On September 4th, 2015 fifteen former pupils from Ternopil area orphanages felt the real atmosphere of team spirit and mutual support, taking part in a two-hour rafting expedition on the Ternopil Lake and a picnic on the shores afterward.
Rafting on the Ternopil Lake was initiated by the graduates and thanks to support from Ternopil charity fund "Warm Hearts" which donated the rent of water pontoons and other items for the event. These items were purchased as part of a large social project which aimed to provide outdoor activities for disadvantaged children. Such activities bring a lot of positive emotions and unforgettable memories. The funds for this project were collected through Ukraianian Philanthropic Marketplace – a partner of Orphans' Future.
The weather on that day was not promising, being overcast, resulting in many graduates who had registered to participate for rafting, changing their plans. Only hardy and determined graduates, who weren't afraid of rain, came to the event place - Ternopil Lake. Each participant contributed considerable energy to the process of preparing the rafting catamarans, pumping, securing seats and putting catamarans on the water. At the beginning of the rafting, participants were not focused and had to put a lot of effort to hear the team instructor explain how to overcome difficulties. Therefore, in the first half hour, orphan graduates found catamaran control to be a very challenging task, with catamarans seeming to have minds of their own as they glided about in random directions and there was evident chaos if not panic from the orphans who were trying to steer them. However, over time, the participants gradually took themselves in hands and learnt the art of rowing and guiding rafting catamarans and overcame 2kms of choppy water on Ternopil Lake with a wonderful mood and sense of accomplishment. Graduates realized that only by working as a team can they overcome obstacles and difficulties. A bit like travelling through the storms of life. We sometimes need a little help from our friends.
At the end of the rafting, which ended at the beach, young boys and girls prepared a picnic. Some have collected fuel for the fire, others were preparing sausages for cooking and baguettes to create their own custom made hot dogs. Even the light rain that occasionally interrupted proceedings did not dampen the spirits of our intrepid band of adventurers and a very enjoyable day ended with friendly conversation about summer vacation and plans for the new school year and the next stage of their lives.
On behalf of the Orphans' Future, the graduates of orphanages are grateful to Ukrainian Philantoropic Platform ubb.org.ua and instructors from Warm Hearts Foundation for such wonderful recreational opportunity before starting a new school year. All orphan participants will keep tremendous memories of their rafting achievements and of the camaraderie of overcoming a challenge together.
Every year, the Orphans' Future team of volunteers organizes recreational activities for orphans and boarding school graduates of Ternopil region. So we are asking kind people to continue to support the activities of volunteer organization Orphans' Future, so every child deprived of family care could feel the support of their community and the country of Ukraine.
More information on the activities of the team of Orphans' Future volunteers can be found on the Foundation's website or call: 0975530820