WHAT HAPPENS TO UKRAINIAN ORPHANS who do not get adopted
because they are physically disabled or age out of the system?
There are over 100 million orphans in the world and a few hundred thousand organizations designed to help them by facilitating adoptions of orphan babies and young children. But what is done with the older and physically disadvantaged children who are unfortunate enough to be "emancipated" into a fractured economy such as Ukraine? If an orphan does not have a relative willing to offer temporary housing, survival becomes his or her first and only objective. The statistics on the orphan's survival during the first year of living independently are sadly staggering:
- 70% - smoke tobacco on a regular basis;
- 50% - fall into a high-risk category of some kind (many are becoming infected by HIV and developing AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB) has become the most widespread infectious disease among Ukrainian teens);
- 40% - become regular drug/alcohol users;
- 40% - commit survival type crimes; and
- 10% - will commit suicide to end their misery.
These children are also most vulnerable to slave and sex trafficking because they come from difficult social and economic backgrounds with dysfunctional family relationships, often lacking a supportive social network and the skills and experience to assess risks and manage responsibilities. In Ukraine, nearly 28% of the population lives below poverty. There are few jobs for anybody, least of all teenage orphans. Having grown up in the orphanage system, these teens never develop the life or work skills necessary to integrate into society. At a time when these children should have become increasingly independent, the inhibiting nature of these orphanages crippled their personal growth and self-reliance. Therefore, promises of lucrative jobs abroad become attractive and are often traps set by traffickers and other criminal groups.
Reliable statistics are difficult to find. Sources often list only estimates but even if these figures are doubly exaggerated, it's still unacceptable. With your help, whether through prayer or financial support, Faraway Place can change the destiny of some of these very deserving children. We believe providing viable alternatives and support through the Love of God is the only way to facilitate the process of putting an end to these gross injustices.
The heart of Faraway Place is to fulfill our mission that we may see God's vision for us and the teen orphans of the Ukraine fully realized. To see orphans coming to Christ and growing in Him as we raise them up and help them become vital young men and woman who can successfully acclimate themselves in to a new life of independence.
Faraway Place is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt public charity focused on preparing orphaned children for independent living through programs offering counselling, financial assistance, continued education, self-sufficiency and vocational training.
© Faraway Place 2010, all rights reserved