November 2012 Newsletter

Hello family and friends,

The election is over and a new journey begins. Many Americans do not really understand what people in other countries think of them. I have been living in Ukraine for ten years. You cannot imagine how people would love to be in my shoes, an American citizen, the freedom that Americans have, but many take for granted. May we remember on Thanksgiving Day that as a country, we have much to be thankful for. It is because of the greatness of our country that we help those devastated in Hurricane Sandy, meet their needs, and help them rebuild their lives. The world is watching how we treat our own and how we reach out to others in distant lands.

Our 2012 Christmas Fundraiser is in full swing.

The goal of our Christmas Fundraiser is $4,550.

Boy from Baby House gets a massage
Our focus this year is to add one part-time massage therapist and one part-time computer education teacher at the orphanage in Dobromel. How the government works here in Ukraine is somewhat different from in the USA. The government of this emerging country continues to struggle, voting in laws that they do not or cannot enforce, even after 21 years. The government does understand the needs of the children whom we serve, but they are given a low or sometimes non-existent status. We began this massage program in January to prove the positive results to the director of the orphanage. He was amazed with the results. He, in turn, will share this information with the officials in the L’vov government. If we step up to the plate and open the eyes of the officials with documented evidence, they are more likely to help the children.
Please give us the tools to learn.

Computers are available, but there is not a position in the budget for a teacher. Our goal for the computer program is to provide better visual aids for teaching basic educational concepts to the children most in need. Three of the older boys have no verbal communication. The computer will open new doors for them. We visited many of the classes and have video of the children. To move these children forward, wanting to keep pace with this emerging country, we need to use computer technology to utilize the best means of communication for the educational process.

Help us change the lives of our children!

Sveta’s Journey

For six days in October, we visited the children in the orphanage and the transit home in Marganets. We communicated with them every day, and observed their lives. Mark and I have prepared games for the children to have a fun time. However, what I found out for myself is that children’s games are not so important; it is more important to communicate with them, find out their interests, their desires, and their inner world. They asked many questions, the girls were interested in my life with Mark: How did we meet? How did we interact before we married?
D. Miss Blue Eyes, chats with Mark
They very attentively watched our relationship. D. said, “I would like to find that same kind of husband as Mark for myself.” I think that Mark and I will be a small example for these children of a friendly and happy family, an example of the correct, healthy relationship between husband and wife. I rejoice when I see a positive impact on children. Boys and girls are looking forward to our visits, and with great pleasure spending time communicating with Mark. I see that for them it is very important, and the time of our visit left memories in their hearts. The time of sowing good seeds in the child’s life, which then germinate, will certainly be fruitful.
D. wants to be a hairdresser and a chef. I see that she is a girl with purpose. D. is doing it! She has no parents, she is an orphan, but she has a goal in life and it is wonderful! Mark remembers D. as a little girl and she also remembers him. During this visit, they both remembered their past meetings.

Pedal-powered sewing machine
In the sewing-class, there is just one old foot-powered sewing machine. Of course, there is not time for every girl to learn to work on the sewing machine. Most of the lessons are studying the theory of cutting and sewing.

Hand crafted work of the children

It is too bad that children cannot have practice. Girls also learn to do handmade embroidery, making pictures, pillows, and cross-stitch. We have seen their work – they make very beautiful products. For children with developmental intellectual disabilities there must be an emphasis on teaching practical skills that will help them to live and establish themselves in society.

Click on YouTube in text to see performance
In the Marganets Orphanages, there are teachers who help many children who have talent, develop their gifts. Beautiful Julia has a wonderful voice. Last year, she took part in the competition between children from other orphanages. She was awarded the first place trophy and her song was put on YouTube. Her dream is to study at the School of Arts. It is wonderful that, while living at the orphanage, this girl has found a dream and a vision for her life.

When it came time to leave, and we said goodbye to the children, they did not want to let us go. We also were very sad to leave them. They said that they love us and cannot wait for our return. We told them that the most important thing to us is that they grow up and become good people. Of course, we also love them very much and will miss them!

Living my dream,
Sveta

MUCH has invested deeply in the lives of the children in Marganets during the past ten years. You have read some of the results of our work above. This Christmas Season, will you help us promote similar compassionate programs in Dobromel? You can make a donation today, online or through the post office. Please help us meet our goal of $4,550 by Christmas!

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta