Making Room for More: Ukraine Orphanage Receives Refugee Children

June 05, 2014

Orphans who were displaced because of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict are finding a new home at Father´s House.

They are too young to understand the complexities of politics and armed conflicts. They did not vote yea or nay for Crimean succession in March, nor did they help elect Ukraine´s new president two weeks ago. The Ukrainian-Russian tug-of-war is no playground game, but it is children who are being pulled in different directions as a result of the crisis.

Father´s House, a network of children´s homes operated by an indigenous ministry in Ukraine, is receiving endangered youngsters from combat areas. In one southeastern city, the ministry´s orphanage had to be evacuated and many of the children were relocated to the main center in Kiev.

In a report to Christian Aid Mission, the ministry leader expressed great concern for the safety and welfare of refugee orphans in Ukraine. Some of the child refugees are from Crimea. Others are from the Donetsk region, where clashes continue between Ukrainians and pro-Russian separatists.

“As you know, there is a very tense and critical situation in Ukraine today, especially in the east and south regions. A lot of families had to escape from dangerous areas and go to places where there is no threat to their lives,” the leader wrote.

“Today we are receiving 40 refugees—orphans from the southeast of Ukraine at our center. We have to provide all the basics for the kids. We had no resources to receive that big a number of children, but thanks to God, kind people let us borrow 19 bunk beds with mattresses and pillows. We still have a big need to provide food and other basic services,” he said.

Among the orphans evacuated from the east were four HIV-positive children who had been living in one of the ministry´s family-based homes. Because he has HIV himself, the house father took in ten more children with the same diagnosis and started a new family-based home in a safer location.

The ministry´s most pressing need is food. The cost to feed one child per day is $5. While that amount may sound manageable, multiply the price by 40 boys and girls, and the costs climb to $200 per day and $6,000 monthly.

Another $3,850 is being requested to buy a large refrigerator ($1,500) and a commercial size washing machine ($1,350) and dryer ($1,000).

Father´s House already had 86 children in its Kiev location. However, when residents were informed about the need to accept young refugees from eastern Ukraine, they were excited.

“Not only did they make room for guests, but they also did not mind substituting their comfortable single beds for metal bunk beds,” said the ministry leader. “Children along with the staff were happy to arrange the rooms, add extra beds, and make the beds.”

Every bed was decorated with a toy, candy, and a welcome note written by a child who lives at Father´s House. The children also decorated the entrance to the facility with balloons and colorful ribbons to welcome their new friends.

Father´s House officials are doing their best to provide for the child refugees but are stretched far beyond their available resources. Immediate help is needed. Please pray for God´s provision, and that believers in both Ukraine and Russia will experience true peace through Jesus Christ.