Taking First Steps
This week, I am pleased to be able to share some exciting news with you regarding our Ukraine team. For the years that they lived in Ukraine, Kerry & Carole Allison sent out weekly updates to program supporters, titled, “This Week in Ukraine.” Now, the pair have agreed to re-join the World Hope team, sharing stories and providing an inside look into World Hope’s Ukraine-based projects.
In anticipation of their first blog post in the coming weeks, I would like to share with you a story that Kerry & Carole first shared in December of 2006. Stories like this are what led World Hope to help start the First Step Centre nearly 20 years ago and why the Centre continues to this day.
I hope that this story moves you and makes you as excited as I am to hear more!
“His name was Yura and he arrived at First Step Centre last week, shivering and wet. He had a high temperature and was covered in sores. It was easy to see that something very bad had happened to him a long time ago because he was badly scarred on his face, hands, legs and feet. When the staff talked to him, he told them about the children who poured glue on him and then threw a match to watch the fireball. Yura had suffered severe burns to much of his body and it is hard to imagine how painful his recovery must have been.
Elizabeth, the resident nurse, examined Yura and decided that he needed to go to the hospital to be treated for the infected sores. After much persuasion Yura finally agreed to go but when they arrived, the doctor refused to take this dirty street kid even though Yura had bathed at First Step and had on clean, warm clothing. Yura ran away from the hospital before they could admit him.
Yura’s mother was a drug addict and he hadn’t seen her for a long time. One of our staff members went to find Yura’s grandmother and discovered that his grandmother and his uncle were often drunk and didn’t come home until late into the night. Yura would like to live with his grandmother but she told him she would not care for him so he ran to the streets. Yura didn’t like living on the street but he had to do whatever it takes to survive, which means beg, steal or be involved in prostitution – a horrible fate for a child.
Yura returned to First Step the next day and Elizabeth worked to treat his wounds as best she could and that is all we could do for him, other than to try and comfort him, pray for him, make sure he was well fed, cared for, and has warm clothes. This is just another reason why First Step Centre exists: so that children can find the help they need.
Yura continued to come to First Step. His body was covered with open sores from incontinence and after the hospital refused to admit him, Elizabeth treated him at First Step.”