Dear Friends and Supporters,
Wednesday 13th March is a bonus day on GlobalGiving. To take advantage of this fantastic offer and to see it help Ukrainian orphans, please donate as soon as you can that day - your donation will go 30% further. For example, if you donate $31, your donation will be increased to just over $40. This is because on Wednesday GlobalGiving pledge to match 30% of each donation up to $1,000 per donor until they have matched $75,000. It also means that 60 orphans leaving care in Ukraine this year will learn more new and vital skills needed for their successful transition to the independent life.
Meanwhile, thanks to your kind donations our life-changing work with orphans continues in 2013. Did you see our progress last year? Just have a look at the Sure Start project in 2012 in pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/everychild_ukraine/collections/72157632173844720/.
Over the past three months, we have achieved even more positive developments and we are delighted to update you on them. First of all, we are more than halfway through the academic year and life skills training programme. Currently, we have 60 youths from 3 orphanages in Vyshgorod, Bila Tserkva and Tarashcha (towns nearby Kyiv city) involved in the work of the weekly clubs “How to Be Successful”. With your caring support, during January-March 2013 young people without parental care have been able to attend 24 sessions preparing them both practically and emotionally for independent living.
The sessions were focused on the following topics:
1. Myself, us and them: including building self-esteem, improving communication and conflict resolution skills. Our participants have had some very lively discussions drawing from personal experiences. Young people have acquired specific skills on how to understand, cope and overcome fears, how to deal with negative emotions and how to channel them into positive ones as many of them were deeply rooted to the lack of family ties.
Of particular interest was “The Art of Persuasion” game, helping the youth to better observe verbal and non-verbal gestures and behaviour of others, to self-reflect and to hold the ground in advocating their own views. The game was such a success and a real inspiration that the participants have even asked for the hand-outs to keep practicing it in spare time.
2. I am the Master of my Fate: learning practical skills of how to set life goals and how to achieve them, what it means to be responsible and how to make responsible decisions. The discussions showed that for many care-leavers the biggest fear ahead was leaving the orphanage. The majority of the young people were also struggling to differentiate life goals and personal dreams. Fortunately, regular meetings allowed the young people to become more determined in seeking solutions how to grow into productive adults, energized, assertive and ready to take initiative for themselves, their families and their community.
One of the modules has also covered the universal human rights, why it is important to know them and to recognise gender difference while raising awareness on gender equality.
3. Financial Management. This module is usually the most interesting for all the participants to talk about and is always on top of the list in terms of the turnout. Such vital skills as money management, budget planning or making shopping list are never taught for the residential care-leavers. Sessions have enabled participants to learn the basics of the financial management, as well as to share their own experience of raising and managing money (i.e. fishing and selling caught fish, selling garden flowers or doing simple garden works, etc).
Also, we are preparing the regular End of Year event which will take place in May 2013, symbolizing the end of the school year and completion of the Sure Start programme. While challenging themselves and participating in various outdoor activities, the goal of the event is for the participants to develop leadership skill and to work in a team. We will keep you updated with photos and materials on our progress and exciting new developments.
In the meantime, we thank you all for your continuous support.
With warm regards and best wishes,
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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