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Together Taking Up the Challenge of the Mlynky Underground Labyrinth

On June 11, 2016 fourteen active members of the orphan youth club, "Successful Youth", which is organized by Orphans Future, explored an amazing underground cave system called Mlynky (more information here). The caves are located 90 km. from the city of Ternopil, near the village Zalissia in the Chortkiv district of Ternopil Region. The caves, which are sometimes called the eighth wonder of the world, extends over an area of over 40 kms, much of it still to be explored. Our young boys and girls were fascinated by the dazzling beauty of the caves with hanging garlands of stalactites, multicolored crystal gardens and underground lakes and waterfalls. But there was also the fear factor and excitement of the challenge of moving through the caves by squeezing themselves through tight cracks and crawling and climbing along dark and sharply sloping passages. Plenty of exercise involved and definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Various complex passages instilled fear but strong team spirit and support for each other added confidence and stamina during their heavy steps. Caring guides Lyudmila and Catherine skillfully conducted our group through a tour of the mysterious and unpredictable. And finally after the three-hour experience of the beauty and challenges of the Mlynky caves all got out safe and intact. Some comments from our young intrepid explorers included: "It was interesting to see the cave scenery - on the walls of limestone deposits that form as small waves", and "To deal with your own fears of the completely unknown" and " dark dungeon feeling of complete silence and imagining yourself alone - just can't convey all emotions in words".

Everyone had an unforgettable, exciting, exhilarating and sometimes frantic experience. Afterwards all the youth had dinner together and shared their unforgettable positive impressions and sense of achievement and this lively discussion continued in next two hours on the bus trip home to the city of Ternopil. On behalf of our orphan Youth Club members, Orphans' Future would like to express our sincere thanks to those who made possible this wonderful 'discovery' experience, including the organization, 'Partnership for Every Child' project "Youth to Youth", and to tourist club Ternopil and Mr. Igor Medynskyy for invaluable assistance with transportation. With this support, the teens really feel caring from their local community.

: 14 June 2016

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