A unique dining event is taking place at the new Rideau Restaurant on Friday, February 24, as a fund raiser for World Hope Canada’s work in Odessa. A Taste of Ukraine will bring authentic Ukrainian food to local residents, with perogies, cabbage rolls, and of course, Chicken Kiev on the menu. This is one of a number of events World Hope Canada is putting on over the coming weeks, with two more scheduled in March. The Taste of Ukraine dinner will support two projects that World Hope Canada has been operating in the city of Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea, in co-operation with a local agency.
Hope House was opened in 2006 as a place of refuge for girls living on the streets, even in the sewers of the city, eating out of garbage cans and vulnerable to human trafficking gangs and the dangers of life in a port city. Last year, the work was expanded and can now house 26 girls at a time, and over 105 girls have graduated from Hope House since it began. Hope House offers the girls a safe and loving home and a supportive family where they receive the necessities of life – nutritious food, health care and clothing, but also receive an education and life skills that come from living in a loving and supportive home.
The other outreach World Hope Canada pursues in Odessa is First Step Centre, a drop in centre for “social orphans”. These are children who may have one or two parents, but those adults are not taking care of their children and are leaving them to fend for themselves, long before they are old enough to do so properly. At the Centre, they are fed, can wash their clothes and have a hot shower. They may also go home with some food for later.
Richinda Bates, Director of Marketing with World Hope Canada, tells of a family of five young children, the youngest of whom is eight months old. The oldest brings them to the Centre each day to be fed and cared for. There is no father in the picture, and the mother only came by the Centre to make sure that they were there, before taking off again and leaving them.
These are the people World Hope Canada is helping with the funds raised at the Taste of Ukraine dinner on February 24. World Hope Canada is headquartered here in North Grenville, and is now a national organisation working in a number of countries. The Taste of Ukraine Dinner is the brainchild of another local resident, Ella Leson, whose daughter had visited World Hope Canada’s work in her ancestral land of the Ukraine, and decided that she could help the work by cooking! Last year’s event was a sell-out success, and Ella is cooking up a Ukrainian storm for this year with a number of other volunteers!
Tickets are $35 and are available from worldhope.ca/events, by calling 613-482-1499, or from the New Rideau Restaurant or CoBa Studios in Merrickville. Doors open at 5pm and dinner is served at 6pm. An interview with Richinda is available on our web site and Facebook page in which she talks more about the work in Ukraine and the Taste of Ukraine Dinner: www.ngtimes.ca.

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