Dnipro Kids Update – May 2022


This is the first update since the escalation of Russian aggression in Ukraine. There has been so much that has happened since the last update it will be impossible for me to comprehensively get everything into this update, so there will be many parts of it that are just a short summary.Hopefully many of you will have been following what has been happening in the media, and are up to date with where things are at the moment. Monthly SponsorshipFirstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the new sponsors. It is thanks to the support from out monthly sponsors that the charity has been able to support children over the last 17 years.  YES, 17 years!! What an achievement, and you are all playing your part!If anyone has had any issues setting up their monthly direct debit, please get in touch and we will get it resolved.Upcoming EventsI don’t normally do an upcoming events, but things have changed substantially and it is no longer something that is likely to be months away but days away!Such is the situation now, where the Dnipro Kids charity is now involved in the lives of the children of Dnipro on a daily basis!This weekend the children will be attending the Hibs v St Johnstone football match. Now this might just seem like another excursion for the children to many people .. but Hibernian Football Club is where our story began, and to be able to host the children that the fans of Hibernian have supported for many years is a huge event for many Hibs supporters, and I expect it to be quite an emotional day.I’m sure that the children will get a warm welcome from the supporters, and as part of that welcome the Football Club are allowing Under 13’s free tickets for the game (with every paying adult).It’s not too late to purchase tickets, and the details are in this link.https://www.hibernianfc.co.uk/article/preview-st-johnstone-hIf you are not able to attend be sure to set your TV boxes to record ITV’s This Morning show on Monday morning at 10am for an update on how the day went.The Evacuation(written by Steven Carr)I’ll keep this brief, because I’m sure everyone is familiar with what happened back in March.After regular contact with the orphanage mothers, following the escalation of Russian aggression, it seemed that there was an appetite to evacuate from Dnipro, but the concerns around the safety of the road from Dnipro to Lviv was preventing them from committing to it. This was very concerning as Russian troops were on the outskirts of Kyiv, Kharkiv and were pushing north from Crimea. It was very possible that the window of opportunity for evacuation might not be open indefinitely.I felt that if there was a way of removing the fear of travelling then we may be able to start the evacuation. To this end I decided to travel to Dnipro and meet with everyone personally to try and allay their fears. Thanks to some amazing people at the Polish charitable foundation, Fundacja Leny Grochowskiej, they were not only able to help provide a bus to head into Ukraine, but also provide temporary accommodation in Poland once we returned.I met up with the bus and its owner, the amazing Jakub, in Katowice in the early hours and we started our journey towards Ukraine. Bear in mind that Jakub was not just putting himself in danger but also his livelihood by taking his bus into Ukraine! Thankfully, the orphanage mothers had made the decision to evacuate when they heard that I was on my way, and were able to get a train (which was an almost impossible task) and head towards Lviv.The bus arrived in Lviv…https://youtu.be/wiOZsCmLbQAAfter getting everyone on board we headed towards the Polish border, and although there was a 6 hour wait we made it through into Poland.However, once on the bus we received word that another 3 orphanage families had boarded the next train and were also on their way to Lviv! I turned to Jakub and told him the situation and whether he would risk going back in again .. he looked at me .. smiled, and said of course he would.So with 6 orphanage groups eventually safe in Poland we started the biggest battle of all, getting the UK government to agree to providing visas to allow the children into the UK!https://youtu.be/X8ipiruJYKIWithout doubt this proved to be the hardest task of the evacuation process, but with some amazing help from some people in very high places we were able to secure visas and head to the UK.Arrival in ScotlandWhilst the visa process was ongoing we had an amazing team of people, headed by committee member Robert Brown, organising emergency accommodation for 60 people in Scotland. A hostel in a beautiful area near the town of Callander was secured, and work started on renovations and bedrooms to ensure that it was ready for the arrival of the children. Amazingly all those involved managed to pull it off, and the hostel was ready for the arrival of the children (with barely hours to spare).https://youtu.be/DOtTlon1ApYThe children spent 3 weeks here before heading through to a more permanent arrangement in Edinburgh.Aviemore ExcursionIn order to help facilitate the daunting task of transferring everything from Callander to Edinburgh we decided to organise a two day excursion through the Cairngorm mountains to Aviemore. It was an early start everyone, in order to allow the removal truck as much time as possible once they’d left.First stop was the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie. A big thank you to the park for giving the children free access to the park. After an overnight stay at Coylumbridge, and a sad goodbye from a special friend, it was on to the Landmark Forest Adventure Park.And again we would like to give a huge thank you to Landmark Forest Adventure Park for providing the children with free entry. And they arrived back to the next part of their journey…Edinburgh.EdinburghIt took a lot of work, and many twists and turns, to get the children from Dnipro to Edinburgh (the home of the Dnipro Kids charity), but they children had finally arrived.Their accommodation was in place, and all that was left was for them to settle in and to start to adjust to life in the city.A lot of work had been carried out in order to get everything looking nice for the family units, and we were hopeful that we had got it right.   Of course we are still providing the thing that the children look forward to the most from Dnipro Kids...excursions!https://youtu.be/uWtmwPW90JIThe excursion above was on The Maid of the Forth to Inchcolm Island. Once again a big thank you to everyone at Maid of the Forth and Historic Scotland for giving the kids a great day out.We were also very lucky to have an invite to TGI Fridays for a meal, and some extra special attention from the staff (in the shadow of Edinburgh’s famous castle).Easter was spent at Edinburgh’s Ukrainian Club. An excellent hub for Ukrainians in Scotland, run by some very special people.And thanks to Edinburgh Council, and the fantastic support they have provided, most of the children have now started school.However, this has created a need for our next project requiring funding .. a minibus to get them to school on time!In summary, the children have settled in to their accommodation and seem very happy with life in Edinburgh.And with a throw back to this video from 2016 .. where you can see some of the kids from the photos above, and how they’ve grown in the last 6 years ..https://youtu.be/giVDpKb-yAMThey now have access to as much Irn Bru as they want!

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If you don’t make a monthly donation but would still like to contribute towards our fundraising efforts, please use one of the links at the bottom of this email to make an online donation.Many thanks.Steven Carr.