SUNFLOWERS CENTRE FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN - Sunflowers Chernobyl Appeal Children's Charity

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SUNFLOWERS CENTRE FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN

OUR PROJECTS

The Sunflowers Centre Project


The Sunflowers Centre in Mikashevichi started out as a 7-room derelict building. The local Disabled Association had no proper facilities to enable them to carry out activities with over 100 registered special needs children in the area. The Sunflower Chernobyl Appeal raised the necessary funding in Ireland to completely renovate the building supplied to the Disabled Association by the local authorities.
A group of voluntary trades people travelled to Belarus in Spring 2005 to start the work. They fitted new windows, a new sewage system, toilet, new floors, solid fuel heating system, fitted kitchen, re-wired the building, water connections, wheelchair ramp, paths, a roofed patio and decorated the building after plaster work was finished. The voluntary workers had worked at an incredible rate and all that was left was to furnish and put the electrical equipment, fridge freezer, microwave, gas cooker, television and other equipment in place for the opening day. It was a proud moment for all the voluntary workers and the Disabled Association as the children and parents packed the Sunflowers Centre for the opening.
The parents now have craft classes, activities and The Sunflowers supplied new computers, and had a local teacher give computer lessons to the children. A library and extra equipment will be installed.
The Sunflowers Centre gives the families of special needs children in the area a chance to organise themselves. It is an important focal point in their lives and helps to keep children out of institutions. From The Sunflowers point of view it gives contact to many children in need of help and is an important place for distribution of practical aid. We supply the Centre with medicines when requested, craft items, books or other necessary items such as clothing. We also take a number of the children or their siblings to Ireland for recuperative breaks.
We thank the dedicated volunteers and all our supporters. Without them, this, and many of our other projects would not be possible. Here are some photos of the volunteers at work in Belarus.

 
 
 
 
 
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Sunflowers Centre; The kitchen before
Sunflowers Centre; The kitchen after.

The Kitchen area before and after. The floors were replaced as were the plumbing and windows. A fully equipped kitchen with new appliances installed; fridge freezer, microwave oven, gas cooker etc.. supplied.

Sunflowers Centre; Declan Manning and Brendan Fallon.
Sunflowers Centre; Declan Manning and Pat Cahill.
Sunflowers Centre; after renovation work by volunteers from Ireland

The main reception room above was in bad shape and had to be slabbed out, rewired and plastered.

Sunflowers Centre; Pat Cahill from Ballinasloe rewiring the Centre.
Sunflowers Centre; Volunteer Joe Power from Killimor and Sonya, pictured with Waterford Stanley stove.

Pat Cahill pictured on left from Ballinasloe re-wired the whole building. He is pictured here in the area where the Stanley stove was installed to provide heating. Sunflower volunteer Joe Power from Killimor is seen here with the Stanley stove which was kindly donated by Waterford Stanley. The room has been completly renovated and transformed.

Sunflowers Centre; Volunteer John Glynn working on the plumbing
Sunflowers Centre; Volunteer Seamus Garvey from Cappataggle works on the plumbing.
Sunflowers Centre; Volunteer T.J Daly from Poppyhill at work on the water supply.

Plumbers John Glynn from Castleblakney, Seamus Garvey and T.J Daly from Cappataggle, working on connection of the water mains to the Sunflowers Centre.

Sunflowers Centre; Volunteers painting extieror. Sean Donoghoe, Mary Hibbitt, Declan Manning, John Harris, Paraic Kinnucane.
Sunflowers Centre; Volunteers painting extieror. Declan Manning, John Harris, Paraic Kinnucane.
Sunflowers Centre; Volunteers working on the extieror. Joe Power, Tony Whelan, Sean Donoghoe, Declan Manning, John Harris, Paraic Kinnucane.
John Glynn working on the plumbing.
John Glynn, Seamus Garvey and T.J Daly working on the plumbing.
Denis Hackett

The floors were replaced with wheelchair friendly laminate flooring. L to R: John Glynn, Seamus Garvey, T.J Daly and Denis Hackett.

Sunflowers Centre; Brendan Fallon and Denis Hackett working on the concrete footpaths.
Sunflowers Centre; Tony Whyte, Stanley Stakaraf and Declan Manning working on the concrete footpaths.
Sunflowers Centre; Aidan Mullery, Sean Donoghoe and Denis Hackett working on the concrete footpaths.

Volunteers installed new wheelchair friendly footpaths around the Sunflowers Centre. L to R: Brendan Fallon, Denis Hackett, Tony Whyte, Zachar Stanislav, Declan Manning, Aidan Mullery, Sean Donohoe and Mick Mullery.

Building the porch in the Sunfolwers Centre.
Mary Hibbitt from Caltra, painting at the Sunflowers Centre.
Mary Power and Brigid McGuire from Shannon, painting at the Sunflowers Centre.

A porch was built for the children at the rear of the building. Photos above show Mary Hibbitt from Caltra, Mary Power and Brigid McGuire from Shannon adding the finishing touches to the Sunflowers Centre.

Tony Whelan and Joe Power install laminate flooring at the Sunflowers Centre in Mikashevichi, Belarus.
Paraic Kinnucane at the Sunflowers Centre in Mikashevichi, Belarus.
Martin Hibbitt and Tony Whyte at the Sunflowers Centre in Mikashevichi, Belarus.

Sunflowers volunteers L to R: Joe Power from Eyrecourt, Tony Whelan from Killoran, Padric Kinnucane from Ballinasloe, Martin Hibbitt from Caltra and Tony Whyte from Ballinasloe.

15 year old Vitally at the Sunflowers Centre in Mikashevichi, Belarus.
Chernobyl children using computers at the Sunflowers Centre in Mikashevichi, Belarus.
Natasha and her daughter Dascha at the Sunflowers Centre in Mikashevichi, Belarus.

Children with various disabilities using the Sunflowers Centre. The Sunflowers installed new computers and printers, and now employ a teacher to give them lessons. This is one of many activities at the centre run by the parents committee. This is a self-help project supported by The Sunflowers Chernobyl Appeal.

 

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