Wednesday, November 01, 2006

World of Good Blogburst, Komso Kids Style

For Mark, Georgette, Eric, Julie, Jeff and the Anchoress who make my blogging more fun.

This is the 500th entry on this blog and fittingly, it just happened to fall on a World of Good (WOG) post. While surfing around for today's WOG, I happened to come across a story about a British group that has worked to improve conditions at a hospital and orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia. This struck a chord with me.

My daughter was adopted from Russia. While the orphanage workers there did their best, the orphanage itself was in pretty bad shape. The stories told on the Komso Kids website echo my own experiences. I spent some time rooting around in my garage looking for my photo album of pictures from the orphanage, but didn't have any luck. Surfing the web for comparable pictures, the ones I found were too small to post. Suffice it to say that the fixtures were broken or filthy and the playground structures were rusted and mostly unusable. When I returned from the trip, my one-sentence description of Russia was that everything worked, but just barely. The images shown on the Komso Kids site are pretty close to what I saw.

The Komso Children's Hospital in St Petersburg is "an idependent Public Health Institution with a 385-bed facility catering for all ages, and for all those living in the St Petersburg region." It was the subject of a BBC documentary that highlighted the desperate conditions of the children within. That was a call to action for some folks in England who formed the Komso Kids charity organization. In addition to the hospital was the Kingisepp orphanage. "The Kingisepp School Orphan House No 2 is home to sixty eight children both girls and boys aged between the ages of ten and eighteen years old."

The orphanage prior to the arrival of the Komso Kids group.

Their newsletter gives a good idea of the need and their response.

On our recent visit to Paragalova where I might add there are some very dedicated people working in this centre, our feeling was that the morale there was very low. For those of you who came on the 1997 you will remember Vladimir the caretaker/ maintenance man there. He unfortunately had a stroke some four months ago and now they have no replacement yet. They are asking for our help! We are the sole Charity out there. They don’t get any funding from the state.

The works this year will be to renovate 8 small wards for the children who need to stay overnight for treatment, the stairs are creaking and need of repair, the small Hydro-Therapy pool isn’t working and needs retiling, some of the perimeter fencing is falling down and needs to be supported, fortunately the electrics had to be done some years back, but there are one or two plumbing jobs that need urgently doing.
What I keyed in on was the lack of state funding. These people are filling a need that no one else is filling. Does it make a difference? See for yourself.







The Komso Kids self-description ends with prose I cannot improve.

the true reward is alleviating the sickness and suffering of the children. We can only succeed in this with your help and contributions. Your investment, however small or however generous, will help!

This is a worthy cause!

So the next time you see your healthy children playing happily in our affluent society, spare a thought and put your hand in your pocket for those who may never know the same joy and satisfaction.
How can you help? One way is to shop online at some retailers who donate some of their proceeds to Komso Kids. Visit this link and you'll see how you can get involved. Even tiny contributions can make a difference.

For more WOG-alicious posts, visit my WOG description and index page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a nice WoG, KT! How cool to have adopted a Russian child yourself! I wish your family many blessings!

(BTW, the before pics here look like typical places in India, lol--and those are the GOOD ones!;)