Every year around 2,000 young people leave the rigorous Soviet-era childcare system in Ukraine. Having spent their entire lives in orphanages, they often lack the skills and support mechanisms needed for everyday life in the community and can easily become victims of alcohol and drug abuse, trafficking, teenage pregnancy. Statistics reveal that 20% of them are unable to get a job or profession, 41% see no prospect in resolving accommodation issues while 28% engage in criminal activities.
Within the Kyiv Region we run 4 leaving care services which offer social support, legal assistance and advice on further education, accommodation or employment. Through the weekly youth clubs young people are enabled to learn new and transferable life skills (nutritional cooking classes, computer literacy, CV writing etc.) Through mentoring support care-leavers develop interpersonal skills a build self-esteem and confidence. They are encouraged to extend personal networks outside institutions.
With the right help and people, orphans leaving care in Ukraine can achieve and thrive. Our goal is to ensure they have support, encouragement and opportunities they need to become confident in reaching their full potential, growing into productive citizens, increasing their chances to have successful lives. We aim to make a visible impact on a specific area within the Kyiv Region as well as to provide a gateway to more permanent support services at the national level.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Article about mentoring component of the project
Sure Start in 2012: photo gallery
Photoessay on the trip to the Carpathian mountains