Sunday, May 29, 2011

Class of 2010: 29 down, 5 to go!

We are so happy that our Class of 2010 is almost completely sponsored. One year into vocational school, 29 students have that special person in their lives who offers financial and emotional support. But five of them still haven't found a sponsor! Our goal for May Focus Week is to change that.

This month, we invite you to take a look at some of the 2010 Mykolaivka grads (all boys) who are still waiting for their very own sponsor. Could it be you?

As a GAP sponsor, you will send $30 a month to support your student. More importantly, you will exchange letters and photos with your student. You are not required to send packages, though they are always welcome.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Focus week: GAP Myko students

This month’s focus week is for GAP Myko students. We have seven graduates who are looking for sponsors for a year at which time they will graduate from trade school.

Today we are featuring Ivan. This soccer playing fishing fanatic has no family to help him along while he is in trade school. He is studying plumbing at Kramatosk and his happy nature is a big hit with his roommates.

If you are interested in helping Ivan, we would love to hear from you. Additionally, all available students that we will be featuring can be found here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Want to help Vasia to help himself?

Vasia is a graduate of Tsurupinsk Orphanage and a gifted painter. He paints with his mouth since he does not have arms. Vasia specializes in landscape and nature scenes, but he also paints wildlife and portraits.

When he aged out of the orphanage as a teenager he was able to attend vocational training for two years. After he graduated the officials in the region where he lived simply put him on the train to Kiev, basically transferring all their responsibility to another area. Vasia had nothing in Kiev.

We are very grateful that Bogdan was able to step in and help. Without Bogdan's assistance, perseverance and many hours of work Vasia would be living on the streets in Kiev.

An Orphan Smiles is so proud of Vasia and his determined spirit for wanting to live independently despite his disabilities. There are many obstacles in Ukrainian society for a person like Vasia. People with special needs are not given opportunities to live independently and are often institutionalized. They face many challenges in a very unaccepting society.

Vasia is painting to support himself. If you are interested in Vasia’s artwork, please see here for more details.