Our new friends at KSIL

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As I mentioned before one purpose of coming on this trip was to determine what the area of most need was for the Khor facility.  As I also mentioned, an outdoor play structure IS their area of most need.  This year Sweet Hope purchased 2 items for the play yard.  The first is a spring toy and the second a small carousel.  They may only be two small structures, but they are the first steps in building a better play yard for the children.

When I visited Khor earlier this week the toys had not yet been installed.  Sweet Hope sent the money to Tatiana, the director of the facility, in April of this year.  I knew the pieces had been purchased, but I was curious as to why it takes so long for them to be manufactured and installed.  I learned that the children’s shelter system is undergoing a bit of an organizational change.  In years past we were able to send money to the facility director and she was able to spend the money right away as she needed.  However, things have changed.  Now if we send money directly to the facility director she must then give the money to the regional government and then it is redistributed down the line to the facility.  Rest assured, the full amount we sent was spent for the Khor facility, but this chain of custody is what delayed the arrival of the toys.

Today I had the fine pleasure of visiting the Khabarovsk office of the KSIL Corporation.  They explained to me that the toys arrived in Khabarovsk yesterday and that as soon as they have a clear day they will deliver them to Khor and install them.  Galina assured me that as soon as the children are set free to play on them she will have Tatiana take photos and send them to her and then on to me so I may share them with you.

My meeting with KSIL was quite nice.  I was able to meet Sergei Pesterev, the director of the Khabarovsk office.  We spent time explaining who we were, information about Sweet Hope and the relationship between myself, Galina and the women of Slavyanka.  He was kind to listen to us blather.

In years past the KSIL Corporation has worked with Slavyanka and the Khabarovsk Children’s foundation to purchase play equipment for a local hospital that cares for children with tuberculosis.  Sergei showed me photos of all of the equipment that was purchased for this hospital.  The list included a large sandbox, a dolphin spring toy, a rooster spring toy, a see-saw, a swing set, a carriage playhouse, a slide play structure and a smaller slide for toddlers.  All of these items were purchased, delivered to Khabarovsk and installed for 234,870RUB (that is about $7400USD).  This is an achievable amount.

I took some time to browse through the KSIL catalog and I took notes of a few things I feel the children at Khor would enjoy.  Sergei was also kind enough to give me a full catalog of all the products KSIL makes along with a current price list.  I also collected his business card that included his email address.  He told me that I am welcome to email him at any time with questions.

At the end of our meeting I asked the all important question.  Would KSIL be willing to work with us to receive at least a small discount on any of the items.  I would love to have the company donate items, but I also understand economics.  Sergei informed me that he would be happy to work with us.  The discount would depend on what items we selected.  I left the meeting feeling very positive.

Galina did tell Sergei how Sweet Hope raises a large number of its funds (by making candy).  She said I would be making candy for the rest of my life to pay for such play structures.  I told her that making candy was only a part of how we raise funds.  However, it is a very large part of what we do.  I would ask you to please consider purchasing Sweet Hope truffles or caramels this year to assist us in purchasing play equipment for Khor.

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