Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Some photos of the work inside the "barn"

This is not an up-to-date look at the barn as Garry has been unable to photograph the inside work since I left because he is taking photos with his tablet (the camera is with me on my travels so I could take photos) but a summary of some of the work completed since the work team was here (there will be some duplication if you  read my regular blog.) Garry said they met with some of the social service agencies from the surrounding cities on Monday and talked about the trade school and handed out some of the flyers I showed you in a previous post.

They are still working through the channels to get the electric hooked up to the barn, so Garry needs a flash camera to get a good photo inside the classroom/milkhouse/bathroom addition. This week he mentioned that they had been bending pipe to make gates for the barn.

digging the septic tank
Laying out the footprint for the rooms

Some unnecessary openings were bricked up

The rain leaked in and sprouted some wheat! 

walls going up

The windows were framed with wood so plastic can be stapled on in the winter

doorways to the equipment room and bathrooms
Garry's brother John worked on the bathrooms when he came
The classroom will have the windows

The tile is now finished inside the bathroom walls and showers, and more white paint has gone up on the inside walls, the toilets are in, too. Garry said Maria will be out this week and she is looking for her painting clothes to finish up the walls.  He said he bought the inside doors to hang.
The guys are building a well house for the well that was drilled a week ago. The final project to get the barn ready will be installing the milking equipment this summer, but Garry hopes to be able to move some of the bred heifers and the ones he will be buying into the facility soon. They will start calving in the fall when we have students.
well drillers

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Milkhouse/classroom photo

The windows are for the classroom.
Garry took this photo with his tablet because he doesn't have a camera he can't get any good photos of the work inside the addition right now, The tile is finished in the bathroom, the well is done, now they need to get the electricity hooked up. That is a process which been unfolding slowly, because of the red tape and rules involved, but they hope to complete it soon, without spending any more money than necessary.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Re-vamped trade school

This year the plan is the trade school will be back, although in a scaled down version. We had no students last year, other than two guys who continued with year two of the program in the fall and lived at our house.. . as you can see if you look back in this blog... Our school started with a man with a dream about a trade school for orphans, John Wiens.

We had a small group of students start in September 2012, most of them received the certificate the Ukrainian government authorized us to confer on them - for being a cattle grazing technician. The only male student that did not get his was the only one who worked on the farm in 2013. The others have gone on to other trade schools or university for training in other subjects. One student was baptized by John Wiens the Sunday before he  left for Canada, and others had experiences that changed their lives spiritually.

For 2013, due to lack of funds, it was decided not to have students in the fall and most of the staff was laid off. John Wiens went on home assignment and fund raised successfully in Canada and even the US, until he was diagnosed with cancer in December. He had hoped to start up with new students in January when he planned to return to Ukraine, but we were not ready yet. John really hoped to start a second track for students to study, he really wanted a baking track for girls. Sadly, John passed away in January.

However, a team from BC got the ball rolling on the unfinished barn renovation and came this spring to work for ten days and got so much done on this important piece of the project. The renovation of one of the old collective barns in the village was the linchpin of the project, and the reason Garry got involved when John talked about his dream of the trade school for orphans (to set up and manage the farm for the school). The barn would not only serve as the training area for the students learning to be farm managers but be a way to fund the ongoing operation of the school. We have been able to continue work on the barn and plan to have some animals in it soon, with cows milking there in the fall and students back in the two houses with foster families to help them learn about living in a family environment instead of an institutional one.

We have some strategies to make it work better this year. including trying to select students who really want to study farming! All students will be in the 18-22 year age range, no minors. We will have fewer teachers to reduce expenses, and forget about government certification since the one we could give is not really what we are teaching. Garry will continue to teach the farm component, and we plan to have some classes taught by the foster parents.

We will not try to give the students everything they would get at a government school- clothes, food, spending money for whatever they want. Education will be free,  but the orphans will have room and board deducted from the money they make for working in the barn during the work study component of their education. They will make more than the amount needed, so they will have some spending cash for themselves, but it will be earned, to help prepare them for the real world.

So right now we are looking for students for the fall, orphans of course. We may have few day students from the village, after filling our houses with orphans, these students would live at home and work to pay for their training during the work study.

It's gone, but the school dream lives on

You may have seen the video of John Wiens with the original building he hoped to turn into the trade school building in the village. It was not to be, two years ago the church building was further renovated to accommodate the school and the three classrooms the Ukrainian government required for an official school. There was a lot of red tape involved in being an official school, that spring and summer everyone was forced to get things done quickly to start the school that fall, and the church was seen as an immediate solution. It actually worked out well for the school, although the ten or twelve members of the church had to rearrange things every Sunday for services. This year we hope to leave them their own room for services!

Sadly this spring there has been a fire bug on the loose in the village, you may have read about the house that burned back in March in my Moo-oosings blog, there was a second empty abandoned house that burned and then while we in Egypt the old preschool that John once hoped to turn into a school burned also. The roof had fallen in last year, so as Garry said they really knew it was not to be, but here is a photo of what is left of the building.

Luckily it did not spread to the building behind it which were the town works building and are rented out for storage, because we have grain and fertilizer stored in some of the lock boxes.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Come to our school!

If you read the other blog, you will know of the progress Garry has made with the help of his brother in the last two weeks over at the trade school barn. Maria has made a one page flyer to hand out to help find students for the fall that they got printed this week... a thousand was the smallest number , so there are a thousand to send out like these....