Charity Foundation Dobra Tut, Belarus

Busy week


Last week for a group of Irish volunteers that came to help out in Cherven children orphanage was really busy. 3 guys did a lot of work: went around all units, met children and carers and organized some interesting events. During the week they have been taking the children to multi-sensory room, took several groups of bigger boys and girls to the local cinema in Cherven to watch a new version of a famous Russian fairy-tale, organized session of body art with bigger girls. The guys purchased food stuffs for the children’s’ household, got lots of CDs and a karaoke CD for bigger boys and girls, pair of new shoes for a girl from unit 3, beads and décor material for arts and crafts and also lots of sweets!

The most outstanding thing that the guys experienced was the interview re St.Patrick’s Day that was taken in Minsk. Bev and Joe did really well in it and sure celebrating St.Patrick’s Day on Saturday became a good treat for the hard work!

We thank you very much for your great work and help and miss you already!

Read more

Happy St.Patrick's Day!!!


From the bottom of our hearts Fund "Dobra tut" wishes happy St. Patrick's Day! Special wishes goes to our most precious and wonderful friends: Burren Chernobyl Project, our partner organization "Chernobyl Children's Trust" and all people of an amazing country -- Ireland!!! 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Read more

Big Job done!

We are happy to announce that little Sergei Grishin and his Irish friend Graham Bruton got discharged last week from the rehab center near Minsk. Graham followed the child back to Ivenets school where little boy keeps getting medical and other support in walking practice.
Needless to say it was a big success. Sergei got very good after surgery treatment. The medical stuff and the people that the boy and Graham were staying with were very friendly. During these 3 weeks in the rehab Graham never left Sergei, giving him all the necessary care and his love. Graham has been a true parent for the child and the mothers that they were staying with were amazed how good Graham treated the child.

Now Sergei got stronger and healthier. And we all hope that soon we will see him walking independently.

Well done to both of them! We would like to say Special Thanks to Graham for being so good to the child and giving him a chance to improve his life and for being so caring and helpful!

We also thank the medical people who made the surgery and after care possible for the child!

Now Graham stays in Cherven with a group of Irish volunteers who came for a week to help out in the orphanage. We’ll keep you updated!

New chapter in Sergei and Graham’s story

This week is full of events for Sergei and Graham. On Monday the 13th the boys went back to the orthopedic clinic in Minsk where Sergei had his cast removed and got new splints. Next day they were transferred to a rehab center Aksakovschina for post operational period near Minsk. In two days they managed to make new friends and do a lot. Sergei’s prescribed lots of physiotherapy and other medical care stuff to make him better. The boy already made his first steps – proper steps. We all hope it’ll help the boy to get used to his new life.

And again it’s needless to say that it’s due to Graham that it’s all happening to the child. Graham give him best care and sure they both enjoy the company of each other and their nice neighbours!

Graham's Chronicles of Ivenets

Let me tell you about a little boy named Sergei Grishin, a 7 year old Orphan living in Ivenets school for children with special needs. I first met Sergei last August when I travelled to Cherven orphanage as a general volunteer with The Burren Chernobyl Project, which is where he was living at the time.

Sergei is one of 7 children and has a twin brother, he is not aware of this as they are living in different Orphanages in Belarus. His Mother & Father are alive but are unable or unwilling to care for him, or his siblings. Back home in Ireland this would be considered a devastating story, unfortunately here in Belarus its an all too familiar one.

He is an autistic child, as far as I am aware from speaking to other Volunteers and Staff from the Orphanage it was far more severe just a couple of years ago and has improved in time with the help of Dr. Maria Kolesnik in Cherven Orphanage who has done a lot for him. He is unable to speak and has no direct form of communication to others, although it can be a misconception to think he is not intelligent. From being around him, I have noticed the concentration in his eyes, when he is looking around the room, he is taking note of everything that he can see.

A carer from Cherven Orphanage had filled me in on everything. She told me about his walking, Sergei loves to walk but can only do so if you hold his hands for support. She told me that in her knowledge, he can probably walk if he has surgery. I didn't need to think about this, how good would it feel to see that kid walk and know I had a part in it? As soon as I arrived home in Ireland last August, we got to work. First thing we needed to do, was arrange for Ivenets to take him to the Orthopedic Clinic in Minsk for a consultation. The specialists in the clinic had confirmed that he was suitable for a Tendon Release and that would make his situation much better. They confirmed his Surgery date to be 9th of January.

So 5 months have past, and here we are, in the School that Sergei lives. He has had surgery almost 2 weeks ago and now, I haven't noticed him so happy as he is these days. Even with two heavy plaster casts on his legs, he has turned it into fun, using them as drums at times. I am so pleased with the School he is staying in, Staff & Directors here show a genuine love to the eighty something kids that live here. They make great use out of their facilities they have which is wonderful. We are here now until February 13th, when we return to the Orthopedic Clinic in Minsk to have the casts removed. We will then spend a few weeks in a Rehabilitation Centre & return to Ivenets, where they will continue physiotherapy and such.

This is my story so far, I have been here in Belarus only 3 weeks, but a lot has happened and I'm excited to see what the next few weeks hold. There is nothing more rewarding then helping others, and there are many children in Belarus who need help, and all over the world. Have you got Experience? The Language? If you do, Great!! But these are not the things you need to be a General Volunteer, you need Heart & Soul, Strength and the ability to connect with the children. Everything else will come to you, sure, there are things I have needed to do that I have never done before, but the people here teach me new things every day and I appreciate that greatly. So if you are interested to do something like this, I say follow your heart and go for it!

A big thanks to all the team at Dobra tut / Burren Chernobyl who have supported me, especially Liam O'Meara & Alena Martsyanava who have made this trip possible & of course to everyone at home who has supported me, without your support I could not be here doing this.

Graham Bruton

Winter holidays


We’ve been waiting for this time to come. And it came. The children from Gorodische orphanage for children and young adults with special needs have visited us here in Minsk again. We decided to invite them again. Our house stood empty a long time without their laughter and funny chats. We didn’t have that much time – and the week flew really fast. We did a lot together: went to circus, Zoo, 3D cinema, Yakub Kolas Museum. We watched the hockey match in Minsk-Arena, took a walk along lit-up streets in Minsk in the evening time.

The cultural programme was very versatile: the children watched “Tommelise”, have seen the show of a musical band “Horoshki”. But apparently the busy programme was not the most important for them. This feeling of home, real home that they had here due to the carers and us, was the most needed for the children and that’s what they miss in the orphanage.

And as always the hardest part of the week was to say good bye. This good bye seems to be until next summer. We all, children and adults, will be looking forward to meeting again. We miss your kind hearts, your bright and starlight eyes, endless questions and warm hugs.

We say big thanks to Veronika and Alona – the carers from the orphanage- it’s very pleasant and comfortable to work with you! Big thanks to Burren Chernobyl Project who provided sponsorship for organizing a real holiday for these children!

Tamara Bukhteeva

Another lovely week in Cherven

Another lovely week in Cherven

On Sunday morning the visit of a group of Irish volunteers finished. The 3 girls went home happy: they had an amazing week in Cherven orphanage. The girls came for a week to help with looking after children and provide necessary support. They have worked mainly in unit 6 of the orphanage, but didn’t leave without attention the isolation unit, and all other groups.

They have managed to get lots of toys for unit 2, put money on the charity account of the orphanage money for stationary and medication.

There were some home visits too. Little girl Masha in Smilovichi got a mini bath and toys to play with water.

We thank you very much for a very fruitful week and lots of joy that you have brought to the children!!!
Looking forward to seeing you again!

Graham follows Sergei back to Ivenets

Today the two of them: Sergei and Graham were discharged from the orthopedic clinic in Minsk. The mini van has come to collect them and bring them back to Ivenets school where Sergei will stay another month until he goes back to the clinic to have the casts removed.

Last two days (or better say) two nights were the most difficult for Graham as a carer, because after the operation the child was a bit disturbed, but the nursing staff was there to help the boy to relief the pain. Graham was very happy to hear that Sergei did very well, even better than the doctors expected, that’s why they had very short time in the hospital.

Needless to say that all the people in the hospital: doctors, nurses, nursing assistants and the mothers that accompany their children in the hospital were very nice to little boy Sergei and sure to Graham, the one (as they said) that is more than a father to a child.

Amazing was the fact that everyone said thank you to Graham for looking after Sergei, because it’s so rare in Belarus that someone strange is so fond of a child to take such a good care of him. They couldn’t believe that a young lad from a foreign country could come and do this for the little boy. They all say thanks on behalf of the people who genuinely care.

Now we are wishing good luck to Graham in Ivenets school!

Their story started!

Today was one of the days when one can name as a day that turned somebody’s life forever.

Little boy Sergei Grishin, a 7 year old orphan from Ivenets boarding school for children with special needs in Minsk region, Belarus, has had an orthopedic surgery today. This little angel was brave. But… But it would never have happened if in his life there was no wonderful people. One of them and the most important now for him is an Irish volunteer Graham Bruton. They met in August 2011 in Cherven orphanage when Graham came there with Burren Chernobyl Project volunteers. It was his first visit to Belarus as a volunteer and first experience ever with special needs children. Actually, it’s very hard to take everything in on the first visit. But Graham did brilliantly on that trip and he found his child – little Sergei that came into Graham’s heart and stayed there and will stay there always.
Sergei had to have a surgery to help him start walking properly and one of the best orthopedic clinic in Minsk welcomed the child for an operation. Graham was ready to look after the child during surgery and after it, in clinic and in the rehab centre where the child will go soon and sure he will keep looking after Sergei a while in school too.

Today was a hard day. Surgery was tough for both of them. Hard on little fellow and even harder on Graham, because all he could do today was sitting and worrying and praying for all to do well. Thank to the highly professional doctors the surgery was very successful!

Now both of them are in the hospital resting.

And we are all sending our kindest thoughts to them!

New posts on their progress will come up soon. You can follow them either on our official website or Facebook page. There will be more soon!

Merry Christmas to you

Our dear friends!

This lovely time in Belarus is full of gratitude. We would like to send you best wishes on Christmas day from the bottom of our hearts. These wishes are from all of us – workers of “Dobra tut”, children from the orphanages and residents of asylums – these are wishes to those people who help make a big difference this year. We thank our dearest friends and partners – Burren Chernobyl Project, their volunteers and everyone who was involved into fundraising for Belarussian children and adults living in the orphanages and families of Belarus.  We also thank our partners Chernobyl Children’s Trust and ASSOCIAZIONE PROGETTO CERNOBYL for their hard work and amazing results!

We thank you very much for your kindest hearts, your generosity, your interest and involvement. And surely your love.

A lot of work has been done this year and all thank to you.

So let us all hope for another fruitful year!

May God keep you in His palm until we meet again!

Good luck and prosperity to you and your families!

Merry Christmas

One more intensive working week

From 27th of November up to 4th of December Cherven children orphanage welcomed 2 Irish volunteers, Katie and Antoinette. Although it was only 2 of them but they did the work of 5! They have done a lot of work, taking possibly all the children of unit 6 to the multisensory room, playing with them, looking after as many as they could. Help of Irish volunteers is very important in the orphanage as the kids need a lot of attention and individual care. And surely it’s always very pleasant for the kids to be looked after by truly loving people!

During the week the girls visited families with special needs children and young adults that our project is keeping in touch constantly.

We say thank you very much for all the work that you have done, for your kind and caring hearts and love to our children! Looking forward to seeing you again soon!

Aid from our partners

Recently our Charity Fund has got a new humanitarian aid load from our Irish partners “Chernobyl Children’s Trust”. Permission to distribute the aid has already come from the Department of Humanitarian Aids and the recipients of help are (according to the distribution plan):

  • Pukhovichi development and rehabilitation centre
  • Socially unprotected families
  • Psycho-neurological asylums for special needs adults in Kul and Rakov
  • Day care centre for special needs children and young adults in Zavodskoi district, Minsk, and social organization for special needs children and young adults “BelAPDIi MI”
  • Slutsk baby orphanage
  • Families who have special needs children united by organization “Osobyi mir”.

Last week we welcomed Chernobyl Children’s Trust directors who came on a visit to Minsk to define future plans of cooperation for year 2012.

Volunteers in Gorodische

Four volunteers from Ireland that have come to Gorodische children orphanage this week have already done a lot. During this week they have purchased an overlocker, organized sports for children, games in all units, sessions in the sensory room and also took part in the meeting with the Minister of Social services Marianna Stchiotkina.

They plan also to visit families where special needs children live, purchase shoes for the children in the orphanage and surely bring lots of joy and pleasant memories to the children in Gorodische.

Looking forward to new visits, impressions and surely photographs!

Angels dwell on earth

I am lucky in life. I can surely say that because I had a chance to meet an angel. Yes-yes, don’t be so sarcastic – you don’t know whom I’m talking about.

Teresa Flynn – this name is well known to the people of Cherven, Belarus and surely to the people of Co. Clare, Ireland. This 80-year-old woman is a true legend. And as it was already said she is a legend.
One can talk and write about her endlessly but usually you don’t know where to start. But let’s start with the main thing.

This tall, slim but very strong lady will surprise you with her spirit, open mind, cheerfulness and … her constant “diet” – coffee and cigarettes.

Sometimes it seems that she is younger and more “advanced” than young people. And there are so many unusual, astonishing stories that happened to this wonderful Teresa. She’s got handful of such stories: it's either her helping Hollywood stars to get out of the dirt of Irish roads washed away by rain right beside her house, or giving life to children in different countries – Teresa is a qualified midwife, or sharing all her love and her warm heart with the special needs children in orphanages in Belarus.

Teresa is the name you will always hear when you get into Cherven children orphanage. There is not a single person that doesn’t know her, that doesn’t love her. Every time when I go there I hear questions about Teresa.

I have never heard Teresa to say bad things about people. She justifies everyone. If in her house, that she has never locked when she was away, something was missing or stolen she would say: «Apparently they need it more than me».

Unfortunately she doesn’t visit Belarus for 2 years now, her age is not appropriate. Although this is not the real reason. The real reason is that her sense of life during recent years – little boy Sergei Ulianchik – a child with severe physical and intellectual difficulties is gone for several year now. He died. Their story is the most touching that I have ever heard. It’s a lot to tell how they met each other and how they grew together. I will say only this - at that moment Teresa approaching her most respectable age has made a real deed – she gave Sergei several years of real family, real love, best care. She gave him a chance for normal life, the one that ordinary kids have. She, a person from a foreign country, an elderly woman, forgot about herself, her age and gave herself up to a child, completely. He lived with her in Ireland and that was the best time for both of them. Then the child was called up back to Belarus she didn’t hesitate a moment – she went with him. How can you abandon a child? How is he going to be there alone, in the orphanage? She was pretty determined. And she stayed with him till the very end. «My little angel» - that’s how she called him. Knowing so many stories when mothers leave their own children in the orphanages, all alone, you understand that such people as Teresa are real angels. For some mothers their disabled children are a burden, a nightmare that they want to cross out of their lives and never remember it. They abandon their kids in different conditions – some of the children suffering from severe disabilities and require full care – some of the children being in better health state. But the result is the same these mothers do not need their children the families do not care about them. That’s why I can surely name Teresa a true MOTHER for all she did to Sergei.

She became an example for her own people in Ireland, and many hearing her story were inspired and became and still become volunteers, they get involved with our organization and come out to Belarus to help in the orphanages. And I’d like her to become an example for our people as well. Because I believe that angels dwell on earth, they live inside us. We just need to see it.

By Alena Martsyanava

New meetings — new joy

From the 14th up to 21st of August Cherven children orphanage welcomed a new group of Burren Chernobyl Volunteers.

A group of 3 people – 2 lads and a girl have spent 6 unforgettable days in the orphanage and also organized a trip to Minsk for the young special needs adults from the same orphanage. Alan, Graham and Beverly have made a special holiday for the kids and left a deep trace in children’s hearts. The volunteers grew so close to the children and are waiting impassionately for the next visit to the orphanage. Some of them have found their special friends and a vocation in life.

And we in our turn thank you so much for coming here, for your help, incredibly kind hearts and genuine love to the kids. Looking forward to your coming back!

Charity Fund "Dobra tut" is the organization whose main priority is to support financially and materially some of the orphanages in Belarus and also involve volunteers into work with the children and adults.

You can support our projects by transferring money to our account, or become a volunteer and help the children and adults directly. On our website we provide you with the full report on the work of our Fund.


Matthew’s crew
Summer full of joy
What a nice company!
Two places are a good idea!

Contact details

Angarskiy pereulok, 117, Minsk, Belarus, 220137 
Phone/fax: +375 (017) 246-26-39
Send a message from the site
Banking details