At the Belarusian Children's Hospice, the staff work tirelessly to make a sick child's all round quality of life as good as possible. This is the story of a special summer in the Tikhomirov family in the parents' own words.
‘On 15th August our daughter Lera, who uses a wheelchair to get around, set off for the first time in her life to have a holiday away from home. Her destination was the Stork Summer Holiday and Recreation Centre in Zabrodie about an hour’s drive from Minsk. The Stork Centre is part of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice and is a purpose-built complex for children and families in their care. Every summer, groups of children have the opportunity to meet other children there and have lots of fun together in the sunshine and fresh air.
We make no secret of the fact that we were really worried about how Lera would manage for two weeks without her parents but the moment we brought her to the centre our worries disappeared. We were greeted by a cheerful, friendly team of volunteers and staff from the hospice. It was clear from the start that the people working there were kind and big-hearted. They had created an extraordinary little world for our children in which they could feel just like other children who did not have ill-health and disabilities.
The two weeks passed in a flash and Lera came home full to the brim of happy memories and positive emotions. Our daughter can’t wait for next summer to meet her friends and to make new ones.’