Saturday, July 09, 2011

Making Living Somewhat Easier

One of the exciting developments this Spring was the conversion of the 2nd floor of the Molochansk hospital to a floor dedicated for the care of Seniors. Dema Bratchenko, our Ukrainian Manager at the Mennonite Centre,  is on the Tokmak Social Care Committee which spearheaded this project. A dedicated facility for seniors care is relatively new in Ukraine. Two hospitals in former Mennonite villages - Molochansk (Halbstadt) and Vladovka (Waldheim) are converting some of their beds for the care of Seniors.
The Molochansk facility is desperate need of infrastructure upgrades. On the entire floor of this hospital there is only one toilet which actually works. FOMCU, Friends of the Mennonite Centre in Ukraine, is funding major upgrades to get all toilets working. Several years ago through the Respite Centre, we brought in used adjustable beds that certainly are a vast improvement over the existing beds.

In addition to providing the plumbing upgrades we also purchased new equipment. It's hard to believe, but the entire hospital food was cooked from three ancient hotplates sitting on a wooden table. These units were expected to make meals for at least thirty  patients! Often family members would bring in their own food. We have provided a modern grill and oven that will be a vast improvement. In addition we have provided  a new washing machine, a gas boiler and a new fridge for the seniors. Hopefully, by Christmas we will find donors to fund a TV in each room, This is win, win for everyone. Seniors can receive proper care, hospital equipment is upgraded, and staff layoffs are avoided.

This facility has room for up to thirty seniors. They will be able to receive medications from the pharmacy downstairs, and  we are currently negotiating how we can subsidize the cost of medication for these seniors. In addition to the resting areas we will have a common meeting area for socializing. Seniors turn over their pension cheque to pay for their care. They are the most vulnerable group in Ukraine. Elder abuse is far too common.

Mennonite groups have been leaders in providing seniors care. In Zaporozhye the Mennonite Family Centre has done a remarkable job in providing care services for seniors. In Kutusovka the Mennonite church runs a nine bed seniors home in the church annex. We hope that our work in Molochansk and Vladovka will be models that demonstrate how to develop care facilities for seniors in rural communities.

Thanks for your support. Please visit our website at to learn more about our work and see how you can assist us.

Ben and Linda Stobbe

with new washing machine and boiler

old cooktop for entire hospital
and you thought your kitchen needed upgrading!

with new grill and oven

adjustable bed?

used Candian bed from container

basic bed


At 7:16 AM , Blogger Sara Wenger said...


I'm a Peace Corps volunteer in Odeska Oblast and I have some free time the first to second week of August and would like to get in touch with you about touring your facilities. I attend Midway Mennonite in Columbiana, Ohio.

Thank you,

Sara Wenger

At 7:16 AM , Blogger Sara Wenger said...

Also, I wouldn't mind helping out for a few days if you have any small tasks.


At 8:26 AM , Blogger Fly said...

It is very important to have contacts of good hospitals when you are travelling. This is much more important in Eastern Europe countries like Ukraine, because quality of medical services  there is often not very good. I created a directory of Ukrainian hospitals you may rely on while your travel to Ukraine. This travel directory also contains very useful information on accommodation, entertainments and transfers in Ukraine.


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