Stranger than Fiction: School raise over half a grand for Ukrainian Orphans

PUBLISHED: 12:38 04 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:41 20 February 2013

Stranger than Fiction: School raise over half a grand for Ukrainian Orphans

Stranger than Fiction: School raise over half a grand for Ukrainian Orphans

School raise over £600 for Ukrainian Orphans whilst celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Charles Dickens's Birthday

It all started with a Google search. Vic Jacopson, MBE, searched for a school in the UK to partner up with a school in the Ukraine to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens birth. It was during this search he came across Chilton Cantelo; but little did they realise that the man that found them was himself like a character from one of Dickenss novels.

Vic Jacopson, founder of Hope Now, a charity that raises funds for projects around the world, was himself an orphan, and grew up in an orphanage during the war. He found it hard to survive, playing truant from school and burgling nearby homes. Vic left the orphanage at 15 and joined the army though he was thrown out nine months later when he was caught stealing from the barracks post office.

Penniless and homeless, Vic was forced in to a cycle of crime and poverty that led to his eventual arrest. Fortune came in Vics favour however on leaving jail at age 19 when he was fostered by a family whose influence helped him turn his life around.

Today Vic spends his time connecting people and organisations to help young people overcome adverse circumstances. Hope Now raises funds for various projects; ranging from structural improvements to orphanages, to building chapels in prisons and providing hospital treatment in the Ukraine and volunteers in South Africa.

Vics call to Chilton Cantelo culminated in a school trip to visit a school in the city of Cherkasy, Ukraine where they performed extracts from Dickenss work and even visited an orphanage assisted by the charity.

Over 600 was raised at the schools Christmas Carol Service in Sherborne Abbey and Vic recently came to receive the cheque and to speak to the pupils personally. The money will be used to help fund a building project, Kompas Park, a facility in Ukraine where orphans and poor children can spend the summer months at camps, which are run by volunteers.

Addressing the whole school at assembly Vic said: Life is about giving to others. Its not about how much money you make or about how successful you are but about relationships with others and how much you give of yourself.

Director of Drama, Julian Pomroy, added: Vics call to the school and the subsequent trip we made to Ukraine has made a huge impact on my drama pupils and, indeed, the rest of the school. We have learned so much at an emotional level and I know that this school will feel connected to Hope Now and its work in Ukraine for years to come.

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