Bukova Orphanage for Girls
The Bukova Internat Orphanage is located in the Lviv Oblast, only a few miles from the Polish border. It houses girls with special needs from 5 to 52 years old. Some girls are very high functioning, holding jobs within the tight-knit community and taking care of the other girls, even having phones. Others cannot leave their beds or wheelchairs, however, everyone is taken care of at the orphanage. Each girl is treated like a human being no matter how debilitating thier condition. The girls have freedom to do what they like, whether that is apple picking, going out to pasture, dancing at the playground, or taking care of some of the sicker girls, they are free to roam. Each girl receives a pension from the federal government that goes to buying things for themselves or going on special field trips to the theater, the cities, or church. It is one of the nicest facilities for special needs women in Ukraine and is constantly expanding and growing.
We were treated like family. Welcomed from the moment we came to the moment we left the administration did everything they could to make sure we were comfortable and happy. The girls toured us around the facilities, taught us Ukrainian, and hung out with us. We were able to build the lab without many problems, just running into some problems such as turning the computers into Ukrainian and the different outlets in Ukraine, however they were all solvable and didn’t present any real challenge or difficulty. Our hard and painstaking work - transferring the keyboards to cyrillic, organizing wires and cables, carefully wrapping and putting together the computers- all paid off. Once the hard work was over we were able to do activities like painting the girl’s nails or cooking dinner for the staff. Overall, it was an amazing experience and an amazing one for the first lab. We can’t wait to continue our partnership with Bukova and the neighboring town of Sambir!