British Humanitarian Aid

Registered Charity - 1031547.      11, Devon Road, Canterbury, CT1 1RP     Tel. 01227 453434

Founder Director: Rev. Tony Budell.   Director: Philip Edmonds.   Accounts: Valerie Budell.


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Vaganichi  Home for the Elderly Project

A couple of years ago Nadia Ploskaya suggested that there was a need for a home for the elderly in the village of Vaganichi. Sadly, her failing health has meant that she has had little involvement since. Philip has taken this on with help from several of his ex-pupils. A determined effort in the summer managed to get several of the rooms in the ex-school building ready for use. However, it is not completely ready, as he called a halt on the work so that we could make sure that plans for running the home were really secure. There is a tendency in Ukraine for people to do things “unofficially” by slipping a donation to local officials especially at village level. This is obviously completely unacceptable as far as we are concerned.

There were originally three options for the running of the home. Option one, to run it as a private “home” was not really practical as there is no-one available who has sufficient business skills. An alternative of gifting it to the local Territorial Service, the department of social care that deals with the elderly, was also impossible because the Chernihiv home is only 50% full and they will not fund support elsewhere. For them it is just a question of numbers and they don’t consider the wishes of old people from the villages that have no wish to live in the city. The only option left is for the church to take over the running, as is already done successfully in Tupichev. The local priest, Father Vitalik, is sensible enough to want to make sure it is a viable proposition and is looking carefully at the question of balancing expenses against income from the residents pensions.. He will certainly need support in the early days. Maybe we can find some UK churches that would consider supporting him. Although some villagers were very keen to see it open already we need to make sure that all the work was done to a proper standard and the required certifications obtained for a legal opening.


With regard to the building, an office space, two rooms for staff and an area for toilets, washbasins and showers have been created. Ex King’s School shower cabinets and toilet partitions will soon complete the work. Sergei has kindly been busy with the borehole for the water system.  In the summer, it was great to have help from Ura, Zennia, Kola, Masha, Vova and Vika, from the foster family, and between us we have managed to get three ex-classrooms ready as residential rooms. Almost all the work at Vaganichi so far has been done using recycled materials donated in the UK. In the kitchen work has also progressed and, with all power sockets now removed from the lighting wiring, once the electrics in the building have been upgraded, it can easily be serviceable. A set of kitchen units, courtesy of Crown Products, has already been installed. Furniture from The King’s School, and also from the power station at Dartford, has been invaluable.