Little Lighthouse

Thanks to two legacy gifts we have been able to purchase two hectares of land on the outskirts of Makariv, a town 60km our of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. Here we shall be building a flagship rehabilitation, children’s and community centre. More details are here.

But, there is an urgent need now for care and support of children living with disabilities as no such facilities exist in any reasonable and accessible distance. The only services involve arduous trips of over 7 hours to the capital for little over an hours treatment.

To help overcome this, a Baptist church in the heart of Makariv kindly offered space to host a new multidisciplinary care programme with immediate effect, our Little Lighthouse programme. Thanks to a team of volunteers and free local donations of new windows, doors, under-floor heating and toilets, the basement was fitted out to offer a clean, bright, easily accessible location for essential services. 

We have gathered together a speech therapist, psychologist, physiotherapist and rehabilitation therapist

This new facility also enables our partner to establish an identity and reputation ahead of the larger centre being built and opened.

Up to 10 children are seen per day living with a range of physical disabilities (including but not limited to cerebral palsy) with up to 30 different children per month receiving a range of treatments. The expectation is that between 300 and 400 different children will be seen over a year. Each child receives a range of 3-5 different therapies (physio, massage, speech therapy and psychological counselling) in the course of their visits over a week. This is then be repeated as necessary every 3 or 6 months (or more frequently if necessary).

The centre is free to access for anyone who needs the care and services but each child and family will be fervently prayed for by the team:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Rev 21:4)

Our prayer is to help many children and families, such as Mariya’s.

Mariya is 13 years old and was born with cerebral palsy, cognitive and speech impairment, and complex astigmatism. Her father is absent from her life and her mother cares for her along with a younger sister. Mariya and her mother are determined and have sought out a variety of treatments, but these are very difficult to get to. The road out of their village is little more than sand and wheelchairs and crutches get stuck. There is just one early morning bus to Kyiv where two transfers on public transport are required, and then one late evening return. Overall travel time and waiting time is 7 hours for under 2 hours of rehabilitation. This is not uncommon for those who seek rehabilitation treatment – many parents just cannot or will not be as determined. Having a local rehabilitation service will, in Mariya’s mother’s words, be “amazing” and as says “so much needed help will come to our children.”

Although in time it is hope that some funding may come from the local authorities, we have stepped out in faith as there is no funding available for this essential work. If you are able to help, we value all support. Thank you.