HANDOVER AND INSTALLATION OF POWER GENERATORS TO UKRAINE (KÁRPÁTALJA region)
CSONGOR SCHOOL & VYNOHRADIV CHILDREN'S HOME
Darkness . No lights whatsoever. I remember how afraid I was as a kid, when I was asked to go to sleep at night. There might be monsters under the bed, ghosts walking around, and I pulled my blanket high above my head to protect myself. I learned later that we aren't afraid of the dark because we think we are alone, but we are scared because we think we MIGHT NOT BE ALONE. And we would be hurt. I’m sure you are all familiar with this feeling. We need someone to tell us, it’s ok, you are safe, we are here with you.
It’s one thing for a kid to experience darkness on his own, but have you ever been in full darkness as an adult? Darkness not just in your home, but EVERYWHERE around you, empty streets, no city lights, strange shades passing by, and your kids having their dinner at touch lights, in the cold ? Walking your kids to school despite the fact that the classroom will be no warmer than 16 celsius ? I tell you, this is like another world. These were my thoughts driving towards Ukraine, with a team of civil volunteers, bringing light and warmth tbringing light and warmth to hundreds of kids and adults.
If you are thinking, this is cool , this is something I want to get involved myself, then let’s have a chat. I’m planning one more project in Ukraine, making a difference in little kids life.
URGENT APPEAL FOR HELP
As the war in Ukraine went on to the winter, less and less electricity was available not just to factories, but to hospitals, schools, and children's homes. We got SOS messages that there is an urgent need for generators, to provide electricity, light and heating in Csongor village, 400 kids and staff at the local school, and in Vynohradiv (Nagyszőlős) State Children’s Home 200 kids and their carers left in dark, with no cooking capacity, or heating. Within a month, we had a solution. This miracle is a major effort, by many people.
Alex Davern (former CEO of National Instruments) with Michael Cojocar ( founder and CEO of CMA Architects) are the key people to call this project alive. They called their family and friends, business partners, and raised the 50.000 Euro needed to cover the cost, delivery and installation of two giant power generators to bring light and warmth to children. Let us celebrate this list together:
Main sponsors: The Davern Family , Kyle Bruck, Jonathan Bruck & Family, CMA Architects (Michael Cojocar, Krisztián Szőnyi, Nóra Mészáros ) together with SMG-SISU Budapest Engineering Consulting Kft (Gábor Szígyártó), NI Hungary (Róbert Hosszú, Gergő Kiss and Viktoria Sos)
Also support from: Perry Barth, Bodner Family, Bowman Family, Fulton Family, Sanders Family, Schlosser Family, Sloan Family, Worhall Family
The mayor of Kosd village in Hungary , Ferenc Kurdi agreed to help with the administration and finance management by connecting the village foundation to the sponsors. Kosd Jövőjéért Alapítvány (Foundation for the Future of Kosd) provided great assistance so far, thanks to Maya Gulya Szárnyasi , the President of the foundation.
Magyar Református Szeretetszolgálat with Viktor Ágoston, was on our side on this delivery too, they helped to move the second generator as well to safely across to Ukraine from Hungary.
A team of electricians from Hungary worked hard to upgrade the main fusebox of the children's home, and built the connecting network of pipes and cables in Csongor School too. Huge thanks to Vill-e-Com Kft (Eger), Péter Rabóczki and their partner supplier Schrack Technic
THE HANDOVER TEAM
The handover team included: Michael Cojocar (from CMA Architects & SMG-SISU Budapest Consulting) representing the sponsors, Ferenc Kurdi (Major of Kosd), who was our driver too, offering the minibus ride to the team. Again, a major help, as it is still impossible to rent a bus to cross the border. The village of Kosd offered the use of the minibus, only the fuel cost was to be covered.
The Founder of the Kosd Jövőjéért Alapítvány Makkainé File Edit joined us. An acknowledged journalist Ádám Kolozsi, volunteers from previous projects Attila Hunyadi and Kurdiné Romháti Mónika and myself, Zsuzsanna Bozó, from the Nursery Project.
LOCAL WELCOME at Vynohradiv
Csulej Jurij Stepánovics (Director) and Erika Gacs (Finance director of the children's home) kindly hosted us a welcome dinner. A special thank you is sent from our hearts, as we saw how difficult it was to cook for their own people and the kids with no electricity. As we had new people in the handover team, we visited all sections of the institute, including the kids wing. Was magic to our eyes seeing the lights come on first in the dining room, then in the kids wing.
LOCAL WELCOME at Csongor
We would also like to say thanks to Csongor village, the mayor András Baksa and his team for his warm welcome words, the dinner and breakfast.
The Bethesda Mission (Bethesda Szenvedélybetegeket Mentő Misszió) and the local Reformed Church welcoming hostel were offered to our visiting team as a thank you gesture. Can’t be thankful enough to Sándor Pocsai pastor, and his lovely wife, Pocsainé Tövissi Tímea for offering us a place to stay for the night and the perfect lunch before we drove back to Hungary. The school director Sándor Nagy and all the school staff, the kid's parents were incredibly grateful for this help. They are the ones who really know how this will change the kids' daily life. They all want to come to school and learn, and meet their friends. As you can see on the photos attached, during the air raid kids have to be seated in the school's basement. But they were really brave kids, learning songs and playing games despite the cold.
The Nagydobrony district major, Ferenc Nagy was also present, and welcomed the handover team. But what is even better news, they agreed to match the funds raised by the Davern Family to support the fuel cost at Csongor. Depending on how frequent the power cuts will be, both places have enough to cover the cold weeks ahead of us.
The best sight we have had, when we were to leave the school, looked back, and we saw this light school building, and its heated classrooms.
Our hearts were full of gratitude to all those who contributed, played any part, and cared for these kids. Experiencing the hardship of this war, the effect even from this distance is heartbreaking.