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Odessa, Ukraine: Spring Break 08
11 Eckerd students accompanied Director of Service-Learning Brian MacHarg to Odessa, Ukraine this spring break to work with street children at The Way Home.
The group spent a day seeing sights in Kiev then took an overnight sleeper train down to the Black Sea port of Odessa. Students worked in groups of three different sites.
One group accompanied the staff of The Way Home as they did street patrols to look for children living underground beneath utility manholes or in abandoned buildings. Children in these locations are often addicted to sniffing glue and have to contend with the harsh Ukrainian winters. The Way Home distributes soup and works to build relationships with these children.
A second group worked at a hospital for low-income children with infectious diseases. Eckerd students gave the children much-needed attention by playing hopscotch, jump rope, and also indoor games with them.
The third group stayed at The Way Home to to spend time with the children there and also to help prepare supper for them each night. Eckerd students also helped clean up a soccer field used by the Way Home children that had become littered with glass and also accompanied the children to various sites around the city.
Students stayed at a Catholic monastery in Odessa and participated in regular discussions throughout the week regarding international service.