Jessica Tosser via Crowdrise
March 25, 2011
BENEFITING: An Orphan Smiles, Inc.
EVENT DATE: Jul 31, 2011
This project means a lot to me, as I have been volunteering at this orphanage in Tsuripinsk, Ukraine for almost a year. Please read the following to see how this project will change the lives of six people stuck in the orphanage system in Ukraine.
From Bogdan, Orphanage Worker in Kiev -
A group of students from an American university who came last year to Tsurupinsk, really wanted to to bring a group of kids to the US this summer. They had started doing their passports, but then the University refused to take liability and in addition the students didn't raise even half of the money that was needed. The students really meant well but it turned into a really uneasy situation because the kids already know they are going. There is a family in Seattle that adopted 2 kids from the orphanage for physically handicapped children in Tsurupinsk. They are willing to help with the hosting, but I need to come up with the airline tickets, visas, medical insurance etc.
There will be 5 kids going on a trip - 3 kids with physical disabilities and 2 kids from the orphanage for LD kids. The children will be accompanied by the orphanage director. the trip was planned purely as a recreational activity for the kids but now there is much more to it.
1) I want to the orphanage director and the children to see that the two kids who were adopted from their orphanage have not been sold to organs, or slaved, or tortured, but are doing GREAT in America. Unfortunately, a lot of orphanage staff and CHILDREN feel strongly against international adoption because they are convinced that no sane person would want a handicapped child as a family member. They are convinced that Americans only adopt handicapped children to take advantage of them in some way. The orphanage director told me that she wasn't sure if she would give her consent to international adoptions in the future. Hopefully this trip will change her mind and will change the mind of the children.
2) I want the orphanage director to visit some hospitals and schools to see how children with physical handicaps can receive high-quality education and therapy. Unforuntately, Ukrainian orphanages just warehouse the kids and offer practically no therapy or schooling to severely handicapped kids. The orphanage directors are confident that nothing can be done for those kids and they have zero potential. During the summer trip we will try to change her mind. We will also try to get her consent to US doctors and nurses visiting Tsurupinsk in the future to offer some basic training to Tsurupinsk staff. AnOrphanSmiles have done that in the past in another orphanage but Tsurupinsk didn't want to participate.
3) The kids who are going are older. The ones with physical disabilities may end up in nursing homes in a couple of years. I hope this trip will hook them up with some US families who will be willing to support them in the future. I can't say openly that I am hoping for them to get adopted but if that happened I would be really happy. The kids who are coming are AWESOME.
We have $3900 to go. My goal for running this half marathon is $1500-2000 to help with this.