This year the Belarusian Children's Hospice has celebrated its 20th anniversary. Founded in 1994, our organisation has seen changing times and has been able to help hundreds of families. Over the years we have learned, developed and grown into the leading provider of children’s palliative care services in the ex-Soviet and Eastern European countries. It would be impossible to list everything we have done here so let’s just take a look at 2014.
This has been a very active year. We have expanded the number of children and families we work with, opened a new physiotherapy department and more people have joined us. As usual, part of our team, together with wonderful Welsh volunteers, spent the summer providing hugely enjoyable and beneficial country holidays for our sick children at our summer camp in the village of Zabrodie, outside Minsk. The children benefit physically from sun and fresh air and socially from the full programme of group activities.
Our ambitious project to build a new children's palliative care centre has finally moved from paper to the building site. We believe that nothing will stop us from going forward now, not even the cold winter weather.
The final big fundraising event of this year was our Grand Charity Ball with Auction. We got the idea for this novel event in Belarus and learned the skills to make it a success from staff at Richard House Children’s Hospice in London when our head of fundraising visited in May.
Everything we have done has been done with Friends of the Belarusian Children's Hospice (UK) who have continued to support us in so many of our endeavours during 2014. By supporting them, you have helped us to grow and I would like to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your love, kindness and responsiveness.
I would also like to draw attention to the fact that Friends of BCH has not only helped the Belarusian Children's Hospice grow and develop throughout all these years but by working with us you have brought dignity and a better quality of life to hundreds of sick children and their families in Belarus. Despite the fact that this wonderful year of co-operation, mutual aid and friendship is drawing to a close, I am confident that we will carry on working together to expand all this wonderful work in the coming year. On behalf of myself and all the employees of the Belarusian Children's Hospice, we wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. May you always be surrounded by good people, have good health, love and prosperity.
Anna Garchakova, Director of the Belarusian Children's Hospice, Minsk