Center Reopens to Bring Hope


The following is a Mercy Projects update from Lena Yuschenko, director of the Hearts of Love Center in Konotop, Ukraine.

Children Suffer When Daily Routine Is Interrupted

From Lena: At the Hearts of Love Center we continue our work with special needs children. It is especially difficult for autistic children to be isolated at home during quarantine. They crave habit, order, and predictability. Most of the children during quarantine began to show aggression. Even non-speaking children demanded that they return to their usual routine of attending the Center. The consequences mean that it will take us months to restore children to their previous level of development.

They give individual attention to all the children at the Hearts of Love Center

We now conduct some classes at the Center, and continue to use online lessons for those children who cannot attend because they live far away and public transportation does not work yet. We try to keep safety precautions, and disinfect all objects that children touch. For schoolchildren, we offer online help in preparing homework in math and English. In our hearts, we try to fulfill the Word – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Col. 3:23

12-year-old Sasha depends on the Center

“The Closure of the Center Was Our Biggest Crisis”

“Sasha is my 12-year-old autistic son. Quarantine has become a real test for us. The worst part was not an avalanche of frightening news on the television, or home isolation and the inability to purchase the necessary things (only two stores remained open). The closure of the Center was our family’s biggest crisis. It was hard to see that with every missed day of classes, the precious reading, writing, counting, skills that our boy had mastered, despite his autism, weakened. It was difficult for me, because I simply had nobody to leave my autistic son with. I have no relatives or friends who can deal with him,” Sasha’s mother said.

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