Every Child Has the Right to Develop: Grand Opening of Montessori Center at Orphanage

August 12, 2011

On Wednesday, August 10, 2011, the Montessori Center for Education and Development officially opened at the Puhachiv orphanage located in the Zhytomyr region. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA adopted the orphanage in 2007 and since then the orphanage has undergone major improvements. 

The Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund initiated and implemented the Montessori Center project. This Center is the first of its kind to open in an orphanage for children with severe disabilities and is anticipated to become an exemplary center for training specialists from other orphanages to promote this method of rehabilitation for physically and mentally challenged children without parental care.  

Maryana Voronovych, CCRDF orphanage program coordinator, said that through CCRDF’s work she came to realize that “each and every child has the ability to learn. Children even with the most severe physical and mental conditions have the right to and can develop according to their needs.”

“More than 4,300 children with disabilities live in the Zhytomyr region today,” informed the Head of the Zhytomyr oblast department of labor and social issues Halyna Korinna and the Puhachiv orphanage is home to just a few of these children - 87 girls to be exact - who suffer from severe physical and mental disabilities.  

The Montessori Center opening was attended by 50 guests, including representatives of the local authorities and the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Ukraine, the missionary team of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the USA, sponsors, orphanage directors, CCRDF staff, as well as the mass media.  

Ms. Voronovych recognized that the establishment of the Montessori Center has been made possible thanks to sponsors and donors. The Puhachiv orphanage is sincerely grateful to the following project sponsors for their participation in the creation of the Montessori Center including the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, CCRDF, Boeing, InterContinental Kyiv, PricewaterhouseCoopers Ukraine, Natalya Yavorska and LPR Ukraine REAM staff, Dragon Capital staff, Likar Infond, Ukrainian Montessori Center, Dzherelo education and rehabilitation center, Church of Evangelical Christians USA, Church of Awakening USA, ATEM, Plastics Ukraine, and local Korosten manufacturing plants.

The total cost of the project amounted to over $87,500 (700,000 UAH), which includes the cost of the capital reconstruction of the building, the purchase of specialized Montessori supplies and furnishings, a two-year certified Montessori training program for the teachers, and monthly wages for 4 specialists over the next two years. 90% of project was funded by charitable organizations; the remaining 10% of funds were provided by the state.