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Project Of The Month - Pervomaysk Internat #14 - Goal $750


Click on pictures to see more photos from Pervomaysk.

The orphans range in age from 7 to 14 and are not available for adoption. The children are all have learning disabilities. The Director and his staff do their best with what resources they have to educate the children, so that they will have a productive, normal life in society after leaving the orphanage. In addition to the usual, reading writing and arithmetic, the school makes every effort to teach them some basic skills, which most children would learn at home – for instance: setting the table, sewing, ironing, knitting, cooking, even making tea. Ivan Ivanovich Konik, the Director, writes of his overwhelming need for “special literature” in teaching these children. He wrote that $750 would be very, very helpful to purchase the necessary materials. At first, I thought this was a lot of money and then I realized that with 127 students, that was only $5.90 per student.

The town is rather picturesque in an odd sort of way. Approaching the city in summer, the fields are alive with golden sunflowers. Of course, there are the usual multi-storied grey Soviet-Era apartments that line the streets, but tucked in odd places, one still finds small homes with grape and cucumbers vines climbing merrily up the fences and an old gentleman tending his garden of potatoes, tomatoes and cabbage.

Success!!! Goal: $750      Collected: $750     Last Updated: 6/3/2009

The city of Pervomaysk is situated about halfway between Kiev and Odessa at the confluence of the Bug and Sinyukha rivers. One can walk along the river paths, and in either summer or winter, see the fishermen trying their hand at catching a fish or two or three, families picnicking along the tree-lined banks, and a few older ladies sitting on the bench gossiping and munching on black sunflower seeds.


It all sounds rather quaint and intriguing, until one realizes how very difficult it is for most everyone to make ends meet. Good luck for the fisherman often means there will be meat for Sunday dinner and a good harvest for the gardener means there will be potatoes and jars of dill pickles in the cellar for winter.


Today Pervomaysk numbers less than 50,000, although prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union there were more than 100,000 inhabitants. During Soviet times Pervomaysk was a “closed city”, which means that the city basically was closed to visitors from other parts of the nation or from abroad. Residents were free, however, to travel outside the city to visit family members, etc. The city was “closed” due to the fact that there was a large military base and missile sites located there.


When Ukraine gained their independence, the base was closed and the missile site was abandoned by the Russians. Times became dire; jobs were scarce and even if you had one, you often waited months for your paycheck, if it ever came at all. The Americans came, cleaned up the missile sites and left. The economy rebounded some; more people had jobs and government pensions increased. It never was “good”, but life was better. But even that didn’t last….and so now once again, they count their pennies…..criss-cross the bazaar for the lowest price on rice or flour or lard. In America, we also have some concerns about the economy, and we have begun counting our pennies…..but it is worse there…..Ukraine has practically no social service agencies as we know them…..no Food Banks, no Salvation Army, no welfare or food stamps…just a few organizations like ours – Life2Orphans.


Could you help the children in Pervomaysk?

President Obama reminded us in his inaugural speech, of just how important it is for every American to share and show concern for others, not just with our fellow Americans, but in all corners of the world. Could you help the orphans in Pervomaysk, with simply awareness, a concern, a prayer or a donation? One dollar is just fine….please don’t think we are asking for $10 or $20….whatever is right for you to share now, is all we are asking.





Pervomaysk Internat #14 Coordinator