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Elana arranged tours for 2 days that were outstanding. We were able to see everything we asked for. Also, we made changes as we went along and these were cheerfully accommodated. Elana solved a hotel problem even though she did not make our hotel reservations(would have her do the reservations next time.)
Yulia was our guide. She phenominal. my daughter-in-law said you could ask her any question and she knew the answer, she was an encyclopedia of information.
I would high recommend Ulko Tours!!!
Social Awareness Program
August 15, 2011 - Elena Ulko, ULKOtours, has been invited to be on the Board of Trustees of Vsevolozhsk Orphanage.
A lot of you might have already heard that Russia is the country of orphans. Unfortunately, this is true. Thousands of children are abandoned by their mothers, families. relatives every year, sometimes right at the maternity hospital. Due to the lack of proper financial support from the government, families give up their youngest children to be able to support the oldest. Or sometimes parents just don't care...they take drugs, drink and eventually die, leaving their kids on the streets...hundry and cold.
Being the founder of UlkoTours, I'm stating with confidence that we are trying to make the life of little ones at least a tiny bit happier. State orphanages don't get enough financial support from the government either, thus limiting the number of essential things for the kids to minimum. That's why such establishments always need disposable diapers, shampoos, diaper creams, cotton buds, clothing (new and used (in good condition), plastic toys, walkers, crawling mats.
Me and my family have been personally involved in helping our local orphanage located in the town of Vsevolozhsk, Leningradskaya oblast since 2006. The capacity of the orphanage is 105 children, ages from newborn to 3 years. Those kids that are totally disabled stay there until they are 4 y.o. Luckily, on average 50% of children find new families every year, but new ones keep arriving...this is a non-stop process until our government takes adequate measures.
We regularly take car-fuls of diapers and other things there, raise money among friends and relatives for urgent medical care (did two heart surgeries for little girls - Nadya 3.5 y.o. and Valya 10 months - the governmental process for that is just far too slow, the girls could have died sooner) Now both girls have found new families abroad!!!
So, I'm writing this to let you know, that by purchasing a tour with UlkoTours you now can also put your small impact in helping these kids. 1 USD from your tour cost goes to the UlkoTours Orphanage Fund. We will then buy the necessary things with the raised money and take them to the kids.
If you are willing to personally visit the orphanage and bring something yourself - YOU ARE MORE THAN WELCOME!!!! I will personally accompany you there , we will meet the director and she will show you around the orphanage.
Thank you for your kindness!
P.S. On the last photo to the right, it's my daughter Diana in green/pink dress standing next to Nadya, a 3.5 y.o girl that at that time desperately needed heart surgery. You wouldn't belive it but Nadya is 6 months OLDER than my daughter, who was only 3 at that time. Isn't this shocking? Now Nadya is almost healthy and has found a new family from Italy!