Nurse to bring sunshine to Ukraine's forgotten kids
Orphanages of disadvantaged, disabled children in Ukraine will be a far cry from the upmarket New Zealand rest homes Keshia Melton is used to working in.
But the 25-year-old Palmerston North nurse isn't concerned about her own lifestyle after watching a BBC documentary, Ukraine's Forgotten Children.
Melton was inspired by the film to work in the special needs orphanages, which care for kids from 4 years old to adults.
In August she will spend five self-funded weeks in Ukraine through the charity Maya's Hope.
"I saw the film and did some research and thought it was so sad," she said. "Babies, if they're born with special needs, are abandoned by their parents in state care.
"It's what their government encourages them to do."
Melton will be working an hour away from the capital Kiev, at present beset by protests, and doesn't expect her job to be easy.
"It will be a bit of change - with the elderly, when they end up in a rest home, they've had a life," she said. "But with the children, some of them don't even see sunlight and they've never had a mum or dad. It's quite heartbreaking.
"I don't really know what to expect."
Melton is seeking donations for the charity and is holding a garage sale tomorrow at 64 Limbrick St, Palmerston North. To donate: givealittle.co.nz/cause/makeachildsmile