Ukraine Without Orphans
Total Population: 42.1 million
Number of Christians: 35,919 churches and religious organizations; 71.7% of Ukraine’s population declared themselves believers in 2018* with an average of 70% of believers attending church regularly. That percentage increases with 88% Orthodox, 96% Greek Catholic, and 89% Non-Denominational.
Children in Ukraine
Under 18: 7.6 million
Almost 14% of Ukraine’s population is ages 0-14, while 12% is between 15-24. And 57% of the population is 25-64 years of age, while 15% is 65 years and over.
Estimated number of orphans: 106,000 children live in boarding schools of various types, of which 6,324 children have the status of orphan and can be adopted; another 64,996 orphans are under guardianship or are being raised in family settings.
Alternative care in Ukraine
Boarding system, foster families, adoption, a brief description of the data:
- The number of foster families is 3,512, there are 6,571 children in foster care
- The number of family-type children's home is 1,103, there are 7,379 children in them
- The number of patronage families is 81, there are 256 children in them
- There are 51,224 orphaned children under guardianship
The reform of the system of institutional care and upbringing of children started in Ukraine in 2016 (the reform of deinstitutionalization - DI).
The reform of deinstitutionalization focused on supporting the family to prevent hardships or conditions that would force parents to send their children to boarding school. The essence of the DI reform in creating such conditions and services for families and children in the communities that are necessary and sufficient for the child to be raised in a family.
The main goal of the DI reform in Ukraine is to change the system of institutional care and upbringing of children to a system that provides care and upbringing of the child in a family or family type environment.
Goals of the DI Reform:
- Integration and coordination of actions to ensure the reform of the system of institutional care and education of children
- Development of an effective and capable system to support the upbringing of children in family
- Providing high-quality alternative care for children who are left without parental care, in order to prevent these children from entering the system of institutional care and upbringing of children.
VISION: We see Ukraine as a country without orphans due to the fact that a conscious, responsible, mobilized Christian community changes the life of every orphan child, ensuring the formation and development of children in families in conditions of safety and well-being.
MISSION: We unite the efforts of caring people, organizations, and churches that work with a common goal - to reach all orphans with real care, give every child an opportunity to grow up in a loving family and prevent orphanhood in Ukraine.
Story of Adoption from Ukraine
Olya’s story of adoption and the impact of the "One Church - One Child" program
“Olga’s life story is very inspiring, and it demonstrates the positive impact churches can have on behalf of children who have no voice.”
Olga’s mother was pregnant with twins; but there were complications during childbirth. The baby suffered a birth trauma; and, as a result, she had a severe form of mental disability. Her mother abandoned her in the maternity hospital, citing the reason for leaving was that she did not have the means to support a sick or disabled child. So, the young infant was sent into the orphanage boarding system.
Olya was only able to eat through a feeding tube until she was five years old; however, over these years she learned to insert it and eat all on her own. She held her pain deeply; and, as she was unable to speak, she silently cried. Only in her appearance could one understand what her mood was.
There was something so special about Olya. In spite of her pain and limitations, she had a great desire to live. Noticeably she became increasingly active and very inquisitive. The desire to engage in life was evident; and, at six years old she learned to crawl. The teachers at the boarding school were very happy with Olya’s progress and at seven years old she started eating without a feeding tube. She enjoys preening and takes care to keep herself looking good and clean.
For a long time, the team at Ukraine Without Orphans looked for a family to adopt Olya. For three years two churches prayed specifically for her to be adopted. Thank God, these prayers were heard! Olga was adopted when she was nine years old by a Ukrainian family who lives in America. The adoptive parents have five biological children in addition to Olya. Their youngest daughter has cerebral palsy. After her adoption, Olga began to walk and gained a healthier weight. Now Olya has caring, loving parents and is growing in family.
Challenge for Prayer
Please pray for the following:
- For Ukrainian churches to adopt the updated concept for a national “All-Ukrainian Day of Prayer for Orphans 2019”, namely, their transition to personalized prayers for specific orphans through the One Church - One Child project and to take practical steps in alignment with the principle “I know. I pray. I act.”
- For God's leading in finding partners and regional coordinators to implement the updated concept of the All-Ukrainian Day of Prayer for Orphans 2019 and other Alliance for Ukraine Without Orphans projects.
- For the continuation of the process of reforming the residential education system in Ukraine, for the creation of a social services market, and the development of a system of quality services for children and families in difficult life circumstances.
- For wisdom, revelation, strategies, sufficient provision, and the physical and spiritual condition of the staff of the Alliance for Ukraine Without Orphans team.
To learn more about Ukraine Without Orphans or to get involved, please visit https://ukrainabezsyrit.org/.