Ukraine Re-visited

Chestnut and lilac blossoms welcomed us for our second visit to Ukraine. This time we were a group of four; we met old acquaintances and new friends and godchildren.

We were happy to bring a gift from our friends in ”MaPa Projects”, to meet a child’s acute need. Social welfare worker Tanya took us to 5-year-old Ruslan and his mother. We climbed to the third floor in a block of flats where ten families share a kitchen and the sanitary facilities. Ruslan has to be carried in the stairs and pushed in a pram outdoors. He needs an urgent hip replacement in order to learn to walk. Tanya had already taken him to medical examinations and found a good surgeon, but the necessary 10,000 grivna was still missing. The ”MaPa” gift covers the sum and ensures Ruslan a proper titanium implant. Ruslan’s doctor had prescribed vitamins, which we had also brought, a gift from our local pharmacy.


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The happy highlight of our evening was dinner in the beautiful home of our godchild Sveta.

Saturday morning took us to the fruit market and then to Friend’s House and to families who can never afford fruits. Mirjam and Viktor asked the bigger children whether they would like to go to the summer camp on the Carpathians. They sure would, and they can hardly wait! We saw interesting domestic animals from goats to turkeys, and some creative outdoor shower constructions.

We visited a mother and her six children whom we had met on our previous visit. The municipality has given them a “new” house on the condition that they renovate it – no small project! The first priority is to have all the documents in order.

On our way back to Kyiv, Mirjam mentioned the need to start a Finnish Children’s Embassy. A week later, she and Boas together with Richard from our neighbouring municipality visited us, and the five of us are now the proud founder members of Lasten lähetystö. A small bud – who knows what the blossom will look like?

Oili and Hannu Räsänen, Kerava


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