Nope, haven’t died yet. ?Although with the amount of sugar in my house it is a miracle I am not laying on the bathroom floor in a diabetic coma. ?Other than the pan scrapings from the caramels (and um, 1 candy cane truffle… for quality control purposes) I haven’t eaten any of the candy I’m making. ?I just can’t. ?Lucky for me my dear friend Lena came to help today and brought her famous Swedish Gingerbread cookies for me to snack on. ?I had to share them, but I didn’t want to.
I received an email from Galina this morning after her meeting with the new orphanage director. ?She had more details about the place that your money will go to. ?I suppose if ones day is going to start in tears they must be happy tears.
The village is called Mirnoe (not Mirnyi as originally reported). ?It is located about 11 km outside of Khabarovsk. ?(Google Khabarovsk, Russia to see where that city is located if you don’t know) ?It is a very small village with a population of about 1700. ?There is a village administration building, a school, a “house of culture” (which I would assume is a museum or theater of some sort), and a “club for children.” ?It’s small. ?You have to take the bus to get from Khabarovsk to Mirnoe.
The particular orphanage that we will be giving the money to was established in 2001. ?It is a Social Orphanage. ?Typically a social orphanage is a place where children are placed because of abandonment. ?Or at least that is what I am lead to believe. ?I am awaiting confirmation on this. ?There are only about 30 children living there ranging in age from 3-14 years old. ?The building is only 820 square meters big. ?Each groupa has a bedroom and a game room. ?The orphanage’s budget is only what they receive from the territory (Khabarovsk Krai). ?If you will recall, the average Russian orphan only receives about 24 cents per day for food, clothing and basic necessities.
According to Galina, this village is so small and there is no industry there, the orphanage has no “sponsors” or donors like the baby homes in town have. ?The director is very glad to have ?such a generous gift.
Galina spoke with the Head of Administration (of where I don’t know) and that person said that Natalia, the director, is a very honest and kind person.
I did a little more research about the Village Mirnoe and the orphanage there. ?If my searching is correct this is, in fact, a very poor orphanage. ?Not all of the children have shoes to attend school (a requirement). ?The majority of the children are older and have little resources to learn any kind of trade that may be useful once they age out of the system. ?In short, this place needs help.
As I find out more about Mirnoe I will pass it along.
*According to Galina, the children of the Mirnoe orphanage are there because of the typical reasons. ?They are taken from alcoholic parents, some were found in the street, some were abandoned, some have only a mother who is sick, some are special needs and some are simply “thrown away.” ?Some of the children live there for many years.
Natalia and Galina discussed how the money would be spent. ?First Natalia would like to purchase winter clothing for the 3-4 year olds so they can go for outside walks. ?Currently night time temperatures are reaching to -27C. ?The high in Khab today is supposed to be 19 degrees F. ?After clothing they will make sure the children have a New Years celebration complete with gifts and candy. ?Oh how I wish I could be there to celebrate with them. ?They will also purchase medicine for colds since sickness is pretty much rampant in orphanages. ?Galina assures me that she will take lots of photos. ?The children in their new snow suits, Natalia receiving the money and of their holiday celebrations. ?I don’t expect to receive the photos until the Spring since Russian post travels at the speed of a swimming burro.