Meet the Superstar Mariya of Ukraine!

Do you know who this little girl is?



Mariya is in the middle!

This is Mariya 12 years ago. And little did she know, she would be helping little children so they can be part of a family.


Mariya Syemashkina is really a superhero… she’s intelligent, beautiful, rational, compassionate, hard-working, business-minded, selfless… the list goes on. But we wanted to share this with everyone so they can get to know the person who provides us with photos and updates.


Since she is our super duper special partner in Ukraine, we decided to ask her some questions and we compiled her answers below.


What languages do you speak?

I can speak only Ukrainian, Russian, English and German.

(Impressive… she’s a smart girl!)


What did you want to be as an adult?

As a child I wanted to be a lawyer.


What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is, that some of people, who I love, could die or be ill.


What is your pet peeve working with others?

It annoys me, when around me are stupid or not well organized people.


Who is your favorite child at Kalinovka? 


Yura with his monkey we sent him from NYC 

My favorite child in Kalinovka is Yura 😉


How many hours do you work for Happy Child? (Happy Child is our partner foundation in Zaporozhia Ukraine.)

Every week I work at least 55 hours.


What exactly do you do for Maya’s Hope?

For Maya’s hope I make and post pictures and videos and gather information about caregivers and children to find more possibilities and money to help them.


Did you ever think you would be working helping children and saving lives?

When last year I was thinking to go to Kiev, I’ve listed things I want to do – that’s is. But I couldn’t imagine, that I would work with disabled people and that I will work so much.


What is the worst thing you’ve experienced doing this type of work?

The worst day for me is always, when one of kids or adults at the orphanage dies. There were 4 of them only, but I still see it as my personal fault.


What is the happiest moment you’ve had helping these kids?


Mariya with Igor and Vanya

The happiest moment was when the small Lyosha was adopted and when Igor survived after his operation.


We want to know more about you. What countries have you visited outside of Ukraine?

I visited Germany, England, Kazakhstan, Russia, Holland and France.


What is your favorite place in the world (so far?)


Mariya in the Carpathians August 2013

My favorite place is Carpathians, because it’s great nature and a few people only, (if you mean a place abroad, it’s Munich – just wonderful city).


Who if your favorite author?

My favorite author is Margaret Mitchell ( just because of Gone with the Wind).


What is your favorite quote?

“I Have the Simplest Tastes; I Am Always Satisfied with the Best.”  (Oscar Wide can be one of my favorite quotes.)


Name something that you never thought you could do but did it!

I never could imagine I would learn how to ride bicycle, when I was 23, but I’ve learnt it – just bc all the small kids in Germany could do it, I’ve learnt it there too.


What is your dream job?

My dream job is to travel and write about it.


What is your favorite book?

My favorite book was about partisan – school girl Larisa.



Mariya lovingly embraces Igor after his surgery.

 If you have other questions you want us to ask Mariya, email!

We will be happy to add more interesting blog postings about our partner and what she does to change the life of each and every child.




Submitted by Maya Rowencak.