A dream is a seed from which, when tenderly cared for, a great goal grows into reality. That is why this coming year, "Sunflower of Peace" set unto a huge undertaking: to build a "Dream Room" for orphans in a neurological clinic in the remote village of Mayachka in Kherson Oblast. We have told our donors a lot about the state and needs of this rehabilitation center, to which children from all regional orphanages come for treatment, rehabilitation and training for at least half a year, sometimes for the whole year. We have been cooperating with the center for almost six years, and during this time, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have built a children's playground on the territory, bought a freezer, periodically provided the children with clothes, toiletries, educational materials and toys.
Imagine if your child goes to school and sees the classroom as in the photo below. How could they possibly be motivated? And now imagine when your child enters a room where all the items they see are children’s sized, including furniture, shelves, utensils, dishes, cleaning supplies and the educational materials themselves. Imagine a room where there are no usual rectangular desks from the Soviet era, but round tables where a child feels a part of one community, and a place where their movement is not restricted by the teacher unless it endangers themselves, other people, or their surroundings. Bright and attractive colors, natural materials, fascinating cultural objects and interesting pictures on the wall all offer the children complex sensory and intellectual experiences. It's extremely important to give value to the orphans who already live in a very stressful environment and to create conditions for them where they can thrive, dream and realize that their dreams can become a reality, and that is up to us adults to give them the right tools to make it possible.
The major repairs to this room will cost about $9,000. The room will be completely demolished and rebuilt. This includes the salary for the workers, all materials and furniture. We will try to connect the building companies within Kherson Oblast to work together and hope that this will allow us to save money during the repairs, which we plan to spend on furniture, teaching materials and toys. We want to note that there will be an installation of an automatic fire system, which is uncommon in places like these, new heating, new ceilings and floors. We are trying to connect with local residents of the Mayachka village and ask them for help in the future, such as disposal of the garbage after the demolition and preparation of meals for the construction workers who are from out of town and will be staying there for weeks to complete the project on time.
A teacher with her Masters in Education who also happened to be a licensed Montessori teacher in the state of Massachusetts, Ms. Josie, agreed to design the "Room of Dreams." Ms. Josie will prepare the room’s environment in every way for optimal development: physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. By aligning the activities in the environment with what each child needs at any given moment, the prepared environments will liberate the children’s energy for growth and learning. We plan for young students and future teachers from the Beryslav Pedagogical School to be able to join the summer collaboration, thereby sharing their knowledge with children and teachers from the center, and to take the opportunity to gain new experience for themselves. We are already discussing these opportunities with the students.
Despite the fact that $9,000 sounds like a large sum, we are almost there and have raised enough to start the project.
Please, when you are in doubt or wonder whether you should make your contribution to this project, look in the eyes of the children you see in the photo and remember that they too are of great value and deserve not only a better future, but also our love and respect.
***All you donations are tax-deductible and receipts of your donations will be sent to you in four weeks after the initial donation****