Ust-Kamenogorsk Window Restoration Project

 February 8, 2011

Two Hearts For  Hope is going to Ust Kamenogorsk Kazakhstan to take on it's biggest challenge yet: the replacement of  135 decrepit windows in the Ust Baby House.  It is a huge project that will undoubtedly result in a real and tangible improvement in the quality of life for the babies and toddlers who live here.  You can read about the project here.

But I want to add a little of our own story...because this is not just a nameless far away place without meaning to us.

Nina is from Ust.

She lived in this baby house for 16 miserable months.

She was hungry.

She was sad.

And she was cold.

And it's really, REALLY cold in Ust Kamenogorsk.  When we were there temps dropped to 25 below zero (f). For days.  Weeks, even. This was typical.

For a month we visited Nina.  Confined to a small coat room. A large window clouded by age and grime, the only thing saving us from claustrophobia.

We rocked.

And cuddled.

And looked out the window.

Nina's only view of the world outside of the orphanage.

At some point in our trip plastic was taped to the window frame: an attempt to keep out the frigid winds. Eventually blankets were hung to insulate further. 

I am quite certain I was the first to ever pick Nina up and show her the view from that third floor window.  Before the plastic and blankets we spent a great deal of time holding her there: showing her the snow and trees and birds.  She went from glazed over and lifeless to giggles and amazement at that window. We literally bonded this way. 

So this project holds great meaning and importance for us.  Not just as a concrete way to make life just a little better for the children still there but as a tribute to my amazing, beautiful and resilient daughter.

Who survived this place.

This is OUR window!

And we are hereby pledging to replace it.

For Nina.

And for the children just like her.

Still there.

Still cold.

I am asking a special favor of all the Ust parents out there. 

PLEASE Pledge today to replace one window the baby house.

Because I know it means as much to you as it does to me. 

The Ust Baby House shelters nearly 100 newborn to 4 year old children.

Mommy and Nina in our usual spot.  We were often scolded by the staff because they thought she would get sick by being so close to the drafty window.

Nina's view to the outside world.  Notice the peeling paint and decaying edges of the window.

This is OUR window. 

you can also help by getting the word out...  feel free to share this post by email or by posting it to your facebook profile or linking to your blog.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Design by Deluxe Designs