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Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine

by Charitable Foundation Zaporuka
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Free Accommodation for Kids with Cancer in Ukraine
Dacha
Dacha' life and love

Dear Dacha supporters,

thank you for your contributions that help create this special place for kids with cancer and their families!

Recently, we’ve had a visitor from the UK at the Dacha. Zoe Wittering came to Zaporuka Foundation on assignment with Photographers without Borders, the organization supporting grass root NGOs by providing them with professional photographs and, sometimes, videos that the NGO can then use to publicize their work. As Zoe explains, “I love to take photographs but feel strongly that having photographs and documenting life should not be a privilege of the few. I also feel that, in a world where we are increasingly bombarded with images and reels of social media that don’t reflect the real life of many people, those of us who are lucky enough to be able to tell stories with images and words should also do it for those that can’t”.

Zoe came to Kyiv to capture Dacha life on camera and to tell the stories of families living here. And that’s what she says about this experience: “Staying at the Dacha is like being a guest in someone’s home. A home filled with extended family. The smell of home cooked food, the sound of little feet running, smiles and laughter, cups of tea and always a biscuit or a cake. The families have found themselves together because each of them has a seriously ill child but the overwhelming feeling at the Dacha is one of hope and positivity. As she pushed her daughter on the swings one of the mums told me that a friend had asked her how she could smile when her child was so ill. Her daughter, too young to understand, looked up and smiled. She shouldn’t live without smiles, she said”.

Also, together with Zoe and Dacha families, we visited the construction site of the new Dacha house that would provide accommodation for 15 families. As of now, the masonry works and the roof are completed. Soon windows will be installed too. And then the interior works will be planned. The good news is that the most acclaimed Ukrainian interior designer agreed to make a project for Dacha for free. In the pictures below you can see little Yeva who was the first Dacha kid to visit the new Dacha. For her, it was an exciting journey to see "her future room and playroom". Together we can make this dream come true!

Yeva at the new Dacha
Yeva at the new Dacha
Dasha with her music idols
Dasha with her music idols

Dear Dacha supporters,

thank you for your donations that make it possible to open the doors of our house for kids with cancer and their family members!

One of these kids is Dasha. She suffered from headaches, nausea and hand tremor but still after all possible diagnoses the correct one was unexpectedly terrible: brain tumor. The girl went for treatment from Mariupol to Kyiv. Then she didn’t know anything about surgeries or radiation therapy and her worst fear was losing her braids. Before her first chemo, the girl’s mom even allowed to paint her hair raspberry pink as it was the hottest new trend. She was happy so much! Just like all the women in the world when they like their reflection in the mirror in a new dress. However, Dasha’s happiness was short-lived as her hair had to be cut off. The girl could not hold back the tears when she spoke about her beautiful hair.

And now the complicated treatment with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a lot of medical tests and other procedures is behind. Once I met her in the stairs at the Dacha and she told me enthusiastically: “I have no more metastases! I had an MRI scan.” It means that soon she will be able to go home and her hair will grow again.

We always try to do our best, so that the girls were not ashamed of changes in their appearance. Our psychologists work with this issue too. However, Dasha got a confidence boost thanks to one meeting. It was Dasha’s impossible dream that came true. The girl is a fan of the Ukrainian pop duo Vremya i Steklo. Listening to their songs helped her in the most difficult moments of treatment.

And then she was invited to participate in a TV show with her favorite musicians! It was a total surprise for her and she even asked to pinch her to confirm that it was real. Her mom was crying behind the scenes like all of us who watched Dasha on TV… And you know what? Dasha was charming: without a headscarf, in a gorgeous dress, with shining eyes and a smile, she was absolutely convinced that she was beautiful and that the world was good and loved her.  

At the Dacha, we create an atmosphere of comfort and love. We do our best to ensure that during a difficult period of their life the families are surrounded by warmth and care and that they can be happy and have their dreams come true in spite of all the hardships.  

At the moment, we are renting the house that in 2018 hosted 70 children with cancer. However, much more families whose children receive treatment at the National Cancer Institute in Kyiv need accommodation. To host them all, we are building a new big Dacha. You can see a picture from the construction site below.

Thank you for your contributions! They help create a place where children feel better than in the hospital.

Dasha is happy when Kyiv Zoo came to the Dacha
Dasha is happy when Kyiv Zoo came to the Dacha
New Dacha in progress
New Dacha in progress
Makar and his sister
Makar and his sister

Dear friends,

thank you for helping to provide children and their family members with free accommodation at the Dacha!

Today I would like to tell you about 9-year-old Makar. This boy has been on treatment in Kyiv for almost a year. When he receives a chemo cycle or any other therapy, he goes to the hospital. For the rest of the time, Makar lives with his mom at the Dacha. His older sister Ania stays at home in Zaporizzhia, 600 km from Kyiv. She really misses her mom and her little brother. Kids like her often feel left behind and may ask questions like “Are you still my mom or only Makar’s mom?” It’s true that in such a situation mothers tend to devote more time to children who are seriously ill. That’s why we always encourage inviting their family members to the Dacha where they can spend time together. Ania comes to her mom and to Makar regularly and she is happy to be here with them here.

Now only 6 families can get a room at the Dacha. Recently, we have announced the construction of a new bigger center for 15 families. The construction has started but we face a problem that we never expected: the neighbors don’t want to see our Dacha. They don’t want children with cancer in their neighborhood because “they will infect their own children, spoil the aura and reduce the cost of their real estate”. They say “your kids have one or two years left to live and we have our whole lives ahead of us”. Just the same what Makar’s classmates may say when they speak via Skype: “Are you still alive?” That’s what they probably heard from their parents stereotyping.

We know that childhood cancer is not a death sentence. And we believe that every child should have a chance to live. All together we are trying to do our best that kids could have happy childhood memories playing here at the Dacha and forgetting about their disease. And these kids may really forget everything about treatment and pain but they just remember “a big beautiful house” where they had lots of fun. That’s what Sonia told us when she came for a visit as a teenager a few years later after her Dacha experience as a little kid. That’s why we are sure that with your help we will overcome all the obstacles to create a special place where kids can be just kids. Even if they are fighting against cancer.

Thank you for your contributions that make Dacha possible!

Makar and Yeva playing at the Dacha
Makar and Yeva playing at the Dacha

Links:

Daniela likes to play for her mom
Daniela likes to play for her mom

Dear friends,

thank you for helping to provide children and their family members with free accommodation at the Dacha!

4-yeat-old Daniela comes from the Luhansk oblast, from the occupied territory, where no treatment is guaranteed. She had been treated in Kyiv and all that time, between hospitalizations, she had been staying with her family at the Center Dacha. Thanks to the support of many people and her family Daniela got well and she continued coming to the Dacha when she had regular checkups. And then her mother Olga was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The situation was desperate. Olga had to go for treatment in Kyiv but they had no place to stay. So, she came to the Dacha with Daniela and got free accommodation here again. When Olga was receiving chemo or was not feeling well, she couldn't cope alone. Every time other Dacha moms took care of her little daughter. 

Olga’s husband Zhenia continued working to support the family. Two elder children remained with him. From time to time they came to visit their mom in Kyiv. But, of course, the family wanted to be together all the time. Finally, this summer they got an opportunity to move to Kyiv and to rent a small apartment. They had almost nothing and Dacha volunteers helped them to get necessary household things like bed linen, pans and so on. That’s how Daniela’s new life began.

Thank you for your contributions that make it possible!

Kids playing at the Dacha
Kids playing at the Dacha
Adelina and Dominika
Adelina and Dominika

Dear friends,

thank you for supporting Ukrainian kids with cancer!

Now our team is celebrating 10th anniversary of Zaporuka Foundation. It is time to look back and to see what we have accomplished. During this time we helped more 2000 kids with cancer providing them with medicines and therapies for the total amount of more than 3 million dollars. The project Dacha that you are supporting is active for 8 years and during this period more than 1000 families received free accommodation.

It is also time to think big and to make our biggest dream come true. Our goal is to build a new modern Center Dacha specially designed for kids affected by cancer. Now with the Center that we rent we can guarantee free accommodation for 6 families. But in reality at least 15 of such families need a place to stay. We have a land plot, a project made by local architectures for free, all the permits and a part of the necessary amount of money for construction. We continue fundraising and that’s why we updated the project and we hope to receive your support.

We are happy that our Dacha was named GlobalGiving’s Project of the Month for May 2018. That’s really important for families who come for kids’ treatment from all over Ukraine like little Adelina. She is only eight months old. She qas diagnosed with kidney cancer. She underwent a complicated surgery and many chemotherapy cycles. At the moment, the girl lives with her parents at the Dacha where her family can be together and support each other. And here her twin sister Dominika can come to visit her.

While Adelina is receiving treatment in Kyiv, her twin sister Dominika stays with her grannies at home. Still, there is a connection between them and at distance it seems even stronger. Granny may not tell their mom that Dominika had caught a cold but the next morning Adelina wakes up with the same symptoms. The parents and little girls were so sad that they couldn't be together all the time.  And one day granny brought her granddaughter Diminika to Kyiv for a visit. It was a perfect family moment: all together, smiling, playing and sometimes even behaving naughtily.

Whenever we hear kids’ loud voices and laughs at the Center Dacha, we understand how much they need a place where they can get together and support each other even if they are far away from home and fight for their lives against a serious disease. It makes their road to recovery easier. Your contributions make it possible. Thank you!

New Center Dacha
New Center Dacha
 

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Organization Information

Charitable Foundation Zaporuka

Location: Kyiv - Ukraine
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @_zaporuka
Project Leader:
Iana Dashkovska
Kyiv, Ukraine
$12,332 raised of $100,000 goal
 
277 donations
$87,668 to go
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