Last year a new opportunity arose while visiting Froonza, Crimea. We have a massage therapy clinic there for children with disabilities. It operates in the Center for the Elderly and is located in the kindergarten building in the village. The director of the kindergarten met with Sveta and me, asking if MUCH could sponsor a speech therapist for the kindergarten children. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrAVJQW4k9w&feature=c4-overview&list=UU7wsKHT3uX4x-VzXgDH8gUw[/youtube] There is a young woman with a heart to help these children, but she needs to return to university to get her masters degree in Speech Therapy. She is currently an English teacher by University diploma. This story is in our March 2013 Newsletter.
“Last year, when Mark and I went to the village of Froonza, to visit our massage therapy program, we met with the director of the kindergarten because she asked for our help. The problem is that the kindergarten does not have a speech therapist. The government authorities do not provide money in the yearly budget for a speech therapist at this kindergarten. In the kindergarten, there are 104 children: in each of the four groups of 26 children, 25% of the children have a problem with the spoken language. The administration of the kindergarten has a great desire to have a speech therapy program for the children.”
“There is a young woman who lives in Froonza who wants to work with children as a speech therapist. Angelina is already working in this kindergarten as a teacher and in addition she gives private English lessons at home. Angelina is a beautiful young woman, the daughter of the MUCH manager in the village of Froonza. She grew up in a big wonderful Christian family where there is much love. This family has five children and eight foster children. See Fourteen Days with Thirteen Children. Angelina has a teacher’s degree and will begin studying speech therapy in the graduate program at the university in September 2013. Her heart burns for the children and she has already started the independent study portion of the program.”
The rule in Ukraine about receiving government help is that you must be registered in day classes in the regular semester system. Graduate studies do not operate that way. The cost of her Angelina’s tuition is $380 per semester. That is less than we are paying for our Transportation Scholarship Program in Illichevsk. My desire is to offer her a scholarship.
Why is this important? Early intervention is the key to change speech problems that challenge children early in life. The bigger problem in the village is that the medical and therapeutic treatments are minimal. I believe the reason is that the village governments don’t have funding.
This kindergarten needs a speech therapist. Without that support, the optimal time for improving the children’s speech will pass, and their opportunity will be denied. For $80 a month, you can educate a teacher to help the children of the Froonza kindergarten improve their speech.