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Greetings are sent from a very snowy and cold Lebedyn as you can see from the picture above!
This week has been very difficult due to the number of missiles coming over from Russia. Sumy itself has been battered and much of the light and power utilities have been greatly hit once again. Despite the local authorities wanting to help the work at the centre, there has still been power outages for long periods. However, the team have been able to do much work within the community.
The Military came and spoke at a meeting for older people about the dangers of war, what to look out for, and specialist advice on explosive devices. Whilst they were there, they were all given bread and had access to the clothes and other aid available.
Today, there is a meeting with 150 people who have disability or special needs. It is these people that tend to suffer the most at time of war and feel very much alone, so the work being done is very important. As usual, all the youth and children’s clubs and activities will continue, and they will go ahead with or without power now that generators and batteries with floodlights can be used. The English classes are still being held as well.
You may have seen an update recently about Larisa needing help to get more children from the Sumy orphanage through where she is currently located in Austria. These funds have been provided and sent. We will be buying travel bags and helping with the costs of getting them to safety. Sumy, where this orphanage is, has been very badly hit in recent days and communication is hard to make happen, but, all being well, they start their journey today as far as we know!
Unfortunately, the kitchen mentioned in previous updates has still not been completed yet as they have problems getting the equipment into the building. Next week they must make a new wider doorway to make this happen and put in a new phased electric system in. Hopefully, by the end of next week it will be up and running.
We are now starting plan our Christmas activities. As well as Christmas camps, the team want to do other activities for as many children as possible. They would also like to make up Christmas presents for the 350 children that are left in the area. We used to do this for around 5,000 with all the orphanages, but as these are closed and many families have fled, Bohdan estimates there will only be around 350 in the town. If the war situation allows, they also want to go into the villages at Christmas to see what they can do to help. The presents this year will cost more due to inflation but we think will cost around $10 per child meaning we need to fund $3,500 (£3,075) to cover all of this.
Bohdan sends his greetings on behalf of all the team, and thanks you all for your kindness, prayers and support.
Thanks again for all your continued support and prayers!
Founding Director of Hope Lebedyn