Many Ukranian babies and children find themselves abandoned by their parents and alone without a support system. This has had a devastating result in the country, creating overcrowded orphanages that can't provide a very high level of care. Many are at a full capacity, so children end up getting sent to the hospital as a temporary shelter, where only their very basic needs can be met. It's a bleak situation where sheer numbers overpower chances for these kids to grow and thrive.
In December of 2011, the Living Pearl Children's Home was opened in near Lviv, Ukraine to accommodate local boys without families or homes to go to. After living in a nearby storage building while the repairs were completed, they moved into an old Polish Nobleman's summer house after years of restoration. It now benefits from a working sewage and boiler system, while the surrounding grounds are lovingly maintained. The facility is home to about thirty boys at any one time, who benefit from regular meals, a comfortable place to live, and a healthy dose of outdoor and sports activities. Most of the residents have parents that have had their rights removed, while some are being looked after on request by their family. In some wonderful cases, residents stayed with the Living Pearl until they were adopted by a new loving family.
What makes this a truly unique organization is the 32 hectares of arable land that the staff and boys use to grow potatoes, wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat, beets, and onions. They even care for a small holding with several pigs, chickens, and even a few cattle. They strive to be as self-sufficient as possible, while instilling the value of a hard day's work and imparting practical skills. They even have a classroom, and are proud that some of their residents have moved on to complete college and find jobs.
Friends4Good is proud to support the bold vision of the Living Pearl Children's Home with financial support and logistics. They're a privately run orphanage that relies on the help and support from benefactors' and donations. With your help they're able to continue and improve their mission to help these abandoned boys grow up and become productive, balanced members of society.
November 2019 Update & Volunteer Opportunity
If you’re willing to lend a hand, you can help under-privileged children half a world away receive an education, a loving home to live in, and a sense of stability. The Living Pearl Children’s Home is looking for volunteers to take a life-changing trip and help out for two weeks on their farm.
Thanks to generous donations, the organization has been hard at work expanding their agricultural operations to include a blueberry field. As of this fall, they’ve finished three quarters of the fencing, spread a bit over half of the sawdust, and just started on forming the ridges. They'll soon be planting their new field with blueberry bushes. The final step will be creating an irrigation system, which is being planned over the winter with the installation itself taking place early in the spring.
Friends4Good is looking for 10-12 volunteers to travel to Ukraine and help with the labour. No experience is needed, and there will be plenty of rooms available in the facility to accommodate everyone. While specifics are still be settled, the trip will most likely take place during two weeks in March 2020 and will include a day of fun with the children in Lviv. If you’re willing to travel and put in a few days of honest work, you can help bring self-sufficiency to an organization and create a better life for a group of orphans.
If you’re inspired to get involved and make a meaningful impact in the lives of these children, contact Adrian Bohach of Enterprise4Good by calling 403-605-2924 or emailing him at [email protected]. Together we can help these boys find a path to self-sufficiency and security.
July 2020 Update: First Harvest
Most of us might not be enjoying 2020 and the COVID concerns that came along with it. Thankfully, Ruslan and the group at the LivingPearl have some positive news: the blueberry plantation has been completed! The fence, soil conditioning, bushes, irrigation system, and 24-hour security have been taken care of. Even all of the essential documentation and paperwork have been resolved. All that's left is to tend to the plantation and enjoy the harvest. While this first season has produced a modest crop, we've been told that the blueberries taste amazing. We're thrilled that the LivingPearl has completed this huge step towards self-sustainability, and are looking forward to one day visiting Ukraine to taste the fruits of all their labour. Growing their own food is a great way to not only provide the boys with (delicious) nutrition, but it helps them grow a strong work ethic, life experiences, and applicable skills. As a bonus, it also creates a potential revenue stream to support the organization moving forward.
It's been a long road with a lot of hard work, and there will definitely be more updates to come. For now we'd like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone that has helped us in accomplishing this milestone!