Restoration Project Making Homes for Orphans

We’re excited to share an update about one of our newest programs, the Restoration Project! We started this program because we saw two dire needs: housing for our young people (whose inherited homes and apartments are often unlivable and unsafe) and vocational skills.

In the first year of our program – late fall of 2015 to late fall of 2016 – the Restoration Project crew, comprised of Last Bell youth and led by staff member Sergei Cherniy, restored the homes of six orphanage graduates. Some needed small repairs, but other jobs were much more extensive – true restoration work.

One of those six homes belonged to Sasha Kaplun and his wife Alona. Since Last Bell’s early years, we’ve known about Sasha’s run-down family home. Sasha and Alona were married in 2011, and this photo was taken in 2012:

The Restoration Project crew worked on their home January through June of last year:

Sasha, Alona, and little Zlata moved in that summer…

…and we recently received photos of the inside of the home now that they’ve settled in and made it their own!

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing about a new project our RP crew is working on.

Sveta and Alona Varss are sisters who grew up in the orphanage system. Their birth father abandoned them, and their mother’s various boyfriends abused them, so they would often run away. After the police found them on the streets for the third time, they were taken to the orphanage.

Alona moved into the Shelter in 2013, when we opened it up as a residential program. The orphanage wouldn’t allow Sveta to graduate early, so she moved in a year or two later. With the help and encouragement of our staff, Sveta entered the medical college in Zhytomyr, and Alona is studying at a university. Both are Christians, and they’re active in church and as Last Bell volunteers. We’re thankful to our Shelter sponsors who supported the girls through those years!

Alona (left) and Sveta (right) volunteering at a Stop the Cycle camp last year

After they graduated from the Shelter residential program, they lived for a time in a social dorm. But the government had promised to provide an apartment for them. Our legal team pursued the paperwork and kept pushing the government officials, and finally, in January, the girls received an apartment! It’s a mess, but it’s theirs:

This wreck may not look salvageable, but many of our young people’s homes have looked just like this before our Restoration Project crew worked their magic. Without a whole community of donors and volunteers, no long-term project like this would be possible. Thank you!

We’ll have progress reports for you all soon! Keep watching our blog and Facebook page for updates on the Varss sisters and their home.

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Last Bell Ministries

Loving and restoring orphanage graduates toward life and community.


PO Box 30671
Indianapolis, IN 46230