On 29 May, in Dnipropetrovsk, on the occasion of Children's Day educational workshops were held for children living in the Small Group Home. At the end of 2013, the home with living conditions similar to family ones was created for 13 former pupils of foster homes.
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The Small Group Home was created in the frames of Good to be Home joint program, being implemented in Dnipropetrovsk region by the following three major partners: Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for Development of Ukraine, representative office of the Hope and Homes for Children charitable organization and Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration.
“The Foundation continues its systematic work on overcoming the problems of orphanage and on the development of family forms of upbringing in Dnipropetrovsk region. Its work has already brought tangible results, in particular, with the help of the Foundation, in the course of 2-year implementation of the project, 27 family-type children’s homes (FTCH) have been created and 101 foster families and FTCHs have received financial assistance. Still, according to Olga Yudina, Program Manager of No to Orphancy! program by Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, the Foundation has plenty of other plans, including the opening of the Center for Social Support of Children and Families, planned for this August or September. The Small Group Home is a small though very important part of the regional project. In the frames of Family for the Child regional project of No to Orphancy national program, the Foundation was engaged in the purchase of the house for children, as well as in its further renovations and furnishing (over UAH 2 million). Living conditions in the small house are similar to family ones. This form of education favors children’s socialization and better adjustment to independent adult life in future.
Children took an active part in home arrangement, namely discussed with the contractors its future design, color of wallpapers and tiles, and planned the furniture arrangement. Last December, children moved to their long awaited new home. The children immediately asked not to call it a Small Group Home, as it is just Home for them. In such a way the house got a new name, My Home.
The children were also pleasantly surprised by the fact that they can have pets, cook and clean the house in turns and that friends and relatives will be able to visit them. Nevertheless, despite the joy, it is still difficult for children to get used to being responsible for their lives and comfortable household. Before moving here, the children had teachers of the traditional residential care institution to decide everything for them. That is how we have come up with the idea to organize workshops.
For better efficiency, prior to the workshops, Rinat Akhmetov Foundation staff asked the children, what they would like to learn. The children’s answers were unexpected, in particular the girls asked to teach them to look after themselves (make up and set hair) and the boys wanted to know about interesting kinds of sports. The idea of workshops was supported by the Foundation’s partners from the 34th Channel of Dnipropetrovsk. Journalists and employees have decided they will personally conduct make up and set hair workshops, while a workouter was invited to tell children about sports and to show them how to go in for "street fitness" and always stay fit and healthy.
According to Oleksandr Dyadus, director of the Small Group Home, the children have already got used to their new, happier life. “Children have been behaving better after coming to the Home. They started to like their duties on cooking and housecleaning. Some children, having practically ignored school before, stopped skipping lessons without a reasonable excuse, says Oleksandr. “We have already appointed a principal tutor for each child, which gives the opportunity to work with children by individual plans, taking into account school attendance, communication with class masters, studying the children’s personal files and assessing their needs. Many children have already established contacts with their biological relatives, while four of the children have even spent vacations at their relatives”.
Children's emotions, their smiles and sparkling eyes confirm the words of the director. Children do not feel like inmates of the institution, but like residents of a true home. “I have got a person I can trust I guess, this is my principal tutor. She is trying to support me, together we have chosen an institute I can study in. I think it is good, she will help me and my family. In general, I like it in here, the house is comfortable. Adults try to take into account our opinion, the children’s opinion," 15-year-old pupil of the Small Group Home says.