Charity Dinner (by organiser Babs MacDonald)
This year our Charity Dinner, our fifth one (and fourth to be held at Easter Road) was held on the 26 March 2013. This event was to be my last dinner as fundraising manager, although not the last one for the charity, with new work and home commitments requiring me to finally step down from my committee duties. This made it a very emotional one for me personally, after being involved with Dnipro Appeal since the start almost 8 years ago.
The night was well supported and attended from local businesses, Hibernian Football Club, Child Sponsors, the Ukrainian community in Edinburgh, and even a local Hockey team. It was nice to see so many, new faces and old, that continue to attend the event and show their financial support.
The evening was hosted by charity patron Grant Stott, who once again did an amazing job as both host and auctioneer (with the occasional “stand-up” routine in between. The guest speaker, Chic Young, entertained us all with his very humorous stories from the world of football and radio . More importantly, we managed to raise an amazing amount of cash on the night from the auctions and raffle with a final total of £4500! The evenings event was completed with a fantastic bit of live entertainment performed by local singing duet ” Next Best Thing”.
Even though I will no longer be involved in the committee activities, I really hope that everyone will continue to support this great charity. I’d also like to add that from my personal experience, and trip to the orphanages last year, there is no greater feeling than seeing the benefits of the work that has been done over the years.
Thank you all for your support.
Yours, Babs MacDonald,
Dnipro Appeal Committee.
I was able to make a trip to Ukraine in February to see how things were progressing. As mentioned on previous updates there have been a lot of changes in the administration so it was an opportunity to start meeting with the “Foster” parents that are starting to take the orphanage kids. It is going to be a huge summer of change for the kids, and the charity, so they will need the help and support of Dnipro Kids more than ever.
As well as visiting the orphanages, that will remain open, we also organised a day out at one of the local skating rinks, in order to meet up and chat with the “Foster” parents (whilst the kids were away enjoying themselves). We were warmly welcomed wherever we went and it was especially pleasing to meet up with the new parents that will be trying to provide a better “home” environment for our orphans.
With all the changes that are going on, this is likely to become the main orphanage in the city. Some of the older Odinkovka kids have already been moved here so the February trip provided the opportunity to visit this orphanage and meet with them, and the director.
The orphanage itself is slightly larger than Odinkovka and also seems to have more facilities and activities. For example, there is a nice gym area, a wood-working room and a kitchen for teaching cooking. The staff also seemed to be keen to teach the children in these skills.
The meeting with the director went well and I think that it will be possible to strike up the same relationship that we had with the Odinkovka orphanage.
Tabachnaya Skating Trip
Two skating days were organised during the February visit and the first one was an opportunity to see how the Tabachnaya kids were doing. The skating rink that was chosen was in the “Karavan” Centre on the opposite side of the Dneper river. The kids had never been to this centre before so it was a new experience for everyone.
The kids arrived quite excited and were soon darting around and exploring the shops in their new surroundings.
It wasn’t long before tickets were bought and the kids were out on the ice. The kids love to go skating, although they normally fall into two main groups. One group, usually the boys, fly around the rink at frightening speed whilst the other group tend to “hug” the sides. The first group but the fear of death into Ira, as she prepares for injuries and medical treatment. Thankfully though, the skating passed without incident.
And after the skating it was pizza time!
There were also 9 kids from the orphanage with spring birthdays so birthday gifts had been organised for them all.
Dima Choorsin, Sergei Palonyi, Artyom Borzyenko, Pavel Kanaryov, Leonid Volyanski had all asked for a new pair of trainers.
Leonid being a bit more specific with his request and getting poor old Ira running around for a pair of Nike Airmax. Zhenya Dolgey asked for a pair of special football boots. Last year Zhenya also asked for football boots and used them regularly playing football, until they were worn out. He was very happy to get boots again this year!
Vlad Samosudov got a new pair of trainers, as well as a remote car. All the boys under Dnipro Kids sponsorship have received remote cars, which they love playing with in the orphanage halls and corridors, except little Vladik who has only been in the orphanage for about 2 years. Actually, he had NO TOYS at all when he lived with his father so it was nice to see his face light up.
Alexandra Rahimova also asked for a pair trainers, although it was the only pair that had pink in them!
Katya Mamiko received some nice silver earrings. Katya will be leaving the orphanage this year so it was nice timing to receive a long lasting gift. Katya said that whenever she looks at herself in the mirror the earrings will remind her of Dnipro Kids.
Foster Homes Skating Trip
For this skating trip we had invited the three “foster” home parents that Ira has so far managed to make contact with, since the government decision to break up the orphanages. I had already met with the amazing Yuri and Ludmila from Hasanskaya on a previous trip and it was really nice to see them again. I was meeting foster parents of 4 children, Yana and Slava, for the first time, as well as foster mother of 6 kids Svetlana.
Firstly we had to get 20 excited kids on the ice, in order to give the parents an opportunity to relax and chat. This was managed post-haste by Ira in her usual military fashion.
Speaking with the foster parents it seemed that they were impressed with the Dnipro Kids set-up and would like to be involved with the sponsorship scheme. They could see, even from this small skating trip, the benefits for the children and were excited about the thought of summer trips out of the city for the kids.
There were also birthdays to celebrate on this trips as well.
Lena Kotova and Tonya Tarasova had asked for a nice soft bed cover for their new beds at the Hasanskaya home.
Yura and Timur Pashkovskyi received a remote control cars. After receiving his gift little Timur walked up to Ira and asked to whisper in her ear, and said “You know, Ira, you gave such a COOL car to me, thank you”. Foster parents Yuri and Ludmila were taken aback at how such a little boy could express such gratitude to someone he’d only met a handful of times.
Masha Pashkovskaya got a nice big soft teddy, which she had been dreaming about for some time.
Hasanskaya Foster Home
Trips to Ukraine can be quite difficult as we try to fit in so much in so little time. This can result in things getting missed, and this was the case during the foster home trip to the skating rink. Unfortunately I’d forgotten to bring the sponsors gift that had been handed to me for Tonya Tarasova. I wanted to rectify my mistake as soon as possible, so the day after the skating trip I travelled with Ira to visit the home of Yuri and Ludmila on the outskirts of the city.
They were also quite keen to show us the improvements that had been carried out since the last visit, as well as the building work currently being done to create play areas and more space for the kids.
Following the quick tour of the renovation work we headed into the living room for a musical master class from the kids. Tanya Kotova is learning to play the violin and did very well considering the short time she has been learning. The highlight for me though came when little 8 year old Yura Pashkovski picked up an accordion, that was almost as big as he was, and started playing it as if he’d been playing it for years. It was an amazing performance that showed a real passion for music, and obviously a lot of practice.
The major revamp of the dniprokids.com website is complete. It now provides a better site for catching up with previous updates and major improvements to the Gallery section.
Child Sponsorship Update
It is proving to be a very difficult time for us with regards to the regular updates that you have been used to in the past. A lot of the children are being moved from orphanage to orphanage to foster home and it is difficult to carry out as many updates with children moving around so much. It is hoped that most of the upheaval should be completed by the end of the summer and there will be a full review of individual sponsorships and a full update on events. Please bear with us on this, but please know that all the sponsored kids are still receiving the same level of assistance and will of course be included in all of our planned summer activities.
And if you are not already a Child Sponsor, and you have the means to do so, I would urge you to consider direct sponsorship of one of the children that we support in Dnipropetrovsk. Your monthly contributions will assist in providing birthday, Christmas and summer trips for these kids as well as helping to support the many other
projects that we fund for the children.
As you can see from the previous story, you have the ability to follow the fortunes of your sponsored child, with regular updates and photos.
Yours, Steven Carr,
Dnipro Appeal Committee.