Reply to comment
It is always our pleasure to listen to our volunteers' stories about their time spent in the orphanages. Every summer they have something new in store and always they are lovely memories.
Rosaleen Byrne shared her ones about July 2015 trip to Gorodische children's orphanage:
"I have just returned from a wonderful 3 week trip to Gorodishche orphanage. It’s such a privilege to be able to visit these beautiful children and young adults who welcome us with open arms.
Over the 3 weeks we took part in a variety of activities and trips.
We walked to the local library with “group 6” children, hand in hand enjoying the company and smiling faces – language is no barrier. Two of our children Andrei and Natasha read for us in the library. Afterwards we had ice cream and chilled out in the grounds of the local school. On our return home we walked past the church and graveyard we, the volunteers, were struck by the respect and reverence shown by the children.
We also made 2 separate trips to Baranovichi taking groups of 20 children/young adults 1st group made up from Group 1,5 & 6. The second group from 2,6,7 and independent living. Most of the second group all have jobs and work hard, rarely getting a day off to be treated.
We visited the fun fair & arcade followed by lunch and then ice cream in the park, lots of fun and happy faces all round.
During our stay we bought yogurts and we gave these out daily to groups of children. Yogurt is always a very welcome tasty and nutritious treat loved by all.
We were lucky to be able to join in the celebrations for “Ivans Day” which consisted of games, dancing and the older girls making floral head pieces with some help. Fortunately we had lovely weather for this and were able to take lots of children outside to the football pitch area for fun and excitement.
Other activities we organized were discos both indoor and out door depending on weather, face painting and simple ball games. Everyone who had a birthday during our stay had it marked and celebrated with their friends. We volunteers just love the tradition of birthday wishes and the honesty with which they express them. We also helped feed the children in group 3.
Of course I can’t forget to tell you about our evening football with the big boys who generally work all day. This was always looked forward to by them and some times the volunteers!! I can only speak for myself and say I have no football skills so quite often resorted to some very unsporting behavior! But all in all great fun was had and it was followed by bread and jam and juice! If weather did not permit us to play football, we would visit the boys in their group- playing cards, colouring, dancing/ listening to music and just hanging out, they just love company. Sometimes it’s enough to sit and hold a hand or listen to someone chat even if you understand very little.
In between the above activities we worked in groups with children less mobile and or confined to beds & cots. Getting them out to the nearby room or even outside going for walks massaging those little limbs, or just sitting blow some bubbles (always a big hit!)
The one striking thing about these children is they are almost always smiling even if their day is spent in bed or restrained in a wheelchair as is often the case. In one group quite a number have to crawl along the floor to get from A to B still smiling. If they can find something to smile about why can’t we!
Thank you to Burren Chernobyl Project, Dobra Tut and especially Irina and Tamara for their endless patience and support. Also a big thank you to our families, friends and community without their support we could not travel and help the children."
And we in our turn thank all the volunteers of this group for coming back to our children to make a difference and lovely memories!