21 students and 3 leaders visited Friends House in Ukraine. Their goal was to help. WE are very greatful for their help and friendship.
We are Calgary Academy students from Canada who are participating in the International Travel Studies program at our school. We are currently just outside of Kiev, Ukraine, at an organization for children, here to volunteer.
Before coming here to the town of Bobrovytsi, we definitely expected a more urban setting. Another thing that surprised us was the conditions here in which the children live. Even though the exterior of the building looks like it is in need of some T.L.C., as soon as we entered the door, we were all greeted by a sense of welcoming and happiness that was perhaps the most shocking part of all. The atmosphere here is so positive and all of the directors really care about the kids. While our help is definitely both needed and appreciated here, the most important thing we have noticed is the universal sense of family.
On our second day here we continued our work on the building. So far we have begun painting fences, painting the playground, planting trees in the garden, plastering the walls and other household repairs. Unfortunately the weather has kept us from working outside so we are planning on completing our work inside today.
The environment continues to be welcoming and homey. Today was one of the directors’ birthday, and celebrating that was fun. Everyone was welcomed with warm arms and our day began again with coffee, tea, hot pancakes and jam. Speaking of which, their food never disappoints. All the meals have been well prepared and served in generous portions. Even though some of us have dietary needs, we were all accommodated well.
Overall, this has been such a positive experience for us all. Having the opportunity to be in a place that is filled with so much love will leave a lasting impact. We hope the work we have done will help out and we are so thankful to have been here.
Thank you for everything from the students, teachers, and parents of Calgary Academy. We will never forget you.