Highlights of TOUCH 11 Delegation’s Trip to Ukraine - September 2011
Twenty-two members of the 11 Delegation traveled to Ukraine including:
Katherine Breithaupt, Mary Breithaupt, Julie Bryan,
Nancy Boom, Mike Boom, Heather Finch,
Peggy Giles, Dixi Hall, Sabra Killen,
Joan London, Judy Norman, Pat Norman,
Celeste Peckham, Alice Rampton, Jessica Rampton,
Mark Rampton, Nandan Rao, Elaine Rea,
Bonnie Reagan, Pete Reagan, Val Saiki,
The 11 delegation included social workers, physicians, nurses, recent college graduates, homemakers, a filmmaker, a lawyer, retired foster care providers, a librarian, a logistics manager, and an artist. They came from Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, Utah, and Arizona. Everyone paid for their own food, airfare, ground transportation, and lodging.
The activities of members of the 11 delegation were varied and included:
• Taking the Rehabilitation Center staff, families and children to a city park for play and pizza.
• Watching delegation member Elaine Rea cut the ribbon on a new library at Public School #14 for which she had fundraised. Library included shelves, CDs and 400 books in Ukrainian.
• Celebrating with select children at Public Sch. #14 who worked hard to achieve good grades.
• Shopping at the outdoor bazaar with about 100 children from New Family Center & Chaslivtsi.
• Participating in Uzhhorod’s first Breast Cancer Awareness Day including speeches, music, distribution of literature & pink ribbons, and a march led by local breast cancer survivors.
• Meeting with Uzhhorod’s Mayor and Superintendent of Schools.
• Watching Chaslivtsi youth perform a concert for the delegation.
• Painting benches and outbuildings at the Chaslivtsi Orphanage/Boarding School.
• Enjoying the wonderful music of the Cantus Choir in Uzhhorod.
• Cleaning up school grounds as a service project with Public School #14 children.
• Appreciating the Oregon quilters who provided 10 quilts for TOUCH kids.
• Walking the quaint and beautiful streets of Uzhhorod and along the riverfront promenade.
• Watching fireworks in celebration of Uzhhorod’s 1118th birthday!
• Observing the candle making project which is a fund raiser for the Rehabilitation Center.
• Attending the Social Work Conference with visiting professors from Hungary and presentations by three delegation members, Judy Norman, Pat Norman, and Celeste Peckham.
• Meeting with members of the newly formed Animal Humane Society in Uzhhorod.
• Admiring the beautiful gardens, animals, canned goods, and loving atmosphere at Pavlovo.
• Providing infant massage techniques to staff, parents, and children at the Children’s Hospital.
• Relishing the hot chocolate and borscht soup at Hotel Atlant.
• Helping children at Pavlovo, Public School #14, and Chaslivtsi participate in art projects.
• Providing lectures to physicians at the Uzhhorod Medical School.
• Remembering how important letters from sponsors mean to children.
• Meeting with the 11 recipients of the 12,000 pound aid shipment soon to arrive in Uzhhorod.
• Offering free medical exams to any child in The Project.
• Sharing time together with the children we sponsor in The Project.
• Lecturing and answering questions at the University’s Law Faculty Department.
• Traveling with 50 New Family youth to the Transcarpathian Mountains for an afternoon of swimming, wood heated hot tubs, volleyball, singing and dancing, and wonderful food.
• Enjoying the company of our high school and university students who interpret for us.
• Gathering with Ukrainian volunteers at the Regional Library’s Window on America program.
• Being with our director, Zita, and program leaders and taking note of the great work they accomplish year long.
All of this in just nine days! It was one of the best trips ever!!