The Blair Drummond trip

Dnipro Kids families returned to Blair Drummond safari park near Stirling to celebrate the second anniversary of their arrival in Scotland after fleeing from the war in their homeland.

The orphanage families left Ukraine after the invasion by Russia and arrived in Scotland in late March 2022, staying first at a holiday hostel near Callendar before coming to Edinburgh in April. It was while they were in Callendar that they first visited Blair Drummond, our first outing in Scotland. We are very grateful to the safari park for the kindness to us over the past two years.

And so near the end of March the whole group returned. The kids had a great time, enjoyed a delicious lunch in a marquee, and saw lots of animals close up including monkeys, lions and tigers, rhino and giraffes. Smaller kids enjoyed riding on the rides, playing on the playground and everyone enjoyed  the seal show at the end. Chairman Steven Carr also spoke with members of the media who turned up to speak with the group, and BBC and STV news carried reports on television. Mums Nadya and Maryna and some of the bravest and smartest kids of the group were the TV stars of the day and spoke in front of the cameras to thank everyone in Scotland for their kindness and hospitality.

On the trip, we asked some of our older kids to take photographs to record the visit for our generous sponsors, and those taken by Vlada Marchuk and Dasha Bielskaya were so good that they won the photography competition and each received a gift card from the charity. Vlada, who is also a world-champion dancer in jive, and Dasha, who is now studying catering at Edinburgh College, showed a real creative gift for photography.

As well as the trip, which was enjoyed very much by all the families, the charity is very busy just now finding new homes for those families remaining in our accommodation provided for the past two years by our amazing friends at Edinburgh College. All good things must come to an end, and it is important to get the families into more permanent family-type housing. Already four families have been housed, two in Edinburgh and two in Perth, and there are at least two more families to go. It’s not so easy when you are dealing with such large families!

Thank you to everyone who supports our work.

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