On a warm Saturday, September 27th, 2014, twenty-nine orphan graduates, ranging in age from 16 to 26 yrs, visited the city of Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, to learn about its history, culture and attractions. A tall order for a one day trip, but thanks to the volunteers from the Orphans Care Center (Lviv) an intense excursion program was organized to the city regarded as the main cultural center of today's Ukraine. The historical heart of Lviv with its old buildings and cobblestone streets has survived Soviet and Nazi occupation during World War II largely unscathed. The city now has many industries, as well as educational and cultural institutions and its historic center is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
After arriving from Ternopil by bus, the Lviv excursion for the orphan youth was made more interesting by undertaking to experience the city by a bike tour to the different venues. The first challenge was to bike it up to the High Castle, the highest point of the city. The castle which dates back to 1360 is now in ruins but afforded the orphan graduates a wonderful view of the city as well as plenty of exercise.
The next stop on the bike tour was the open air museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life, " Shevchenko Hai", where our young adventurers got to display their skills at archery as well as to see first hand forged iron in the "Forge Cossack". Also they learnt how Ukrainian Cossack people prepared traditional dishes such as "borsch", (a vegetable soup), and "kulesha", (a type of porridge), on an open fire. Even better, the youth got to taste these old time culinary delights, which they did after a prayer, with great appetite, resulting from all the bike riding.
After viewing other exhibits at the museum our group took a short rest before the ride back to the city center, where they visited the Town Hall as well as an enjoyable visit to The Chocolate Factory, a very popular cafe for tourists.
With the excursion coming to an end, our orphan graduates gratefully received delicious gifts from The Orphans Care Center and made a group photo as a special memory of their wonderful trip to Lviv.
But the trip went all too quickly and our youth are already dreaming about their next visit to the Lion City, to further explore its history and admire its beauty.
On behalf of our orphan graduates, The Orphans' Future organization expresses its sincere thanks to our friends from the Orphans Care Center (Lviv), whose volunteers arranged this excursion and provided a valuable and very enjoyable learning experience for our orphan youth. We now eagerly await the visit of orphans from Lviv to our beautiful city of Ternopil.