Clontarf housewife, Debbie Deegan, set up the charity organisation 'To Russia With Love' in direct response to horrendous conditions she had encountered in a run down orphanage in Hortolova in Western Russia.
Debbie's crusade to bring love and decent living conditions to these abandoned children of Russia has brought Debbie back and forth to Russia innumerable times in the last 2 years and has culminated in the openings of a brand new state of the art medical block and kitchen. The children's well being and sense of self has improved immensely due to individual care and development programs put in place.
These withdrawn forgotten children of two years ago are beginning to come in to their own, Debbie's vision of a better life has brought a glimmering light of hope to their empty eyes and brought broad smiles to their beautiful faces. There is still much to be done but with Debbie's tireless drive and absolute commitment she is determined to ensure that those smiles only continue to grow and shine on into a brighter future.
Earlier this year Debbie received a major honour in Western Russia for her pioneering work children in the Bryansk region's orphanages. Her work, which is helping to develop a childcare structure, prompted the authorities to award her the region's Person of the Year.
Debbie is the first foreigner ever to be awarded with this distinction. Subsequently Debbie was nominated for last years Sunday Independent Person of the Year award and TV3 screened a documentary on Debbie's extraordinary life earlier in the year. Read more