A Day in the Life
Greetings from not-Canada! This week I am writing to you from Odessa, Ukraine, where World Hope International has a community-based program called Hope House focused on empowering young women who have been raised in an orphanage to receive education, life skills, and the confidence to live on their own and make a difference in their world. Last time I visited Hope House, there were two new girls who had just arrived. They would not look at me or smile when I talked to them. To my surprise, they have been laughing with me and having fun among their peers after only 18 months of love and support in a family setting.
This evening after a game of volleyball, I sat around the table eating ice cream and listening to them laugh and share about their day. For many of our Hope House participants, this is exam season, which means a lot of studying and long days at school.
Watching a day in the life of Hope House was fascinating. I listened to World Hope’s “parents” of Hope House II share
I was able to go to the grocery store and see how much food is needed to feed 11 teenagers and adults in one house alone for a week. Check out this cart of food!
Have you ever read Cyrillic? Here we are trying to decipher if this food item has gluten or not, complete with google translate, broken English, Slovak, Russian, and using our hands to communicate. We had a wonderful time buying groceries and enjoying the yummy taste of borscht
It was deeply fulfilling to relay messages to HH participants from their sponsors. Seeing an immediate smile when sharing these letters reminded me of the importance of community involvement, even if you live on the other side of the world!
Later this week, I will travel into downtown Odessa and visit the First Step Centre, a safe space where young street children visit after school as a way to be protected from the dangers of the streets and to get a meal for the day. For many of them, this is their only meal.
I am excited to share more stories with you over the coming weeks about this trip to Ukraine.
More to come soon!