A report from Doug Brendel to all who support or follow our New Thing ministry in Belarus...
If your ears don’t work...
Listen with your heart!
Welcome to the boarding school for deaf children, in Vitebsk, near the Belarusian border with Russia.
Here live some of the cutest kids in the world!
Director Svyeta and her staff work hard to make this as much of a “home” as possible for the deaf and hearing-impaired children in their care.
The teachers and other workers are amazingly cheerful and utterly devoted to the kids.
Many of the children here go home on weekends and holidays. Others are orphans; they have no place else to go.
Still others are “functional orphans” — like this little guy: his mother is in prison.
The very youngest children have a little building all their own — with miniature everything!
There is nothing better than an American visitor interrupting naptime to distribute candy bars!
For more details, see our previous photo reports from this wonderful place.
There’s a mini-gym, a music studio (even completely deaf children enjoy music by sight and vibration), everything you’d find in any other round-the-clock boarding school.
In this ward, children with cochlear implants are learning something amazing and new: how to live with hearing! It’s a whole new experience for them!
These children wear a hearing-aid-type device that communicates with the implant inside.
A teaching team helps the children learn to care for their implant-related equipment and adjust their activities accordingly. (No somersaulting!)
Generous friends of New Thing have funded an “Island of Joy” for orphaned preschoolers who have no place to go when the other kids leave on weekends and holidays.
It takes a number of weeks for our gifts to clear the bureaucracy and actually reach the school, but construction is finally under way!
Director Svyeta estimates they’ll be done in 3 weeks.
Friends of New Thing were so generous, and Director Svyeta so frugal, there was money left over.
It’s being used to help complete another project: a miniature apartment for up to 6 boys approaching the time when they’ll “graduate” from the boarding school.
Here they’ll learn basic life skills so they can function on their own in the outside world.
This unit will be finished and ready for occupancy — complete with a dedicated house mother — on September 1st.
Thank you again to all who have given so graciously!
More photos to come!
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