WE HAD A GREAT DAY TODAY.
We went to three major partners today. Stop 1: Soros Foundation to introduce our Kyrgyzstan visitors. While there we talked about a project to help Kyrgyzstan - first starting with another exchange - bringing about 10-12 Kyrgyz to Ukraine to learn from the Ukraine experience - doing this in possibly February and then in March conducting a conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to further the work in diverting children from orphanages. Soros is very interested in this project.
Stop 2: We met with State Social Services Deputy Director and she gave a very thorough overview of the Ukrainian foster care system - its strengths and weaknesses.
Stop 3: We met with the Director of Kiev City Children's Services and had another very thorough overview of what are the strengths and weaknesses of the Ukraine child welfare system. The team was overjoyed with the information they have received and are eager to put into action some of the suggestions and strategies discussed.
Tomorrow - we will take the team to Brovary - a town in the Kiev Oblast that has an integrated social services program - where partnership and collaboration are more than just nice words. We will hear how they have made collaboration a success and learn how they have been successful in keeping children from being placed into orphanages. Brovary places NO children into orphanages!
And then our final stop for tomorrow will be a model program called Sunshine, started by a couple from Switzerland. It is a wonderful program where children are living in a family environment. This home has had great success in the years it has been in existance.
Each day we are just praising God for His Grace and Mercy in allowing us to host these wonderful Kyrgyz professionals. Each day we see one step closer to realizing a KYRGYZSTAN WITHOUT ORPHANS AND A UKRAINE WITHOUT ORPHANS.
State Social Services
Kiev City Children's Services