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Ukraine

New Hope Ukraine

Two Orphan Care Family Camps in Ukraine
Location:  Village Dubechne, Volyn region, Ukraine
Responsible:  Oksana Savka

Background

New Hope is a public Christian educational organization, devoted to the regeneration of society, specifically in ministry among families, youth and children through the incarnation of Christian principles in their lives.  One of the main ways New Hope uses to accomplish this goal is through Orphan Care Program in Ukraine.

After the Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited spiritual decline.  AIDS, drugs, alcoholism, abortions and early pregnancies are huge problems in Ukraine.  Parents are not taking care of their children and leave them at the orphanages.

Officially there are 100,000 orphans in Ukraine and not official number reach 500,000 orphans and homeless children.  God tells us to be merciful for orphans who do not know what love means.  Such children in Ukraine are considered as a State property.  They live in orphanages or boarding schools.  These orphans havenít their own childhood and family.  83% of orphans are afraid of future life as adults after finishing boarding school.  Orphanage is a horrible place for these children, where only some physical needs are met.  Siblings are separated because orphanages are divided by age.  Children are very often abused verbally, physically and sexually, also such kids are easy target for pornography production.  After they are graduating orphanage in age of 18 they do not have place to live.  Statistic says that 70% of them end up in crime, 50% of girls become prostitutes and 30% commit suicide within two years.  Only God can help these children and He is using Christians for that.

There arenít any orphanages or boarding schools (even Christian) that can substitute family for a child.  What is the way out?  Family!  Thatís a merciful step.  God told us to help orphans.

Seven years ago we start Orphan Care program in Ukraine.  Purpose of New Hope Orphan Care Program is to give children and youth in orphanages the opportunity to be part of a Christ centered family and local church, to respond to Christís call to follow Him, and to learn social, relational and academic skills to reach Godís potential for their lives.

We trained caseworkers who travel to different Churches and share the need of orphans and vision how to address that need to the Christian families, and a lot of them are opening their hearts and their homes for these children.  Our caseworkers assists in preparing the child for placement, provide training for parents, help to prepare all needed documents for adoption, do home visits, lead family during the whole process of adoption.  We are placing children from the orphanages to the Christian families and our case workers continue to visit and help them until child will be 18 years old.  Caseworkers organize support group meetings each month for adoptive and foster families who live in the same region.

Considerations

  1. Deficit of communication Ė This is the main cause of many problems in relationships and society in general.  The more people who live in mostly the same conditions and have the same life style communicate, the better they overcome obstacles and different problems in life.  Communication Ė one of the reasons we had Orphan Care Family Camp.
  2. Who can give the better advice and encourage you if not a person who has or had the same problems in life?  Camp becomes a place where foster families had an effective, useful time as one team during six days.

Goals of the Camp

  1. To do everything possible to unite foster families, so they communicate and encourage each other.  I believe it fill them up with strength to continue to serve these children.
  2. Parents to get good Biblical advises on how to raise their adopted children from qualified Christian psychologist.
  3. Spend time in special and open prayer for our children and for their future.
  4. To cultivate daily family Bible studying for parents as well as children, so it becomes a great habit and life principle.
  5. To do everything to help parents and children to get to know each other better.  I believe it will be a start of time-life friendship between them.

Preliminary Proposed Project

We need the team of 5-6 volunteers who would like to come in Ukraine and help to do Bible study, games, creative and productive free time for children and parents.  We hope to have at least 80 children at each camp.  There will be children different age from 4-18, so we will divide them for at least three groups, so two workers can work with the one of the group at the same time.  Also we plan to have special time once a day where families can be involved in some activities together.

Conditions

We will meet the team in Lviv airport and will transport them to the camp (near 4 hours of driving).  Team will stay at the camp facilities with meals four times per day.   
We will provide interpreters for the possibility to communicate with children.

Projected Time-Line and Cost Per Person

The team can spend one or two weeks in Ukraine, depending if they will choose to be present in either camps or only one.

In-country transportation:  $100-$300
Lodging and meals:  $12 per day per person.

For More Information

For more information contact John Hall at johndonnahall@aol.com, or Sue Hamblen, Director of Missions, at 703-938-9050 x111, or sue.hamblen@viennapres.org.