monthly donation but would still like to contribute towards our fundraising efforts, you can make an online donation here.

Many thanks.

Steven Carr.

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