Ira pays city a visit to say 'thank you'

A CHARITY appeal set up by Hibs fans to support orphaned children in the Ukraine has received a visitor from the eastern European country.

Ira Polyashova, who is funded by the Dnipro Appeal to promote and look after the welfare of children in Dnipropetrovsk, came to the Capital on a fact-finding trip to find out more about the culture that generates so much help for her charges in Ukraine.

The appeal, headed up by life-long Hibs fans, helps three orphanages, a TB sanatorium, and recently opened a baby centre for young mums.

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Jim Divine, chairman of the charity, said a group of Hibernian supporters led by Steven Carr and Mark Strachan took time out to visit a local orphanage during a visit to the area for a UEFA cup tie in September 2005.

He said: "The delight shown by the kids, and the clear pleasure that the visit from the Hibernian supporters brought, warmed the hearts of everyone involved."

Ms Polyashova said: "Thanks is too small a word for the way we all feel towards these generous people."