Letter from Maria Honcharenko, Shirokolanovka Orphanage,
Dear our American friends!
First of all we want to present you our condolences on the great
tragedy which occurred on September 11. When the mass media began
to broadcast this alarming and appalling news the orphanage staff
and the children started asking whether the tragedy had directly
affected our friends.
My son called to Bettsy Williams and she comforted him telling
the tragedy had taken place in the distance. The next day in the
morning the teachers and the children assembled for a mournful meeting.
The orphanage held mourning for three days. We sympathize with your
sorrow and share the grief that happened to the American citizens.
All that is very terrifying.
We started a new school year. All of us remember every one of you
with gratitude and we are thankful to the Lord and you for your
generosity and the help to our kids. Thanks to you we could renovate
the orphanage. We painted all the buildings in- and outside. WC
pans have been installed in the lavatory of the study building.
All orphans had rested in the recreation camps in the summer. They
went there in new clothes and shoes that had been bought for your
Also we wanted to have things in the orphanage to remind us of
you long, because clothes and shoes are things that wear out very
quickly. That's why we bought a freezer and a water boiler for the
dining-halls for the rest of the money.
The children have now better food than they had before. Now they
always have meat, fish and dairy products on the menu. We had problem
how to store these foods and we decided we couldn't do without it.
We started the preparation for the winter. In the morning the children
study and after the classes they go to work with farmers. They gather
vegetables. This job is paid with vegetables so that we can make
our reserves for the winter. We preserve and pickle cucumbers, tomatoes
and cabbage. We have already stored up potatoes. The weather this
year has been very favorable and the fields yielded a good crop
so that the farmers are more willing to pay.
The older boys together with the adults repair the orphanage fence,
they rebuild the breastwalls, store up the firewood.
We also have unsolved problems. One of them is the water supply
piping. It's very old and the pipes became rusty and have constantly
leakage. So we have to worry all the time whether we stay with water
or not. We could lay new piping ourselves but we need money to buy
We try to work to earn some money ourselves although we see we
won't manage without the outside assistance.
Our children don't only work. Sunday is their rest day. We try
to diversify this day of rest: we organize sport competitions, the
children have time to watch TV programs, to listen to music, to
All of them remember you with gratitude, they thank you for the
photos and give you their greetings and their best wishes.
With best regards,