It’s Sister Bernarda Week!

Sister Bernarda is going to Ukraine!

It’s SISTER BERNARDA WEEK at Maya’s Hope! (Yes, I just did call this week Sister Bernarda week! Why you ask???) She is the woman who showed me the hidden orphan children of Ukraine. Her passion, unconditional love, and selflessness, inspires me daily…! She’s in her 90s (yes!) and she’s movin’ and shakin’ up Ukraine with her love for cutie pies in orphanages, mental institutions, children’s hospitals… She’s my hero. Do you want to help? You CAN!!!

Sr. Bernarda is leaving next week for Ukraine! Yes, she’s going to go on her annual two month visit to Ukraine’s hidden orphanages… Here she is with me two years ago at a TB (tuberculosis) clinic in Western Ukraine. We were surrounded by babies and young children suffering from TB. I came in as a naive American not realizing the severity of the babies and children’s condition. Unfortunately, there is a great need for TB clinics as it is a growing epidemic… Sister Bernarda opened my eyes to the hidden illness that affects the innocent of innocent. If you would like to help Sr. Bernarda on her trip, email! She needs our support!

Sr Bernarda visits children with TB

Here she is giving her “famous bananas” to cutie pies at an orphanage/mental institution we visited in Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine. The look on the little children’s faces is priceless. It’s one of those rare moments, they realize someone cares about them.

Sr Bernarda giving her “famous bananas” to cutie pies at an orphanage

As Sr. Bernarda says, “oooh they just LOVE those bananas!” Sister Bernarda … always bringing hope, hugs and bananas to the orphanages in Ukraine. Here she is among orphans who have mental disabilities near Kiev, Ukraine. They were very respectful and super eager to talk to her in Ukrainian. As you can see, some of the boys/men are eating bananas in the picture…

Sr Bernarda in Kiev, Ukraine

Not only does Sr. Bernarda bring bananas and hugs, but she brings BUBBLES!!!! This child LOVED the bubbles… He was persistent on achieving the BEST bubble. Sr. Bernarda was there to cheer him on…

Sr Bernarda helping a boy make bubbles

This photo is brought to you by Sr. Bernarda, cutie pies, and Corn Flakes. Would you like to bring breakfast to CHAMPIONS at orphanages in Ukraine? There’s still time!! Hurry before Sister leaves on July 4th…!

Sr Bernarda making kids smile with corn flakes and bananas

If you would like to make a contribution towards Sr. Bernarda’s trip, please email me at! She buys fruits and other food to distribute and drives all over the country. (Gas costs are expensive in Ukraine!!!) It’s not the tangible items she gives, it’s the feeling of being loved and hugged by her that brings these kids joy. Even I love getting hugs from Sr. Bernarda!

Sr Bernarda visiting an orphanage

Our dear Sr. Bernarda Arkatin is from St. George Ukrainian Catholic School in NYC. She is the SAINT who introduced me to many hidden orphanages in Ukraine and opened my eyes to the forgotten children in mental institutions/orphanages in both Western and Eastern Ukraine… Let’s help her with her trip!

To donate to Sr. Bernarda (she’s in her 90s and running around Ukraine visiting orphanages!!!), please send a donation to via paypal, or click the button below: