We are so excited to share this story with you.
Iryna and her young family.
I first met Iryna, 2 years ago, when I was visiting the school some of our children come from in Bazaar Ukraine. She was at the school picking up her boys. I got talking to her and she told me she had just lost her husband in a car accident. She was living with her mum, two little boys, a baby daughter, and she was expecting her 4th child. She invited me back to meet the rest of her family and I was truly shocked when I saw the state of the house.
Everywhere we looked the house desperately needed repairs. Having lost her husband Iryna was left to bring up the children, all who have disabilities, in dreadful conditions with very, very little money. I felt awful just leaving this brave young woman in this hopeless situation. But didn’t honestly know what we could do, other than help with a small amount of money each month which we set up (through the Family Support Programme) when we got home.
I went back last year to visit her and to take gifts for the children, not only had her mum’s health deteriorated but her baby had been born with physical and mental difficulties. To add to the problems, the condition of the house was worse than ever. We were advised not to go into some of the rooms because they were so unsafe.
Iryna’s mother who lived with them was in and out of hospital and Iryna had been diagnosed with a heart problem, so with no husband to help there really wasn’t much they could do to help themselves. The villagers rallied round and helped as much as they could with such things as food and taking care of the children etc. this support was a big factor in Iryna staying in the village.
On my return home I contacted Dennis and asked if there was anything the Link could do to improve the families living conditions. Dennis contacted a local surveyor in Ukraine to go and find out exactly what was needed and how much it would cost to put it right. The Surveyor thought that the best thing to do would be to move the family out of there. There wasn’t anywhere local they could move to; any other empty property was worse than where she was. She couldn’t move away as she needed the support of the village, they knew her she felt safe with them and she needed that stability. After a thorough survey the estimate came back as £8000, again we used the same workmen.
Work started last autumn to make sure the whole family would be safe and warm before the onset of winter, which could be as cold as -20. Renovation had to be from the foundation up - new walls, windows, electrics and for the first time an indoor sewage and plumbing system.
The project is now completed and again it was on time and in budget. We were thrilled that also within the budget, a shower room, new heating system and the gift of a washing machine were also included.
The whole cost of the build was covered by private donations.
Thank you, hardly seems to convey how grateful the Link is to everyone who helped towards this project. We hope you realise just how much your kindness has helped Iryna and her family. I saw Iryna a a little while ago and she couldn’t stop smiling. She said she loved everything, for the first time she has running water in the house and inside sanitation. But she said what makes her smile the most is the fact that people who had never met her or her family, cared enough to help her. She asks that I say a “huge thank you to everyone involved and that she wishes all of you health, happiness and love in your lives”.
Thank you also to Abergele Rotary for the vitamins they kindly supplied for the family.
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