Story by Anna Karnaukh | Communications and PR Coordinator | Heifer Ukraine
Photos courtesy of Heifer Ukraine Staff
Processing milk on their small farm had been a long-time dream for the staff of the Babanka Orphanage. On February 11, 2013, they received the necessary equipment with help from the Ukrainian Philanthropic Marketplace (UPM) and Heifer Ukraine.
The orphanage in Babanka village is a specialized boarding school for children with congenital health defects. This exemplary institution has high evaluations, feedback and quality opportunities for every child. Children develop their skills in farming and other careers to prepare them for fulfilling lives.
Through its website, UPM raised about $808 from individual donations and about $4,400 was donated by the Kyiv Charitable Foundation of Kyiv Lions Club, which is a member of the International Association of Lions Clubs. Market price for the equipment is about $18,750, but thanks to the efforts of Heifer Ukraine Program Manager Tetiana Nychyporenko and the generosity of equipment supplier UkrYuzhMolProm LLC, the orphanage was able to purchase the equipment five times cheaper. Now the children will always have fresh yogurt, cheese and other dairy products, which are crucial for young bodies.
The orphanage's farm includes pigs, cows, bees and horses, which were received through Heifer Ukraine's Livestock and Equipment for Babanka Orphanage project. Every day the children run to feed and play with the piglets and calves. Caring for and feeding the animals helps to improve their nervous systems. It also teaches them how to calm themselves down, control their tempers and concentrate. Farming and product processing activities teach the children physical work and responsibility so they can earn a living on their own farms in the future .
Valentyn, head of the orphanage's farm, said it's a challenge to engage the children, but every child has a distinct personality, and farm activities make it is easier to find an individual approach.
Through meticulous work of local staff, a bakery was also established to make fresh bread from wheat grown on the small farm. Every coin collected will ensure quality nutrition for the children of Babanka Orphanage.