Besides being a beautiful country, Ukraine has enormous resources and potential, but the Soviet Union has left indelible marks.
Although medicine and education are "officially" free, the people of the country never take advantage of them. Children who are admitted to the state schools after leaving day care should be received free of charge thanks to the taxes paid by their parents. In spite of this aid paid to the establishments and known to all, parents continue to pay for everything: food, pencils, renovation of the premises and even toilet paper...
Everyone knows that the money paid by the state to cover these costs is embezzled, but the majority of Ukrainians are used to it and think that it is impossible to change things. Parents who want the comfort of their children pay without hesitation until they pay the last pennies of their monthly budget. And when this is not possible due to lack of means, the children stay at home.
Last year, 7 children from our kindergarten went to the state school. Their parents told us that after experiencing the atmosphere of trust and transparency in our kindergarten, they realize how necessary it is to make their voices heard in the state schools. They are among the only ones who have the courage to hold the institutions accountable for the aid they provide for their children through their taxes.
For us, these are astonishing and far-reaching changes in the thinking and behavior of Ukrainians.
In particular, we are convinced that children who grow up in a suitable environment, with invested and caring teachers, available to teach them values and in a healthy environment, will be better able to respect their country by being honest.
In order to maintain this safe and healthy environment for both children and parents, we had requested assistance from Rosalie Projects for the construction of an outdoor playground.
In August, when the positive response for the project arrived, the work of preparing the site began: a layer of soil was collected by a tractor to level the area and to purchase materials.
The next step was to create a safe surface. Edges were installed (embedded in concrete) and then successive layers of substrate, crushed stone of a coarser fraction, compacted aggregate and sand were laid to ensure a safe and stable surface.
By levelling and compacting all layers, we created a 5% slope for better water drainage. Concrete islands were made at the locations where the swings are located so that they rest firmly on the concrete.
The last step was the installation of the upper surface. An additional part of the project was financed by the parents who are very proud to have participated in the creation of this site.
Mrs. Oksana grew up in a rather poor but very honest family. Even though the parents worked very hard, there was always a lack of money for basic needs. After school, Oksana was hopeful that she would be able to get an education and find a good job because of her knowledge and efforts.
At university, she invested a lot in her studies, but never felt welcomed by others, stigmatized by her limited resources.
She tried to find a job as a teacher, but was never offered a position despite her qualifications. She got married, gave birth to her first and second child, but her family life became difficult. Raising her children alone, she finally found a small job as a saleswoman despite her training as a teacher, sadly putting aside her dream and resigning herself: "To survive, you don't do what you love but what you pay for".
His youngest daughter now attends our kindergarten. Her mother told us that during our parent training meetings she became aware of the beauty of life and started to bounce back. She is gradually reconciling herself with her story and growing into her vocation as a single mother.
It is a great joy, because with the evolution of this mother, her little daughter has also changed. A year before, when she arrived she was very aggressive and rebellious. Today she is transformed and is developing beautifully, making little friends. Thanks to her mother's quality learning and soothed by her mother's well being, this new stability and a gentle and caring nursery environment, she now plays with other children and enjoys the beautiful new playground in particular.
This year exceptionally, we can only accommodate 23 children because of the pandemic. As soon as the situation is more stable, we will return to our normal capacity of more than 40 children. They will all be able to enjoy the playground on a daily basis.
In our playground, parish meetings for the children who are following the catechism are also held outside of the daycare hours. 30 additional children can therefore enjoy this new leisure air.
In our house, there is also a rehabilitation center for handicapped children who also use the playground (about 10 children).
Parents are proud and happy that their children have access to this beautiful new playground.
Those who have little means for the majority are moved to see that their children can enjoy their free time well surrounded and well equipped.
Thank you all, generous donors for your support and loyalty!