Sep 12, 2017
It isn't unusual for church groups to send gifts to far away places in need. One Kitchener women's group sews colourful bags and fills them with child-specific presents for "orphans".
What is exceptional about girls in an institution outside Ternopil, Ukraine is that they have been shunned and hidden away for many years because of physical and mental challenges. Some are now young women.
Project Smile "усмішка" (oo-smeesh-kah) began after student volunteers from the parish revealed the true nature of the orphanage upon their return to Canada.
There has been some progress. However, Ukraine's social safety net is torn and in urgent need of repair. This, in a country struggling to maintain its integrity in the face of an relentless transgressor: Russia.
Like most Nasha Kasha stories, this one is not about big moves, however I hope it reveals something about human spirit here and there.