Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Quilts for Chernobyl

Here is an excerpt from Eric McKenzie's Blog. Eric is in Chernobyl with the Canadian Aid for Chernobyl group.

Today is the first day of school after the spring break. Cathy Boone and I headed to the Kostukovichi Orphanage to deliver a few boxes along with quilts made by local quilters, many of whom belong to the 1000 Islands Quilt guild. It is about a two our drive that took us through the exclusion zone created by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Speaking with the Orphanage Director, Valleri, we discovered that more and more children are being taken in foster care and the population of the orphanage is decreasing in this region. One result of this is a disproportionate number of boys in the orphanage. Families tend to prefer to take in girls over boys. One of the classes that we met had 11 boys and no girls!

Here a group of boys each select a quilt.

These quilts are lovingly hand-made by a group of quilters in the Brockville area. Every quilt is unique just like the children that receive them and we explained this to the children before they picked their own. Here a group of boys proudly display their selections. Living in the orphanage environment these children have very few personal belongings, but these quilts are theirs to keep forever. A treasured gift as evidenced by the smiling faces.

We also delivered quilts to a daycare in Gorbavichi. Again, these quilts were lovingly hand-made by a group of quilters in the Brockville area. We managed to arrive at naptime and all of the children were sleeping. I have no idea how they can get this many children to sleep at once.

We managed to sneak in and place a quilt on a sleeping child for this photo op.

Thanks, Eric, for a job well done! Thanks also to my fellow members of the Thousand Islands Quilters' Guild for your continuing support of this worthwhile project!

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