UNICEF has estimated that 82,000 children live in Ukraine’s institutions while other NGOs and Ukraine advocacy groups quote numbers upwards of 200,000.
In 2015 Disability Rights International in a report entitled No Way Home stated; “The lack of adequate care and protection in institutions exposes children to life-threatening dangers. Children with disabilities are especially at risk – often relegated to the most barren and filthy sections of institutions, left without activities, stimulation or human contact. Many children are left in physical restraints or kept in beds and cribs where their arms and legs atrophy from disuse. Separated from society and without the protection of family and friends, children are subject to beatings, rape, and other forms of routine violence.”
We have a fostering relationship moving towards a partnership with an organization within Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine (Alpha & Omega), with the emphasis on special needs children, their families, but especially orphans. Special needs orphans are often left to their own devices even within an orphanage through no fault of the care providers. They do not always have the appropriate equipment and education to fully develop their potential.
They seldom feel loved because the staff is stretched so thin that when a child needs comforted there is frequently no one around to just hug them and dry their tears, or love on them. They often have only each other to run to for aid and support. A special needs orphan is usually in one orphanage until late teens to adulthood and then moved to a nursing home type orphanage, leaving the only thing they know as family and a home.
With all of that, they don’t know the Lord. That He exists for them to turn to. It’s our belief that by ongoing visits/trips and tangible support we will be able to show them love; the love of Jesus Christ.