Life from a different perspective

Mirjam found an old picture she took 2018. Stuart photographing the children he has helped for many years. The children’s mother “the wood lady” died 2018. The grandmother moved to her grandchildren.

Stuart Holden: Brought up in England he spent his working life in technology eventually as an entrepreneur and successful businessman. This has allowed him now to devoting time to photography and helping others. He has been lucky in life and this is his way of giving something back as he puts it – “Life should not just be about taking!”and helping others. He has been lucky in life and this is his way of giving something back as he puts it

“Life should not just be about taking!”

Right now Stuart is visiting Friends House in Pisky, Ukraine. Read his travel story.

A Good Samaritan does not close his eyes.

Some days make you think. Some days make you sad. Some days make you appreciate how lucky you are. This was one of those days.

If you’re feeling sensitive I suggest you don’t read anymore.

I have been coming to Ukraine for 10 years or so now and thanks to Mirjam, Boas and the team here I have seen a side of Ukraine that not many people are privileged to see, I use the word deliberately.

When I hear people at home talk to me about their problems and what they haven’t got and then I see what I see here maybe you can appreciate why I am a little less than sympathetic. It’s not that I am I unfeeling but sometimes I think people don’t know what bad is!

Today we visited 3 families, only 3, 2 of which were new to me and the other was one I have been helping for many years (wood lady if you have been following my posts over the years).

A visit to a family with 5 children

We visited the first to hand out some winter clothes for the 5 children. They had a cow and some goats and sheep so not destitute but still needy. When we left the mother gave us about 19 litres of milk and a lot of homemade cheese.

The naive idiot that I can be sometimes assumed they were gifts for us. Not so – she wanted to give them to families that were in more need than hers! How does that work?

Mother with handicapped boy

The second family we visited was a mother with a handicapped boy living in appalling conditions (yes even by the rural standards here)

The team were liaising with the social services and local mayor to try and get some essential repairs done to their house.

As always I look to what food is in evidence in the “kitchen” – half an old cabbage and some potatoes.

The wood lady by comparison was doing ok.

So when you’re “moaning” about your lot take a moment to reflect on what life could be like!

What I see in Ukraine is life for a lot of people in this small world of ours which the “haves” are destroying through their own greed and selfishness.

Yes I am emotional – I was very moved by what I saw today!!!!!!!

Stuart Holden, Photographer from England

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