The faces of Khor

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The faces of Khor

For the past six years Sweet Hope has worked to help children in various orphanages in the Khabarovsk Territory of Russia.  We have done this from afar.  All of our communication has been through a translator.  Facilities were identified, we sent representatives and information was relayed.  This arrangement has served us well.  However, there needed to be more.  Nothing quite compares to face to face interaction.  Today I had the privilege to meet the people who are directly effected by the funds Sweet Hope raises and sends.

I met three administrators, Irina, Larissa and Lena.  They were so kind as to show me every nook and cranny of the facility and allow me to take as many photos as I liked.  I walked out with about 100 photos of the shelter.

Not only did I meet the people who care for the inhabitants of the Khor facility, I met the tiny people who live there.  I wish I had a video of when I walked into the lunchroom and all of these little voices said, in unison, “Zdrast-veets-ya!”  I nearly burst into tears.  Each and every one of the children were so beautiful.  It broke my heart that they were here.

You see, the children are here because for some reason or another their parents cannot care for them.  Khor is a temporary shelter and most of the children return home, but as Larissa informed me some of the children return multiple times.  She said most of the parents have drinking problems.  The facility tries to get the parents help, but alcoholism is a dreadful disease.  The worst part about it is that it does not just effect the adult.  The children are the smallest victims of alcoholism.

The Khor facility is an amazing one.  They have many teachers, social workers, lawyers and doctors to see that the children have the best care and that their families are receiving the services they so desperately need.  The building is top notch.  The kitchen is not falling apart.  The older children are taught life skills.  The younger children have space.  However, Khor is lacking one very important thing.  Childhood.

There are very few toys for the children to play with.  There is a large play yard, but very little to play on.  The children who live in the Khor facility are there because something unpleasant is happening at home, whatever it is.  Childhood should be a time of fun and play, not stress and angst.  It is the intention of Sweet Hope to give these children the childhood they so desperately deserve.

I asked the administrators I met what their area of most need was.  Larissa emphatically told me it was a large outdoor play structure.  “Don’t forget!”  She kept saying.  When we took a group photo Larissa made sure to hold the catalog for the KSIL Corporation just as a reminder.

I left with a promise.  I promised I would get them this play structure.  I need your help.  These little people need your help.  We all need your help.  Please consider donating to Sweet Hope or participating in our annual fundraiser.  By doing so you will be helping the little faces like these.

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