News February 27, 2014 INTIMATE AND GRATEFUL WORDS OF HOPE FROM UKRAINE
Alla Soroka, the Project Manager for This Child Here was in Kiev during the week of intense violence and finally, calm.for a meeting on our mentoring project and to help coordinate a training for Alternatives to Violence, the program we use with youth and children. (Alla center top below). It is mostly a word by word translation from Russian, but rather than Americanize it, I leave you with her choice of words . - Robert Gamble
Today I returned from Kiev. I was tired and joyful simultaneously. It was a time when the world was restored in our souls and in the country. And it was good. It was not simple, but our aspiration to the world helped us. I am glad that I could help people who came to our training and I am grateful to Luda (Ludmilla) who arrived in Kiev and helped me, we had a good team.
For one week in Kiev I became acquainted with many good people, we spoke much, and all of us hoped, for changes and tried to hold our anger and often said at the same time, that on both side of the barricades, there are people.
People from the independence area do not leave. We understand that power only shuffles cards, but for people it not game. It is necessary for us to search for peaceful ways.
In days of training, on Saturday and Sunday there was mourning. We began training with a minute of silence. In city centre there were many people, all bore flowers, and lighted candles. There was a prayer in the evening.
We understand that it is only the beginning of changes, but I hope and I believe that we will have enough responsibility, respect and reason to hear each other and to use peace as a means.
Robert, at this time many state run social projects have been closed, and those who work did not receive a salary. We continued to work with children in the rehabilitation centre, in the shelter, and in the foster family, and I am very grateful especially to you and all people from "This Child Here", for your support, and prayers, it was important for us. Thanks! During these times let us continue to do that which holds us and keeps us.
(all images are by Alla or Alternatives to Violence staff.)
News February, 23, 2014 KIEV IS QUIET
Thank you for thoughts and prayers. Just two days ago, it seemed the country was coming apart, but the landscape of Independence Square and the city of Kiev, Ukraine has rapidly changed. As of this Sunday afternoon, the President has departed; the speaker of the house is standing in as Interim President. Elections are set for May.
But tough issues still remain over the future of this country. They sit between East and West, Russia and the European Union. In the Eastern half of Ukraine, the preferred language is Russian, in the Western half, it is Ukrainian. In the East, the preferred trade connection is with Russia; in the West it is with the European Union. It sounds simple, but it is not. In Odessa, which is home to the work of This Child Here, they seem more western in outlook, but most everyone speaks Russian. The recent violence in Kiev will no doubt deepen the distrust between all sides of this conflict of interests.
CNN, from whom I cut and pasted the above image, has an article on the main players involved: http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/22/world/europe/ukraine-profiles/
Our work remains with children without functioning parents: street kids, kids in orphanages and shelters.
Grace and peace,
News, February 2014 RIOTS, VIOLENCE AND DEATH IN UKRAINE
The news from Ukraine has not been good. A CNN image is below. The CNN link gives a bit of history and analysis about the causes of the rioting.
This morning, Alla Soroka, our program manager for This Child Here in Ukraine wrote, " I am now in Kiev, we had a training for the program of mentors. I arrived to Kiev on Monday, and on Tuesday began the shooting and killing. We were in a safe place and could continue training. Our trainer tried to keep the peace. There was no panic, and we rallied and supported each other. In our group there were people from other cities of Ukraine, and it was interesting! We shared experience, and learned much about work with children. It was good communication! It inspired me! Yesterday training ended. Now we plan to do trainings with our program of Alternative to Violence for students and people of Kiev. I think it it will be useful; we want to support people here. Many are injured and frightened."
As of today, I quote the New York Times, "The government of President Viktor F. Yanukovych announced a tentative resolution on Friday to a crisis that has brought days of bloodshed to Ukraine. The agreement, which has yet to be signed, was announced after all-night talks with opposition leaders, Russian representatives and the foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France."
If you are a person of prayer, pray that the violence would end and the government and protesters will find a way to negotiate a future. Non-violence has always been more effective in creating lasting positive change.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Robert Gamble,
cell phone: 828 318 2149
Executive Director, This Child Here
May you be as
and may the wishes of children
love, hope and
Grace and Peace,
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a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit.
We fund programs designed to help children move from street life to life in shelters, homes or orphanages, and to help,encourage, and motivate children in those facilities to imagine a future and pursue it.
Vision, Mission and Values
Vision: The vision of This Child Here is a world without children living on the streets.
Mission: This Child Here has a mission to guide and encourage street children toward a life with a family, in a shelter, or orphanage, and to provide these children with the love, encouragement, life skills, and motivation to lead healthy emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual lives.
Values: This Child Here will practice accountability to the vulnerable children of streets, broken families and institutions. Through regular newsletters, visits, and reports, This Child Here will be accountable to all sponsors, donors and grant making organizations. As the Presbyterian Church (USA) is the original source of support, This Child Here will work consistently, but not solely, with congregations of the PC(USA), to seek funding and raise awareness of the problems associated with street children and children living in shelters and Orphanages.
Robert Gamble, Director