Partnership for Every Child

Our vision is the world where every child grows up in a lovely and secure family. Mission. We professionally assist families, communities and governments in their work to ensure the rights of every child to live and develop in safe and secure family environments. Our main focus until 2015 is to prevent separation of children from families and placement in institutional care; support and strengthening parental capacities of vulnerable families; support to children leaving care.
Oct 23, 2014

Fostering superheroes: the saga continues

Vita post-hospital in July & before school in Sept
Vita post-hospital in July & before school in Sept

They cannot save the whole world, but they can surely make the one they live in better. Since 2010 the Gursky family – our real-life fostering superheroes – have provided care and support for 10 children. All of them were in need of urgent protection due to domestic or parental issues which prevented them from living at home for a certain period of time. Their saga continued: by the end of June 2014 with the help of your generous donations Tetyana and Taras Gursky have managed to save 18-month-old Matviy from going into an orphanage, and at the beginning of July 2014 they were helping another child, 12-year-old Vita*.

On June 12th Vita was delivered to the Burn Unit of the Kyiv Regional Clinical Hospital with electric shock after falling down from the train carriage wagon. "The last picture on Vita’s phone was a self-taken photo of her standing on the stairs of a waggon with the danger arrow clearly seen on the background. She must have climbed further on top of the waggon for another photo and most probably got caught in wires where electric voltage was over 20,000 V” – Mrs Gurska recalls that tragic day. The girl suffered a fracture of the frontal skull bone, brain contusion, lung injury and numberless electrothermal burns of the head, neck, trunk, right arm and leg (48% of the girl’s body surface). “The doctors did not guarantee any positive outcomes at all”Tetyana adds. But after a skull surgery and restorative skin treatment in a month’s time Vita was placed in foster care with the Gursky.

“This would not have happened had the girl be looked after and not be neglected”, – says project worker Larysa.“Vita was living with her father and aunt who barely made ends due to disability and temporary jobs with insufficient earnings. Three adult brothers have left home ages ago, and not much is  known about Vita’s mother. The girl and her relatives withhold most of the information about her. Vita was told to be seen on her own or with a bunch of boys, hanging around abandoned construction sites, industrial areas or engine sheds.”

When Vita met the Gursky for the first time she was all covered in bandages “stuck to her open wounds and scars”. On top of providing a safe and secure loving home, the Gursky took immediately to ensuring the girl was on a quick mend and speedy recovery: applying ointments, changing bandages, treating the wounds and skin grafts. Positive atmosphere, emotional support and rehabilitation were needed for Vita to return back to normal life and to restore her relations with the family. “The child seemed to suffer from the situation that prevailed in the family; she was living in a hope to change everything for the better and to eventually see her Mom”, - Tetyana Gurska says. In September Vita started local Jewish community school that supported the girl immensely. Vita’s healthy glowing look wouldn’t even give the accident away but for the short hair that remained after the June surgery. On October 18th Vita overcame a three-month threshold of staying in foster care with the Gursky. While case workers are looking into improving Vita’s Dad employment opportunities, tracing Vita’s Mom – unfortunately caught in the middle of a full-scale war actions in the East of Ukraine where she lives – remains impossible.

“I keep saying to Vita: not all the time everything in life goes according to the plan, but we have to stay strong and to accept the reality as it is. No matter how many times you get knocked down, keep getting back up”, - Taras Gursky sums up. On behalf of Vita and the looked-after children like her we thank you all for supporting this project so that the children in our care can “get back” after being knocked down by the difficulties, abuse and neglect, get the best start in life and have a chance to reach their full potential. Please don't let your generosity end - help us raise awareness by simply spreading the word and sharing this report through your network. Wherever there is a human being, there is always an opportunity for a kindness.

Sep 16, 2014

The key to success is preparation

Preparation is the key to suceess
Preparation is the key to suceess

Dear friends,

The key to success is preparation. This, more than anything else, can relate to the young Ukrainian care leavers who participate in our project “Youth 4 Youth: Building Skills, Transforming Lives”. To ensure a smooth transition into independent living, 149 young people in formal care, orphaned youth and young people from the vulnerable families – with the invaluable help of your generous donations – attended 71 training sessions during this summer season. For many of the 15 to 18-year-olds such meetings have become an eye-opening, transformational experience. “Young people I work with revealed keen interest and desire to change their lives for better, they liked to be in the youth club, and they are looking forward to starting peer-to-peer work in September”, said Olga, youth trainer from Zhytomyr, the North West region of Ukraine.  

“I believe the key to success is a happy family. I am grateful for telling us how to achieve balanced and happy relationships. I will apply new knowledge in building a stronger relationship with my partner in the future, because I do not want to have such relations as my parents used to have...”, echoing Olga’s words 18-year-old Sergiy. During the informal trainings, young participants have been discussing their uniqueness and personalities, talking about inner resources needed to achieve a better position in life. Positive self-awareness, new patterns of behaviour, empowerment and motivation – these are the topics youth have been mostly focused on at the youth club meetings. “Training has helped me to realise that if I truly want to achieve a goal, I have to become more focused on my studying”, - says 15-year-old Victoria from Drogobych. Other discussions included time management, finance management, career advice. “It was interesting to see how I use and distribute my own inner resources and time. Experimenting with sand and stones today proved that by wasting my time on small details I cannot see a bigger picture on how to spot and how to overcome a problem lying ahead” (Ivanna, 16, Drogobych). "Even though I was struggling with making my monthly budget [during a training session], I realised that this [activity] will help me in the future when I will be left on my own" (Artur, 15, Smila).

Thanks to your continuous support to this project, we can proudly reflect on the first fruits of labour, a partnership between the GlobalGiving and the grassroots communities. Youth club events have been taken to the streets and communities of their native towns: “Picture me emotion”, “A city through my eyes” and a charitable event for under 5s in Odesa city orphanage have mobilised not only youth project participants but their mentors, friends and peers. As 16-year-old Ania from Odesa said: "It is so important to be useful". Without exaggeration, by preparing disadvantaged youth as the leaders today, we can create a real impact for a better tomorrow. 

During the youth club meeting in Drogobych
During the youth club meeting in Drogobych
With positive attitude, you can achieve anything
With positive attitude, you can achieve anything
Picture me emotion: youth club street event
Picture me emotion: youth club street event

Links:

Jul 16, 2014

Exciting news, and here is why

18-month-old Matviy with his mother Maria
18-month-old Matviy with his mother Maria

Dear friends, 

We hope this update finds you well. June has been an exciting month, and here is why. In just under two weeks, our emergency foster carers from Bila Tserkva (Ukraine) – the Gursky family – have managed to save an 18-month-old boy called Matviy from going into an orphanage, getting traumatised by abrupt and sudden separation from his mother, feeling neglected and abandoned… This couldn’t have happened without your kind and continued support.

To 18-year-old Maria, Matviy’s biological mother, experience of growing up in an institutional care is not something new. She spent her childhood and adolescent years in an orphanage herself, and remembers well how to share a teacher (or their “pretend Mommy” as they used to call her) with another 30 children. When she fell pregnant with Matviy – alone, without permanent work or accommodation, having only recently graduated from the High School – instead of giving up she decided to become the best Mom in the world for her little son. The moment Maria heard from the doctors that she needed an urgent medical operation, her heart sank. “What about my little boy? Who will look after him?” were her first thoughts. This is when the Gursky family have offered their support to take care of Matviy in their loving friendly home, while Maria was having her medical treatment and recovery after the operation.

As little as $28 will cover a salary for a foster carer to look after children like Matviy who are in need of urgent protection. Today, on July 16th, 2014, starting from 9 a.m. EDT your donation to this project can bring 50% more – it’s a Bonus Day on GlobalGiving. It means that every $10 will go even further: not only helping to ensure caring families like the Gursky work, but also enabling parents in difficult life situations like Maria. And most importantly, children will remain in a family environment, essential for their growth and development, 24/7.

It takes less than 5 minutes to donate – just visit goto.gg/13047. There is $130,000 in matching funds available, so hurry because matching funds will likely soon run out. Please spread the word to your friends, family and co-workers too. Together, we can make the most of this fantastic offer and help to every child in need.

With gratitude,

Vasylyna Dybaylo

Director of Partnership for Every Child

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