April 2, 2023

Preparing orphans for independent living

Eleven high school students, aged 14-16, from the Berezhany Lyceum and the Ternopil Orphanage spent the week long spring vacation experiencing ordinary life away from an institution.

Thanks to its benefactors, Orphans’ Future Foundation is able to prepare children from the institutions for the realities of independent life.

The "Holiday of Opportunities" program allowed each student to try to develop social experiences like communicating with people they do not know or ordering in a restaurant.

The vacation mixed education with leisure.

Each morning, the 4 grade-11 boys did Maths revision with a volunteer from the UK. We thank him for supporting these children who write their final exams in May and June.

Participating in "Point of reference - I", a session run by psychologist Olena Tiunova, guided children in understanding and accepting themselves and their emotions, as well as learning self-control.

The boys were divided into three teams, each with 3 or 4 students. Each team were allocated a day to cook breakfast and dinner for all the students and adults present. Each team had to plan a menu for their meals, work out the ingredients they would need, and then shop for the ingredients within a budget of 500 UAH per day. The students cooked, cleaned and served all the meals under the guidance of Volodia Yavorskyi.

Thank you to our friends from Hope Church of Dubueqe (USA ) for funding this wonderful opportunity to teach the children important skills they will need in real life.

Lunch was provided by a number of partner institutions around the city that have consistently supported us with the socialization of these students. Thank you to "Churchill", "Avtoport", "Khutir", and "Bratislava". For lunch one day, the students first helped volunteers make Verenikee for soldiers on the front line in Bunker C , before a lunch of Verenikee themselves.

Courtesy of Tetyana Chubak's "Podolyany" charitable foundation, the students spent an afternoon playing bowling and billiards, and courtesty of the "Alligator" complex, they also spend 3 hours at the water park, swimming and sliding down the different water slides. The children had a huge amount of fun in each place.

Olya from the "DIVOTVORCHYKY" studio provided the students with an afternoon painting session where she taught them how to paint a bicycle with a basket of flowers. The results were varied with different levels of skill but all the children enjoyed the event. We hope that the pictures will be purchased by benefactors at one of our auctions, helping us to continue our support of these children. A big thank you to Olya for the class especially her patience and encouragement.

Some students visited the Ternopil National Drama Theater where they were taken on a backstage tour to see behind the scenes. In addition, they were taken around the Ternopil National Education University named after Volodymyr Hnatyuk, an event that was organized by the local student centre. The children learned about the admission criteria, course options and infrastructure. The purpose of the event was to encourage the children to think about the possibility of further education: many do not consider it an option for themselves even though they have the ability.

Time was allocated each day for the children to get to know the city of Ternopil, going on walks and visiting sites like parks. The children love the freedom of being able to walk around the city.

During the week, we started work in the greenhouse. Each child prepared an area of soil, turning it over, removing weeks and roots, and then raking out stones. Lettuces seeds were then planted that we expect to sprout in 10-12 days.

In was an incredibly busy week with flew by. The children did not want to leave and the director gave them permission to stay an extra day. The team of the "Future of Orphans" foundation is grateful to the Berezhany Lyceum and the Ternopil Home for children for their support and cooperation in the charity’s socialization of pupils. We hope that such visits will continue allowing the children to experience a taste of family life and participate in activities that other children take for granted like shopping with their parents or cooking a meal.

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