Ukrainian Orphan, a nonprofit dedicated to helping street children and social orphans in the Odesa region of Ukraine has successfully raised funds once more to help the at risk children. This last event was for a children’s home whose mothers were sentenced to prison time. Children’s ages range from six months to four years of age. Funds were used for a children’s home remodel and to purchase necessities such as fresh fruit, grains, diapers, medical supplies, and other essentials the children desperately needed. A portion of the funds were used to help winterize the building this spring to make it warmer for the children. 

Sad Reality on the Situation in Ukraine

The city of Odesa Ukraine is currently home to thousands of orphans and over 5,000 street children who are prone to sexual abuse, violence, drug addiction and HIV. Children are allowed to stay in the orphanages until the age of 15. That is if the children even stay in the orphanage. Many times the conditions are better on the streets than in an abusive home where rape and violence is common. Upon turning 15 or 16 children are made to leave. Without a skills to work, a limited education, and an economy shattered by war the children are forced to turn to crime and the girls to the sex trade.

Prostitution and HIV among the street children and orphans in Ukraine

HIV and Tuberculosis is rampant in Ukraine currently. It is one of the few countries in the World where the rate of infection is rising. The girls who turn to prostitution are at high risk. Many are forced into sexual slavery, some taken abroad, never to return home. The boys likewise have a high rate of HIV infection since the use of drugs taken intravenously on the streets is common. HIV coupled with tuberculosis  ends up a deadly combination. And those boys lucky to escape infection on the streets many times wind up in prison. 

Future Projects for Social Orphans in Odesa

Ukrainian Orphan is currently planning another round of fundraising to help the teens acquire skills that will allow them to fend for themselves in the World. Classes will be taught that will teach the teens computer skills, basic money management, and English so they have an opportunity at a normal life. Writing, computer literacy, online marketing, basic computer programming, and customer support are among some of the opportunities kids will have at their disposal. Instructors will be brought in to teach trades for many of the youth. Health services will be provided as well as outings to expose the kids to activities outside the walls of a home. 

The cause is just and there is much work to do, but this organization has a strong team to lead the way. If you are interested in helping orphans in Ukraine you may contact them to find out the best way to help these forgotten children.

Published by Yatin Arora