War, drug addiction and disease have exposed the children of Ukraine to trauma that will last them a lifetime. Eastern Ukraine is still involved in a conflict that has left much of the country devastated. Since it began, thousands of civilians have been killed, and 1.7 million have been displaced. As with most systemic problems, they are interwoven, with one prompting another, creating a whole host of problems for its citizens. Substance abuse is one of the most prominent issues in Ukraine, with heroin being the primary substance of abuse because of easy access and high availability. According to the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), released by the US Department of State, 68,220 drug addicts were registered in Ukraine as of May 2015. However, the report also estimated that the actual number of people with substance abuse disorders in Ukraine could be as high as half a million. With drugs flooding the nation, the country has been ranked as having one of the highest rates of HIV infection in all of Europe. The Ukraine has struggled with the issue of street children for years, many abandoned due to their parents’ addiction. Children who are alone face extreme vulnerabilities. The freezing cold temperatures are almost impossible to bear for those living on the streets. They are also at risk of substance abuse, sexual assault and engaging in a life of crime. They depend on the immediate shelter, food and care that homes like Father’s House can provide.
The mid-1990s saw an unprecedented increase in the number of homeless children on the streets of Kyiv, Ukraine. Children in need of basic care were everywhere, sheltering in train stations, underground passages, and in the basements and attics of residential buildings. Visually, the impact was greater than that following the end of the Second World War.
More than 20 years later, Father’s House has become an integrated system of projects and programs that strive for a solution to the complex system of social problems that exist in Ukraine. As Father’s House has grown, adapted and developed, their experience has become the foundation for social reform in Ukrainian legislation. Father’s House holds itself accountable for solving some of society’s biggest challenges, and for acting with love to provide for those in need.
The journey of Father’s House began with a small act of kindness. Dr Roman Korniiko witnessed the hardships and injustices suffered by disadvantaged children and began to take action. He and a group of like-minded volunteers began to organize day-care centres, canteens and hygiene stations. They worked to create spaces where children living on the streets could come to bathe, have their hair cut, their injuries treated, and their clothes and shoes washed or replaced. Seeing that this was not enough, Roman decided that these children needed a place to come in the evenings to eat, wash and sleep – a place where there would be grownups waiting for them. Beginning with his own home, Roman rented several apartments around Kyiv to serve this purpose. Roman’s group of volunteers grew into an organized team dedicated to ending child homelessness. During this time, around 2 300 children were helped off of the streets and provided with basic care. This was the beginning of Father’s House.
Serving Orphans Worldwide travels to every orphanage we partner with to ensure needs are legitimate and 100% of funds distributed goes to the livelihood of the children.
This year, we have a goal to help improve the quality of care for these amazing children, and we need your help. Your gift will help provide education, a safe home, health, and adult mentors who can share the Love of Christ. Our promise to you is that 100% will go directly to the home.