It’s difficult to build a dream, but...

It’s difficult to build a dream, but...


We have repeatedly told you about the important processes taking place at the Vilshany Children’s Orphanage, which were made possible through the implementation of the project "Improving the Protection of Children in Emergencies in Ukraine by Providing Safe Shelters, Food and Non-Food Items, and Psychosocial Support" by the Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya. Key repairs in the additional buildings of the institution have already been completed, and the facility was visited for the first time by the orphanage’s wards – young people with disabilities who can potentially use the transitional accommodation service as a form of support for their comprehensive development and integration into the community.

"Initially, it was a dream that, despite all the circumstances, began to come true – both at the level of our planning, studying the issue, researching foreign experience and our own capacity, and at the level of changes in the state to develop new standards for social services. It took more than a few years from the idea to its implementation in the design and estimate documentation. During this time, we drew and sketched, consulted, interacted with relevant government agencies, looked for premises and funds for the development of the institution. In 2023, our developments were continued in a project supported by the Terre des hommes organization and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. For further work, we enlisted the support of friends from the Parasolka Association (Switzerland) and other foreign partners. But now it is very important for us to hear the opinions of the main target audience – the wards of the orphanage", said Nataliya Kabatsiy, director of the CO "CF "CAMZ".

Thus, seven residents of the Vilshany Children’s Orphanage were invited to a meeting with Nataliya Kabatsiy and Nadiya Danch, members of the Committee, to learn more about the idea of transitional supported living, the vision of its implementation in Vilshany, and their new opportunities as potential recipients of the new social service.

"We have built walls, but we want to make them cozy and fill them with life with your help. The new buildings will become a platform for developing your independence, responsibility, and ability to plan your life, but we will not leave you alone with these important tasks. Your tutors will always be with you, you will continue your classes in the workshops, leisure time with friends... We know how important this is for you, but we also know that you are capable of more, if only create the right conditions for your development", said Nadiya Danch.

The conversation with the young people continued and showed that they have both an understanding and a vision of their life, leisure and employment in the new improved conditions. Nadiya Danch said that further work on furnishing and decorating the house would be coordinated with the future residents. And they already had a lot of ideas. For example, Edita Meloyan said she wanted to have blinds on the windows and brown upholstered furniture, for Andriy Dyuhov it was important to have a TV in the house, and they all asked whether there would be Internet access. The participants of the meeting pasted their photos into the plan of the educational social house prepared in advance, choosing rooms to live in, and to confirm our intentions, the attendees received key chains for their own keys. And we already have a photo album, the first photo in which will be a shot from the construction site, which impressed the orphanage’s children. The new territory has a lot of space for outdoor activities, where the young people are already planning joint tea parties. But the biggest impression is, of course, the rooms for living.

"It’s very nice here, but I’m afraid I might damage the white walls with my wheelchair", says Ihor Lakatosh, who uses a wheelchair. Edita and her friend Iboya asked to take a picture of them in the empty room and then take another picture when everything is ready for them to move in.

Anticipating the experiences of some of the children, we are confident in the quality of the work performed and the durability of the materials, furniture and equipment. We are also convinced that long-term work with the wards of the Vilshany Children’s Orphanage is a solid basis for planning their further integration into the community, self-development, and the formation of skills of independence and responsibility. By the way, five of the seven participants of the meeting work in the orphanage’s new workshop – the inclusive cafe-shop "Kosytsia", where they develop their economic and organizational skills, so they will definitely be able to make coffee for themselves and their friends.

When Edita Meloyan inspected the new territory, she said she was impressed by what she saw and summarized that it is difficult to build a dream. But if you turn a dream into an idea, an idea into a plan that you persistently and systematically implement, then over time you can visualize the dream and even touch it.

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