THREE Lisburn school girls have helped put
smiles on the faces of orphans in Ukraine. In January the Star
reported that Charit Graham from Downshire PS, Sarah McComb from
Harmony Hill PS and Shona McComb, a pupil at Friends,
accompanied by their mothers Rachel Graham and Averil McComb -
members of Ballynahinch Baptist Chum'. were going to the Nove
Sele orphanage or Easter to run a children's Bible club and he
arranged to send a container load of human. tarian aid.
The team had a fantastic week, spending five
hours each day working with the children in the orphanage,
assisted by E. Ukrainian team, leading singing, crafts sports
and bible stories.
Team Leader Rachel Graham said: "The children
really enjoyed all the activities many of them trying things
they had new done before.
"Although the conditions the children lip in
fall far short of what our children are use to, the thing that
really impacted us most the fact that through long term
institutionalised care they have very low self esteem and those
who care for them have low expectations of them."
continued: "The three girls found the whole experience extremely
rewarding as they were able to interact with the children in
their activities and see a real transformation in the children's
realisation of their own self-worth."
Rachel thanked local people for their great
support. She said: "As a result of the overwhelming generosity
of the local people two lorries were required to deliver the aid
rather than the one originally planned. The transport was
generously provided by Dixon Transport and Keenan Transport."
She explained that the lorries left Northern
Ireland over the weekend of March 8, arriving at the Poland
Ukrainian border the following Wednesday but were forced to wait
for two days at the border crossing and eventually arrived at
the orphanage at midnight on the Friday night, less than five
hours before the team's planned departure. All the aid was
immediately offloaded and placed in storage at the orphanage
under customs seal awaiting final clearance from the Ukraine
Council of Ministers.
The Pastor of Ballynahinch Baptist Church
will be visiting the Novo Sele area at the end of April and will
be able to check on the distribution of the aid. The team hopes
to be able to make future visits to follow up and continue to
build relationships with the children and staff.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the
trip is invited to a Ballynahinch Baptist Church this on Sunday
April 27 at 10.30am, when members of the team will give feedback
during the service.