Archive for the ‘Ukrainian children’ Category
Summer camp auction benefits Ukrainian children.
In his former life, Lloyd Cenaiko was a commercial real estate developer in Saskatchewan and Arizona.
“In 1994 I made a trip to Ukraine with my parents to see the birthplace of my father and to visit our relatives,” says the president of HART (Humanitarian Aid Response Teams). “I was shocked at the level of poverty my relatives were living in and after returning to Canada, I gave up a lucrative real estate practice in Arizona to focus on helping the country of Ukraine.
“In the past 18 years our little organization has grown to the point where we are affecting thousands of children and families each year through our relief aid, micro-finance, medical-dental, anti-human trafficking and missions projects, mostly in Ukraine but also in Belarus, Moldova and Romania.”
HART’s 10th anniversary summer camp auction takes place Friday at the Centre Street Church, 3900 2nd St. N.E., with doors open at 5 p.m. for the silent auction, and dinner beginning at 6 p.m.
The purpose of the auction is to help HART send 3,000 underprivileged children from Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus to summer camps.
“Attending a summer camp can be a life-changing experience for these children . . . truly an oasis from their otherwise difficult lives,” Cenaiko says. “Who goes to camp? Street kids, boys from prison, kids with special needs, kids from families living in poverty, children from Gypsy villages. It is a great cause and the best part (is that) 100 per cent of the funds raised are used to send kids to camps.”
The fundraising evening features silent and live auctions; Ukrainian dinner; a video-photo presentation; a guest speaker from Ukraine; live painting performance by Lewis Lavoie; and Ukrainian dancers.
Tickets are $30 each or $240 for a table of eight.
For more information and tickets, contact the HART office at 403-230-8263 or e-mail tickets@ hart.ca.
Ukraine “is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Every facet of life there’s corruption. People steal,” Cenaiko says. “And the people we work with in those countries are so incredible as they’re trying to change their country. The whole objective of sending these thousands to kids to summer camps, if we’re going to change these countries, we have to change the hearts and the souls of the people.
“That’s where the faith element comes in,” he says. “We know that if we can raise a generation of kids that are growing up with morals and ethics and just biblically based faith, we’re going to be able to change that country someday.
“Protestant churches are invited into the high school systems all over the country to talk to the teenage kids about drugs and alcohol and HIV and anti-human trafficking. And part of what we do is to facilitate those volunteers going into the high schools. Tens of thousands of high school kids are hearing about issues like this from a biblically based foundation,” Cenaiko says. “Our objective is just to impact the thousands of children and eventually somehow kind of change the hearts and minds of the people in that country.”