Letter from Maria Honcharenko, Shirokolanovka
September 12, 2002
Dear Michael and All Our American Friends!
Greetings from Landau! Finally, I'm at home although this is only
temporary. I don't feel completely fine yet as the courses of chemotherapy
and radiotherapy are not finished. Michael, thank you for your card.
Your kind words of support lessened the unpleasant suffering caused
by my poor health. The warmth of your words brought me joy and gave
me a powerful drive for life. I could not afford to give up.
What a happiness to be at home! I returned home August 30, so that
I had the luck to start the new school year together with all the
others. We always have a hectic beginning of the school year. We
have new children, and new children means new concerns. Especially
hard is August 31. On this day we see our older children off to
the adult life. How will they be able to get adjusted to it? How
will it meet them? The orphans who graduated this year were very
good children. We were so sorry to part from them. During the parting
they cried, so did we. We put them all into the vocational school
in Mykolayiv, and they will study there for two years. We've already
visited them at their new place, and the vocational school teachers
thought well of them. It was so pleasant for us.
We saw Rosa Reimer on September 1 during the new school year celebration.
She keeps herself looking good, but she cannot come to the orphanage
by herself, she simply lacks the physical strength. That's why sometimes
we bring her to us for a talk. This is always joy both for her and
At the orphanage the working days go on. Before noon we have classes,
in the afternoon the younger children work on the school grounds
and have rest. We work with our older children in the fields. We
need to store vegetables for the winter. And while it's warm and
dry, we store firewood.
We have done the project documentation for our own gas heating,
but financially we will not manage it this year. It will cost a
lot of money, and we can't afford it now.
We have much paper work now. Our orphanage is being transferred
from the district public property to the regional public property.
We hope that with this transfer our children will receive more monetary
aid from the state.
I must say that now due to your welfare life at the orphanage improved
greatly, and we could solve many problems. The thought that we started
the new school year in the repaired buildings gladdens our hearts.
We could renew the interior of the dormitories, we have no problems
with water now, and we have detergents and means of personal hygiene.
Thank you very much indeed.
Problems seem to never cease. We would like to repair the equipment
in our workshops. It is so worn out that we only wonder how it still
manages to keep alive. We use this equipment to make repairs to
our buildings and grounds. There's need for new laundry equipment
as we often are forced to do the laundry by hand. These are our
current needs. Your continued support helps us to live.
Well, I'm finishing my short letter.
I send you my endless gratitude and my best wishes to you and all
our dear American friends.